A Good Life with Bad Muscles - a Column by Retha De Wet

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…

Whatever the Weather, I Am Equipped

Scientific literature clearly establishes that weather, particularly temperature, can influence the severity of myasthenia gravis symptoms. Cold weather is infamous for being worse for pain and hot weather results in reduced muscle strength. Living in Africa, hot weather is no scarcity. This means that I dread the coming of…

A Day in the Life of a Person with MG

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? You might have answered, “I take a shower” or “I drink coffee.” However, the first thing everyone does when waking up is to open the eyes. It is a movement so simple that most of us take it for granted…

Why I Am Not ‘Just Tired’

Sleeping is necessary to keep your body functional. Once deprived of it, you learn just how important sleep is to behave how you want to behave. Without it, you stray from your desired character. With myasthenia gravis, sleeping becomes as important as honey is to a bee. My…

Holidays, Planes, Trains, and Myasthenia Gravis

Traveling can be an anxiety-provoking experience. There are so many things to remember, including those that are necessary to board the plane. I recently embarked on a trip to Europe, which is quite the distance from South Africa, and learned many valuable lessons. The first thing I learned is the…

Life with a Suppressed Immune System

Finding a viable treatment option for a rare disease can be a long-term, frustrating struggle. Being rare, the disease itself is often poorly understood by the medical community, making it even more difficult to treat. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system attacks healthy tissue —…

Myasthenia Gravis Taught Me Not to Judge So Harshly

If I have learned one thing from life, it is that people always pass judgment. We judge things we think we understand, and sometimes we judge things we don’t even want to understand. I judged myasthenia gravis as a disease that can easily be treated and thought it wouldn’t…

Managing University Life with MG

Life with myasthenia gravis can be incredibly frustrating. At times, it feels like no one understands my battle and what I’m forced to go through just to lead a functional life. This frustration is especially emphasized when I attempt things that my peers do with a whole lot less effort,…

Conquering Anxiety and Myasthenia Gravis Together

Struggling with physical and mental health is challenging. In my case, myasthenia gravis shined a light on underlying anxiety, and now I am in a relationship with both. I battle both muscle weakness and my own mind. Often, it’s difficult to determine which of the two is causing my problems.