Nature Restores the Energy That Myasthenia Gravis Depletes

Jodi Enders avatar

by Jodi Enders |

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A banner graphic depicting a woman painting a sunset over the desert.

Birds twitter. Tall grasses dance in the wind. Alligators stare intently from the far bank of the creek.

I’m in a corner of the earth that helps me escape from all the worries on my mind. My phone stays silent and out of sight, and I carry with me only a book, or a journal and a pen. Except for children passing me on the trail, or an occasional biker, I’m all alone.

When I’m immersed in nature, I can forget how difficult it is to get up in the morning, still not feeling rested. My legs cramp all night, and my body aches constantly, except for the few times I’m able to fall asleep. I never know whether my symptoms are side effects of myasthenia gravis (MG) or the medications I take.

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It’s a feat to talk myself out of bed each morning and start boiling the water for my coffee. An even bigger feat is managing to get out of the house to devote time to myself in the unbuilt landscape, where I don’t feel like I’m being judged because of the limitations my disease puts on me.

I have felt recently that I don’t have enough spoons — or energy — to fulfill even the minimum tasks needed for subsistence. The spoon theory was developed as a way of thinking about how to meet goals when you live with chronic pain that saps your energy. For me, one duty completed on my to-do list means most other responsibilities likely remain unfinished.

I have been dedicating all my energy to meeting my goals. I do this out of a sense of guilt that I’m not being as productive as I should be. I also tend to think that the only way I will ever be able to accomplish my goals is to throw all my spoons at them at once. But then I end up with no energy for anything else — even enjoying myself or walking in nature.

I’m realizing that my strength and energy levels are less important than striking a balance between meeting my goals and enjoying myself. I know I can find the strength — it’s really just a matter of prioritizing my time.

Noticing how much energy MG grants me each day, and being intentional about how I use it, can prevent me from feeling burned out. I have underestimated the benefit of escaping into nature. It doesn’t deplete my energy, but restores it, leaving me feeling renewed. And it’s good for my personal improvement and intellectual enrichment.

Leave the dishes, work, laundry, and grocery shopping for later — without feeling guilty. With MG, working until we are burned out only means it will take longer to recover, leaving us with no energy for anything else. I am learning to set some spoons aside to get outside for a walk, stick my nose in a book, or watch the sunset. We all should.

Doing these things will help me reach my goals in better shape than working myself to exhaustion would. And I hope to enjoy myself along the way.


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.


Ann S Herzog avatar

Ann S Herzog

Thanks for sharing and caring. Sorry that it hit you so young, but at least there are more advances in the treatment of the disease.
Ann S. Herzog RN,SCM

Robert Richardson avatar

Robert Richardson

Thanks for the insight. It`s like learning a shortcut in helping me to understand my own, often confusing, strength and energy issues.


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2021 Myasthenia Gravis Survey Results

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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.