🇺🇸BE America Series🇺🇸
🌟Suzette from California🌟
During the winters, my husband and I have been going to Palm Desert in California. Midway through our stay, we drive to the ocean. Often on these trips, I visit with bronchi-sisters but last year I didn’t make plans to see anyone.
You can imagine my disappointment once back home to hear that a person I really wanted to meet, Suzette, was working right in Solana Beach where we had stayed!
Hopefully, we will meet up this coming winter. In the meantime, let me tell you about Suzette. She has a radiant spirit and energy even when she is struggling with her health.
Once, when I asked for photos to make a collage, she sent me one of her running on the beach and smiling while making heart hands. That prompted a series of emails and Suzette told me that when she was in her 20s, married with children, her lung collapsed. She was treated and eventually had surgery which left scar tissue and chronic chest pain.
Intuitively, she knew she had to start running and would wake early to run in the dark. Often these runs brought up a lot of secretions and there were more doctor visits. This went on for 9 years with no diagnosis.
Then 3 years ago, she was finally asked by her doctor to provide a sputum sample. That’s when he told Suzette she had bronchiectasis and a MAC infection and would need a long course of antibiotics.
At that time, Suzette was training for a 28-mile race to raise money for children with cancer and it put her own health issues into perspective. She felt strong from her training and she used that strength to bravely research her options and make decisions. She found our BE CLEAR community and learned about the importance of airway clearance and she now uses an Aerobika and nebulizes daily.
Suzette switched to a doctor who specializes in bronchiectasis and NTM lung diseases and they are hoping that airway clearance and running will be enough to keep her well. She says, “It is so empowering to manage my health! I continue to run, take gym classes, hike, spend time with my five grandchildren outdoors, work full time, and now pickleball!”
Thank you, Suzette, for being an inspirational light in our BE community.
#bronchiectasis #coughing #Aerobika #nebulizer
Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.