Does Imagining a Different MG Outcome Do Any Good?

Michelle Gonzaba avatar

by Michelle Gonzaba |

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A powerful imagination can be both a gift and a curse. On one hand, it can be a way for us to brainstorm and envision ideas. In a way, it can help us make a plan for the goals we want to reach.

On the other hand, it can be a black hole of “what ifs” that hold us back.

Most of the time, imagination is a positive way for me to look at the many possibilities of my future. But it can also become a way for me to think about what my life would be like if one major event had never occurred.

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Like most people who have gone through life-changing events, I sometimes imagine what my life would be like if my myasthenia gravis (MG)  journey had gone differently. I even imagine how things would be if I’d never been diagnosed with MG at all.

On the days when my MG anxiety flares, I tend to imagine how things would be if I’d never found the neurologist who saved my life. Before I met her, I was bouncing from doctor to doctor. Although these doctors had the best intentions, they couldn’t figure out how to properly treat the disease. It wasn’t until I found my current neurologist, who specializes in neuromuscular disorders, that I felt like everything would be OK.

My imagination usually takes me to places that are much darker than reality. On days when my anxiety levels aren’t as overwhelming, though, my imagination will take me to the other side of the emotional spectrum.

Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I’d dealt with my MG symptoms sooner. For instance, I began experiencing weakness in my mouth in August 2010 but didn’t go to the doctor until May 2011, nearly a year later. I suffered from my symptoms because I was too scared to find out what was wrong with me.

I suspect that if I had reacted sooner, my anxiety wouldn’t have been as bad as it was. If I’d started treatment earlier, I think I could’ve avoided some of the toughest parts of my MG journey. Every time my mind goes down this road, my imagination runs wild.

While imagining and daydreaming can be good for our mental health, it’s best not to dwell on hypotheticals. Repeatedly imagining how different my MG might have turned out won’t change anything. I’d rather spend my time focused on what I need to take care of now so that I can have a healthy future.

Where does your imagination lead you? Please share in the comments below. 

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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

Shawna avatar

Shawna

Right there with! I always wonder if it hadn't taken 7 years for a diagnosis and getting the right kind of treatment early on would have made a difference. Nowadays I use my imagination to dream of new ways to improve my QOL (quality of life) and help others not feel so alone in their journey.

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Suzanne avatar

Suzanne

Thank you, Michelle, for yet another article which deeply resonates with me. It sounds like during the early part of your journey you doggedly had to find the right specialist, and so please extend compassion to yourself.

I developed MG during that same time frame; however, my symptoms became pronounced enough / terrifying by March of my senior that I had to seek help (in hopes of graduating on time, and to navigate, tease apart the other vague debilitating sx). I often consider what life would have been like if I'd been healthy enough to return to Egypt (or MENA) to do humanitarian work; alas, I find ways to incorporate it into my state-side life.

I also really appreciated the articles on French braiding (I can still imagine / visualize it); grief; compassion; mental health; traveling; prednisone; baking!! ; exercise; abstaining from alcohol (so foreign, even baffling to most 20yo's); asking for help; and defining success.

Yes, Shawna! Contributing / helping others almost always serves me.

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