[“Dr. Sanders, I’m still sick.” The slender 75-year-old woman shook her head sadly. “I hate to be a bother, but you’ve got to help me with this cough. It’s just about killing me.” Her face was pale; the skin below her eyes was dark; she’d lost a lot of weight. Whatever she had, if it wasn’t killing her, it certainly was making her very sick.]
"It took a while and another short round of antibiotics, but she got better. The coughing stopped. So did the chest pain. She regained her lost pounds. Indeed, she was so much better that when the culture finally grew out M.A.I. three months later, confirming the diagnosis, she refused any further treatment saying that the cure — three drugs over two years — was worse than the risk of a recurrence of the disease. She felt fine, so she’d just take her chances. That was a year ago.
The patient called me recently. She had a little cough for the past few weeks. She doesn’t have any of the other symptoms, and she coughs only a few times a day. But she’s a little worried. I suspect her infection is trying to make a comeback. She’s not so sure. I guess we’ll both find out soon enough."
Forgetting for a moment our personal goals....reading and researching CF PA and NTM should make us appreciate our health, the life expectancy of a person with CF is 38 and they deal with poor quality of health their entire adult life.