Coping With the Loss of My Beloved Career Path

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by Jodi Enders |

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The most devastating blow since my myasthenia gravis diagnosis a year ago has been the loss of my career path, which was my passion. My symptoms began a month before the last semester of my undergraduate degree. Although I am eternally grateful that I received a rapid diagnosis, with that confirmation came all of the grievances.

Since elementary school, I’ve wanted to explore and find fascinating objects beyond everyday eyesight. Searching for crystals and fossils has always enticed me, and eventually I knew it was the perfect career choice for me. I attended undergrad at the University of South Florida with a declared major in anthropology concentrated on southwest American Indian archaeology.

In my first year, I traveled to conferences, became a board member of the school anthropology club, and attended a six-week archaeological field school in the Nebraska Sandhills. I was open to other paths in anthropology, but I always felt most inspired by the stories archaeology builds as well as the archaeologist persona.

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Early in my diagnosis, I felt as if my identity was disintegrating each time I attended a doctor’s appointment or clicked on another depressing article about the outlook for MG patients. I knew a career that relied on my body to handle extreme heat and long physical days was no longer the best option for me.

I allow myself all the time I need to grieve; it’s all right if the future doesn’t constantly seem bright. Yet, I ensure I leave it at missing what once was, and not hope for what I used to have to return.

Endless opportunities to reinvent ourselves will come our way. MG often forces us to stop, ponder, and simplify our days to align with what we deem most valuable. It’s crucial for individuals with chronic illness to focus on our purpose instead of on activities we may have once considered our only passions.

One of the most challenging tasks for people with MG is learning how to let go of expectations. We experience so much change that expectations will lead to heartbreak.

My MG diagnosis prompted me to explore a new anthropological focus, which brings me a sense of fulfillment I hadn’t previously experienced. At the moment, I am dedicating my energy to chronic illness, rare disease, and disability research and advocacy. An unparalleled sense of satisfaction comes from using our societal privilege to lend our voices, platforms, and lives to matters more significant than ourselves.

We are not responsible for the pain and hardships life forces upon us. However, we are accountable for moving forward and gaining wisdom from these experiences. Our futures can still be enthralling and perhaps even more wonderful than we ever envisioned.

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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.

Comments

Amy sWeiss avatar

Amy sWeiss

You will eventually be able to have your career. I have total faith that new upcoming treatments will allow all of us to live much better.

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Jonathan D AUTORE avatar

Jonathan D AUTORE

Continue with your dreams and do not let go of them just yet .... maybe just take a different path to your goals. If you were quick to be diagnosed ... be very happy. It took me 8 painful months and totally clueless doctors ... before a floor nurse recognized my symptoms right off ... from having other ward patients with similar symptoms.

What scares me the most as an MG victim ..... is that I am basically GROUNDED and can never travel again .... where would I get medical help if alone and in a new city? Who would get me to urgent care, check my stuff out of the hotel, return my rental car? So if you are really into your career of ARCHAEOLOGY and ANTHROPOLOGY .... consider an "inside position" out of the MG heat problem disabilities we can encounter. Check into Museum, Archives, and Exhibition work at neighboring universities and colleges. Not everyone is a professor or an instructor, I have spent many wonderful years, as a university staff member. Also you can further your studies .... on the cheap .... with a faculty/staff tuition discount ...or assistantship. It is a valuable opportunity for you to educate the younger generation still in grade schools and high schools to inspire them with your enthusiasm ... until you are safely into MYASTHENIA GRAVIS remission ... and can again venture out into field work again and leave your travel comfort zone. GOOD LUCK.

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