To Be or Not To Be Compliant-That is the Question

Posted on February 16, 2018   |   
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This blog post was written by Katie Keating, RN, MS, patient advocate

Are you compliant with your everyday NTM/bronchiectasis routine?

As we are still early into 2018, I read that only 8% follow through with their New Year’s resolutions. Was one of your New Years’ resolutions to work towards being as healthy as possible under the present circumstances?

Most people (not including NTM/bronchiectasis patients) get up, maybe have their coffee, take a shower and get ready to use their “taken for granted” energy to get going and have a very productive day. NTM /bronchiectasis patients start their day off more slowly, often after less than a superb night’s sleep. Most choose not to take a quick shower but a slow bath in attempt to avoid meeting mycobacterium from their showerhead. Many avoid coffee due to acid reflux issues.

Some patients are affected by daily variables in the weather. Many wait and see how they will feel on any given day before they approach their tasks of the day. Many patients do not get up and go to work (or to an activity that they truly enjoy) on a daily basis due to not feeling up to par. Staying home can get very old very quickly regardless of where you live, the home you reside in, especially if you are a social person.

The daily tasks of an NTM/Bronchiectasis patient may include the following:

· Airway clearance either with a vest, accopella, flute, aerobica

· Pulmonary rehabilitation

· Daily nasal washes

· Medications

· Labs

· Doctor appointments- making appointments or attending appointments

· Insurance company phone calls

· Eating well in order to avoid gastro-intestinal distress from medications

· Exercise, yoga

To be or not to be compliant, that is the question.

Yes, it gets old being 100% compliant. I do not want to sound like a “Negative Nelly,” however; this is the reality for many patients. Deep inside, we wish to avoid this boring, tedious, time-consuming routine that keeps us healthier and just return to the way it once was. Unfortunately, we pay the price if we do so. We may get pneumonia, sinusitis or other respiratory issues such as a reoccurrence of NTM or worsening of bronchiectasis.

Hence, we must encourage one another, through this site and our support groups to reveal our true feelings and lift one another up on a bad day in order to remain compliant with these daily tasks. Feeling well will permit us to lead more productive lives.

Individuals shape their lives from the stories they hear and the stories they share. A therapist who employs narrative therapy will encourage questions that allow you to think of positive stories, replacing negative stories. This technique lessens negative talk and empowers patients over time. Hope may then replace fear.

Let us assist one another to reframe negative stories and to be more compliant in 2018. Do you have a story or words to share with the group on how you continue to be compliant and fight off being unmotivated and/or negative thoughts?

I hope that you will share your stories with the group. A simple message or a story may assist someone who is non-compliant at this time turn to being a compliant patient once again.

Here’s to truly keeping our New Year’s resolutions of compliance and better health!!! Cheers!

The COPD Foundation advises that before you make any changes to your medication or therapies that you first consult with your doctor.