Job Hunting with MG
Last updated: October 2023
I find that searching for a job is not a commonly talked about topic when it comes to having myasthenia gravis (MG). Rightfully so, when you think about all the other aspects that play a part in having this disease. Although, that does not mean that it is any less important to be spoken about. We all need to make money to live right? So why not talk about the struggles we have to face with the experience of finding a new job or returning to work.
Change is coming
Before I was sure if I would be physically able to return to my old job as a server, I began searching for a new job. This was before I had my thymectomy surgery and my symptoms improved. At the time, I was still having major fatigue and weakness issues with my speech and in my arms and hands, which definitely do not pair with a fast paced restaurant environment. Therefore, I had to begin the dreaded job search.
We all know how it goes. You apply, apply, apply and either don't hear back for months or the position gets filled right after you submit your application. But, having myasthenia gravis, we have to approach job searching through a new lense. Thoroughly scanning each job listing to see if and what it physically entails. Only to find that the position involves a decent amount of standing, lifting different items throughout the day, or even a lot of walking.
These are all functions that people with MG struggle with on a daily basis. Not to mention, when you are under the pressure and stresses of getting your own work/projects done.
A new worry
Unexpectedly, this new diagnosis turned the mundane job hunt into a whole different experience, which was also now extremely difficult. Each submitted application now has an "I hope my body can handle this," behind it. Whereas, before my diagnosis, I would normally just skim past any physical requirements. Now, my job searching world has completely changed.
Now, I have to inspect every job listing and its requirements, which then adds more anxiety. My main realization is that I now have physical limitations that come into play for a job. My immediate focus after my diagnosis was solely on my everyday home life, but I quickly came to the conclusion that MG adds difficulties across all of life's various aspects.
It is okay to go through the struggle
This newly discovered understanding of what life is like now was somewhat overwhelming. It even caused me to take a break from applying just to gather all of my thoughts and catch my breath in a sense. Once I was able to get a firm grasp on what this all meant, it was easy to pop back into "applying mode", but I just had to be a little apprehensive of what I was applying for.
I think it is important to know it is okay to go through these struggles. It can be extremely frustrating and annoying, but it is still an honest and relatable truth. Have you dealt with having to change your job or adjust your current job details due to the limitations of having MG? If so, how did you go about it?
How often do you experience MG exacerbations/flares?