myasthenia gravis muscle weakness from chopping vegetables

What Activities Increase Your MG Muscle Weakness?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is often referred to as the "snowflake disease" because symptoms and severity can vary from person to person. With MG, everyone's condition can look a little different. We had the opportunity to hear from our Patient Leader Shelbie Brown about what muscle weakness looks like for her. Read on as Shelbie shares more about what types of activities increase muscle weakness.1,2

Where does weakness impact you the most?

The area of my body my muscle weakness impacts the most is my left hand to my forearm. It originally starts with my pinky and ring finger, and then slowly moves up to just the left side of my hand, right down the middle. I tend not to feel the weakness in my thumb, pointer, or middle fingers for some reason. As it takes over my hand, it then moves up my elbow and stops.

What brings on muscle weakness?

What usually triggers my muscle weakness is overexerting myself. I try my best not to do so, but life is unexpected and you never know what each day brings. If I can foresee any fatigue coming my way within a day or so, I will take an extra dose of Mestinon.

The times I do get to plan ahead, I will also try to get more rest beforehand. If I cannot plan that far in advance, I will attempt not to do as much physical activity or be as powerful as I normally would be.

The different types of activities that increase my muscle weakness tend to vary. Somedays, it may be repetitive movements that cause muscle weakness. On other days, it may be the strength or weight that puts pressure on my body which causes weakness. For example, if I go to the gym and I'm lifting weights that day, the actual weight of the dumbbells can trigger weakness.

Another example is if I am chopping vegetables, the repetitive movement of moving the knife up and down can be another trigger. To counteract these triggers, I try not to push my weight levels too frequently or when I feel that my body is not up to it. I will also pay attention to all the repetitive movements I do and take breaks when necessary.

What helps this symptom?

I tend to recover from muscle weakness by resting and taking breaks. If after an hour or so I still have some weakness, I may or may not take an increase in medication depending on how badly I feel or if I can feel my weakness increase after resting.

I will immediately tell my fiancé if I'm feeling this symptom so he can be aware if I need any help. Sometimes in the worst cases, I may need help upstairs, which is why I feel the need to tell him so quickly. He is pretty good when it comes to listening to what I need in those rare moments, even if I just need to talk about what I am feeling. The best way any friends or family can support me is just by listening, it really goes a long way.

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