About a year ago I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an auto-immune disorder that weakens my muscles by keeping the nerve signals from being transmitted to them. I wrote about it at the time, and a few times since, but since it’s now a day short of one year since I first told my readers about it, I figured it was time for an update.
First of all, I need to reiterate how lucky I am. I have a very mild case of this disease. It’s so mild that, as the effects of the disease wane from time to time, it sometimes appears as if I’m in a full remission. I’m not. I still have it, but it hasn’t hit me nearly as hard as most people who are diagnosed with this.
I feel lucky because I had already adapted to life with the impairments that this disease brought with it. My fingers were essentially useless. I could not open a bottle of water and had to use both hands to get my car door open. I managed to adapt to this and continue on with my life. In the back of my mind I figured that I was in the early stages of ALS and that I would have to keep making adjustments as the quality of my life declined.
So when I got the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, I was actually thrilled. What I had was treatable and not fatal.
One of the drugs used to treat MG has been a bit of an adventure. Also, my optimism at my double-vision going away completely has now been tempered with the realization that 12 years of atrophy in my eye muscles is going to take a long, long time to repair, if that can ever happen.
The problem drug has been Prednisone. It’s a wonder drug of sorts that can be used to treat all kinds of ailments, usually more effectively than any other drug on the market. Unfortunately, it comes with a laundry list of side effects that provide a whole new set of challenges.