My story is simple. I had been experiencing a cough for some time, saw the doctor, and had a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray was normal so I ignored the cough. The following year I still had the cough. I complained once again about its persistance; another chest x-ray was taken, only this time the diagnosis was pneumonia. I was put on antibiotic drugs but the pneumonia did not abate. The next step was a Computerized Tomographic (CT) scan which again resulted in a diagnosis of pneumonia. More drugs were prescribed. When subsequent chest x-rays showed no improvement, a second CT scan was performed. The conclusion was “stable findings” but since the pnemonia was not resolving, more drugs were prescribed.
During the time that followed, I saw allergists, cardiologists and pulmonologists, and still the cough persisted. Almost one year later I decided to seek the help of Dr. Michael Harbut of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Royal Oak, Michigan. After a subsequent High Resolution CT scan, TB testing and a bronchoscopy, it was determined that I had a little known condition called Atypical Mycobacteria (AM) or Mycobacteria Other Than Tuberculosis (MOTT), also known as Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) or Atypical Tuberculosis (AT). Needless to say, a diagnosis that sounds like tuberculosis is alarming.
A little research
pointed me in the direction of the National Jewish Research Medical Center
in Denver, Colorado. I spent a week there and learned about the seriousness
of NTM and about things I would have to do to regain health. My research
and the journey that followed is the content of The NTM Handbook.