My Myasthenia Gravis
Many years ago, I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. It was one of the most stressful episodes in my life. I was in my fifties—call it midlife crisis if you would.
One day I felt intense pressure on my eyes. My first concern was glaucoma (a condition of increased fluid pressure inside the eye). I went to see an ophthalmologist who subsequently referred me to a neurologist, who was then the head of the neurology department in a well-known healthcare system in
. After running some medical
tests, he confirmed his diagnosis that I had myasthenia gravis. Cleveland,
I had developed ocular symptoms: ptosis (drooping of eyelids) and diplopia (double vision) in my myasthenia gravis.
My neck and limb muscles were also weak. I had to use a neck-rest to prop up my head when I drove; I could hardly use my fingers to control the mouse when I used my computer; and I could not raise my hand without using the other hand to help prop it up.
Fortunately, I did not experience any weakness of the muscles of my pharynx, which could cause difficulty in chewing and swallowing, as well as slurred speech, in many cases of myasthenia gravis.
Naturally, I was devastated at the diagnosis and the conditions of my myasthenia gravis, which all happened within a matter of days. Worst of all, the neurologist told me that there was no known cure, although he reassured me that he could improve my symptoms.
In the first two or three years, I was prescribed several medications not only to address the symptoms but also to treat the side effects from the medications. There was some improvement, but I decided to drop all medications.
I‘ll tell you more next time.