The Mysterious Illness-Myasthenia Gravis
The writer suffers from a rare autoimmune condition called Myasthenia Gravis. It is a neuromuscular disease in which the body generates an immune system attack against its own skeletal muscles. 14 out of every 100,000 persons in the USA suffer from this. The muscles of the body that are controlled by nerve impulses in the brain travel down the nerves where they meet the muscle fiber at the neuromuscular junction. When the nerve impulse from the brain arrives at the junction they release a chemical that tells the muscles to move.
When the muscles do not receive the message from the brain because antibodies destroy the chemical, the muscles become weak and cannot perform. Stress, tiredness, depression or just fighting a cold can trigger an attack.
She has struggled out of a wheelchair and given up the walker and a cane after facing postoperative morbidity. The removal of her thymus had engendered excessive bleeding which caused both lungs to collapse. There was no way possible short of a miracle for her to survive, and is glad to be able to write about it. Her daily struggles are now manageable because she has accepted and embraced the change of life.