How My Relationship With Alcohol Has Changed Due to MG
Throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy alcoholic drinks. But I’ve always felt that the holiday season offers the best cocktails and treats. I could blame it on the colder weather or the festive atmosphere, but the month of December always inspires me to look at the cocktail menu.
Even though I used to enjoy the occasional drink during the holidays, I’ve never been a big drinker. Before being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, I tended to stay away from alcohol. I never really liked the way it made me feel. Still, I could have one or two drinks with some food and not have to worry about any crazy side effects. However, my relationship with cocktails changed after my MG diagnosis.
As soon as I began treatment for MG, I stopped drinking alcohol. I don’t remember what my doctor said about it, but I do know I swore off any activities that could potentially make my MG worse. Even though alcohol affects people with MG differently, I didn’t want to take any chances.
I’ve now been in remission for years, but I still avoid alcoholic drinks. One reason could be my fear of its effects, but I’m mostly afraid of reliving my worst moments with MG.
Some believe that alcohol, which can cause muscle weakness and fatigue, may exacerbate these symptoms in MG patients, but I don’t have much additional information to base my fears on. So, I’ve stayed clear of the stuff for years. It’s hard to predict how it will affect me now. MG isn’t known as “the snowflake disease” for being predictable.
I’ve been tempted a few times to test my limits with alcohol. I’ve had many opportunities in social situations. But even when I’m at my most relaxed and comfortable, the fear is still stronger than the desire to enjoy myself. To be safe, I’ve always said no.
However, most people don’t know or understand my health situation. So, whenever I turn down a drink, they may give me funny looks or encourage me to “have fun” and enjoy myself.
These types of situations make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to have to explain my entire health history to people at a party. It’s not exactly a fun conversation, nor is it any of their business. I usually deflect with something humorous, or make up a story about needing to be up early the next morning.
MG has affected many parts of my life, but I never predicted my relationship with alcohol would change. While I think I could likely handle one drink without a problem, part of me doesn’t want to risk it. A bottle of beer really isn’t worth the worry.
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