I’m Accepting How MG Has Changed My Body

I’m Accepting How MG Has Changed My Body

Being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG) is a heavy burden to bear. In the years following my diagnosis, my medication dosages increased and I gained weight. I find it difficult to compare the literal and figurative weight of this disease.

As a woman in her 20s, the weight gain was damaging to my self-esteem and confidence levels. Before MG became a part of my life, I enjoyed plenty of exercise, which helped me to maintain a beautiful figure I was proud of.

I was prescribed prednisone at my first consultation. I remained on the medication for the next five years, which led to several changes to my once shapely figure. I developed a “moon face,” with fluid retention visible in the cheeks, along with skinny legs, a flat bum, and a flabby stomach. Several dark stretch marks accompanied these changes in my body.

When my dose was increased, I gained weight, and when it was lowered, I lost weight. My once slim figure was reduced to what I saw as a fluctuating blob of flab.

Now, I am finally done with prednisone due to some adverse psychiatric side effects, yet I still struggle with the weight I’ve gained. Having a neuromuscular disease like MG makes it difficult to exercise, and low energy levels make it hard to change dietary habits. I have started an exercise routine, and I’m excited to have lost some weight. However, I am still miles from where I once used to be. Prednisone has forever changed my body, and I am still working on accepting that — and I hope that eventually, I will.

I have had feelings of shame and guilt and experienced a significant decrease in my self-confidence, thanks to the weight gain. But those are not the only effects it has had on me.

This experience has shown me that I am more than my physical appearance. My friends and loved ones stay in my life because of who I am not because of how I look. I’ve learned to appreciate the people who support me through the bad physical and mental health days. I realize that my opinions matter and my brain functions well despite my outward appearance. The fragility of aesthetics has emphasized the durability of emotional health. I feel empowered by believing in myself despite what I perceive to be my limitations.

I may be physically heavier, but I am also more abundant in knowledge and have a better understanding of who I am. I know who supports me and who does not. I am full of life and love to share with the world because life is beautiful and I will never stop fighting.

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Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Retha De Wet BNS Writer
I’m a 24 year old from sunny South Africa. I’ve been dying with a twist since 2013 when I was first diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. I can speak four languages and I’m a lover of life and all things wild.
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Retha De Wet BNS Writer
I’m a 24 year old from sunny South Africa. I’ve been dying with a twist since 2013 when I was first diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. I can speak four languages and I’m a lover of life and all things wild.

2 comments

  1. Robyn says:

    Hi!
    So happy to have found this page, I was diagnosed with MG last year October (I’m also originally from SA but have been in London for just over a year.) I’m not on predisone, because I’m also T1 Diabetic (yay for me and my unlucky health). I find it hard to do exercise because it just leaves me feeling so rubbish. I was wondering what you found that works for you?

  2. WendyC says:

    I also have had a terrible time with exercise. I have kept my elliptical (hoping) but did get rid of my treadmill. I too have found that if I overdo anything, even just walking too much at a festival, for the next 48-72 hours I feel like I have the flu. My body doesn’t want to work and everything will hurt. I’m trying some new mindsets. Trying to make sure I limit my hours working outside, heavy labor, etc., even with just house chores, I try to not over do so I can feel half normal. I was very active prior to 3 years ago and now also have muscles that have deconditioned on top of the crazy MG inabilities. I feel if I can recondition, albeit slowly, maybe this will help. I’m going to try my elliptical literally 2 mins each hour for just 20 mins a day and see what happens. Hoping it will work and won’t make me feel super crappy for days to follow. I’m hoping there are other people out there with MG that may have figured out how to make this work and feel at least 75% their oldself. I’d like to hear.

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