myasthenia gravis and stress

My Emotions, Stress, and MG

Recently, I had a health crisis. While I was in the hospital, my husband fell and broke his ankle. During most of the time he was healing, we were staying with our youngest son. Though they tried their best to make our stay as stress-free as possible, for me, the stress was still there.

Lacking activities to occupy my time

I was stressed for many reasons, including my husband’s injury and my fatigue. Another stressor? We were away from our home for 7 months. Normally at home, I could keep busy with projects on my computer and I can utilize my recliner and elevate my feet. At my son's house, I couldn’t do that. Therefore, I had to limit my computer time and I had no projects or crafts to help relax me and occupy my time.

Feeling disconnected from social life

In the last 9 months, I’ve only been to a store once. Staying home all the time and not having any kind of a social life can be very stressful and emotionally draining. I can’t go anywhere because there is no one to load and unload my power chair. If it is absolutely necessary to drive, like to my husband's doctor's appointment, I leave my power chair sitting in the yard as I don’t have any choice (yet, another stressor).

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Our children are 45 minutes to 2 hours away, so that makes it difficult for them to accommodate me, though they try when it’s really important. Therefore, anything we need, I order and have it delivered to my door.

The fact that we aren’t always available immediately when something is delivered, is concerning. A couple weeks before Christmas, my husband spotted a man hiding on the other side of our vehicle. Our little cocker spaniel was having a fit. My husband told him he could see him and he needed to leave. At the time, we had a box on our porch. We receive our groceries, gifts, and his IV medications in bags or boxes. What if someone stole his medication or our food? We’re on a fixed income, it would be very difficult to replace anything!

I have difficulty controlling my emotions

I feel anger and frustration a lot. It’s sometimes difficult to control my emotions. I know myasthenia gravis (MG) can cause some of these feelings, but I think mine are sometimes magnified a little too much. I drop things a lot, my grip is almost non-existent. That’s also something that came with MG.

For instance, when I drop things it angers me, and though I’m doing better I have trouble controlling that anger right now. It usually brings me to tears. I’ve never had these feelings before and I’m so ashamed I’m having them now because I’ve always been “easy-going” and patient. Now I’m that person I don’t like very much!

Lights started bothering my eyes again

I started having issues with my eyes. Lights were bothering me a lot again, especially when driving home in the evening after my husband’s treatments. There were times, I nearly stopped the vehicle. I also felt a lot of pressure and my vision was sometimes blurred. Fortunately, I didn’t have double vision or ptosis. My diagnosis is ocular MG, so I worry a lot when my eyes start behaving badly.

A turning point for my stress

In August, our youngest son took me to Missouri to see my siblings. We hadn’t all been together at one time since we lost our mother 47 years ago. That trip made a world of difference in how I felt! I had been feeling exhausted, somewhat depressed over my husband’s injuries and illness, and just so overwhelmed. I needed a break from everything. I could tell it was weighing heavily on me emotionally, but this trip gave me something to look forward to, which also helped me start feeling rejuvenated.

Another minor symptom I was having recently was some shortness of breath. I’m working hard on reducing my stress and fatigue. My husband’s improving health is helping me a lot! Thankfully, now that the stress is reduced, my symptoms have either subsided or greatly improved. It’s interesting how much your mental state can affect MG, even when your MG is well controlled.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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