Quality of Life Issues
NTM lung disease is a serious illness that has an impact on your life, and it can have a serious impact on your family's life as well. You may feel like your relatives and friends, even your closest ones, don't understand what you are going through. It is difficult for someone who has never faced such an illness to grasp what it's like to have to live with it, particularly when it's a disease they probably have not heard of before.
You might find that giving them a copy of this pamphlet helps them better understand what you are dealing with. You should not be afraid to speak up about what your needs are. If you need help with something, or if you just need someone to give you a regular call or visit, let them know. Communicating your needs clearly might be just what they need in order to help you.
There is a large burden, however, placed on a primary caregiver who helps you more with your daily routines and medications. For both of you, a serious illness can be upsetting and even cause depression to set in. Don't ignore this issue - seek help for it, for both of you. It will help you both and will better enable you to deal with all the challenges you face. Whether through a mental health professional, an online support forum or a local support group, make sure you and your loved ones get the emotional help you need.
As the patient, the condition of your lungs will also play a big part in how you are able to deal with day-to-day matters. Talk with your doctor about exercise, respiratory therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. These services are designed to help you get stronger so you can function better with everyday activities and independence.