Seek Possibilities for Growth: Welcome to ‘Obstacles Can Excite Creativity’

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by Jodi Enders |

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healing

At the end of last June, I began experiencing a health crisis provoked by hydroxychloroquine. I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG) in the emergency room after a month of worsening symptoms, including double vision, sudden slurred speech, a drooping eye, difficulty swallowing, and overall weakness.

Three weeks before my last semester of undergrad studies began, I felt defeated, as I’d had difficulty finding doctors who could promptly treat me. Thankfully, several different medical professionals recommended Mestinon (pyridostigmine), prednisone, and five days of in-home intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. I was able to begin treatment the week before my online semester began.

The pandemic was a blessing in many ways, as my friends didn’t notice my social absence, and I didn’t feel left out until recently. However, the past year has still been trying, to say the least.

I struggled immensely, physically and mentally, to manage a full class load and complete my undergrad thesis. I dealt with hand weakness, difficulty speaking, constant fatigue, secondary pain, and various medication side effects. My medical team informed me that I’d likely need to alter my desired career path, archaeology, due to my new limitations and risks.

My enthusiasm for road trips and travel has also been put on hold temporarily. I’ve often felt like I’ve lost most of my independence and abilities. I’ve had to continue distancing myself to remain in remission until my upcoming thymectomy, and I feel I am missing out on making memories.

Nevertheless, I believe that what is meant for us will find its way to us, and what passes us by just wasn’t meant to be. We must trust in the process of healing.

Healing equates to pain and frustration, acceptance, discomfort, and eventually, a tiny bit of growth. It is essential to validate our feelings and let them pass without judgment. It takes time and determination to heal.

Healing means deciding, regardless of how scary, to surrender and find satisfaction in the unpredictable. As humans, we constantly endure shifts and zigzags in our lives. I find it important to embrace challenging stages and receive all available teachings.

I am gradually learning to appreciate all of the hurdles and encounters that I’ve had the opportunity to experience in this short but remarkable life. I grieve the changes and adjustments but simultaneously view this MG roadblock as a destined redirect.

We will never find fulfillment in anything unless we train our minds to seek possibilities for growth. Life’s immeasurable moments, breakthroughs, and purposeful roadblocks almost always come unexpectedly.

We may be depleted of energy, feeling we did all we could but still failed. Then, right when we are at our rupture point, life gives us that spark. It’s up to us to recognize even the most minor breakthroughs and celebrate them.

My name is Jodi Enders (she/her). I am an artist and anthropologist residing in Florida. I love to paint en plein air, capture photographs, search for fossils, and paddle with manatees in the springs. I hope that my anthropological specialties in cultural sensitivity, presenting resources to marginalized individuals, and engaging digital communities will enhance the perspectives and struggles of those living with MG.

Check back on Mondays to read more about my experiences with MG and the subsequent obstacles I face. I’m always seeking opportunities to become more mindful, compassionate, and creative in my approach to life. In addition to my columnist role, I serve as a Myasthenia Gravis News Forums moderator. The MG News Forums are a fantastic, safe, and supportive space for MG patients and caregivers. Join me there!

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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.

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2021 Myasthenia Gravis Survey Results

BioNews Survey Infographic

Myasthenia Gravis News conducted a survey from Feb. 11-March 28 to gain greater insight into the characteristics of the MG community and disease management. Results of the survey have now been published. Click on the image to view the infographic, and click here to read the story.