Follow-Up: Keep Control of Your Illness

Your treatment is a partnership between YOU, your doctor, and your medicine/treatments. Follow-up is your responsibility, and is a vital part of keeping control of your illness.

Because treatment of NTM usually requires multiple medicines, it is very important that you schedule regular follow-up visits with your doctor to monitor your condition. It is best to schedule the next visit at the end of each visit.

Even if your follow-up visits are pre-scheduled, it is your responsibility to contact your doctor quickly when something changes – don’t wait! He or she will be able to decide whether new testing (CT scan, sputum tests) is warranted, and determine whether your treatment plan should be modified.

Regular follow-up testing also helps your doctor determine if the course or severity of disease has changed. This is the most important reason for timely and early follow-up. This is one way you can work with your doctor in partnership to keep control of your illness.

Listen to your body and communicate. Keeping a log of your symptoms, reactions to various medicines and anything else that you observe about your condition will help your doctor treat your illness more effectively.

Never feel foolish about discussing any aspect of your illness and calling or seeing your doctor. Your observations may be medically significant so don’t keep it a secret. Your doctor can’t read your mind, so make sure you tell your doctor what’s on your mind, and let your doctor decide.