June is National Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month. Created by the Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Foundation of America, Inc. 15 years ago, this month highlights the condition and, above all, lets those afflicted by Myasthenia Gravis know they are not alone. To honor this we want to do our part to dispel the misconceptions out there about this condition.
The Top 7 Misconceptions About Myasthenia Gravis
If you suffer from MG, we hope you've never heard any of these often hurtful statements. If so, we hope that sharing them in this article will help debunk these misconceptions:
- He's just lazy. During a crisis, MG sufferers cannot physically move their limbs. They often have to be carried to the bathroom and need assistance in showering.
- She was fine last week, I think she's making this up. Remission is possible with MG, but it doesn't mean a person is cured. The condition can come back at any time, without warning.
- If she was stronger and exercised more she would get better. While physical therapy can help, when in crisis an MG sufferer can be exhausted by even the most mundane tasks such a showering or preparing a meal.
- It's just mind over matter. She doesn't want to get better. To doubt the will to get better, to go back to their "normal" life, is one of the most insulting misconceptions there is. Those with MG often go through frequent infusions, take prescription drugs with adverse side effects, and undergo surgery.
- He looks normal to me. Internal pain is impossible to see. So just as an internally torn muscle in an athlete causes them to miss a season, the internal weakness in the muscles of someone with MG causes them to miss out on all the things they love to do.
- She's walking fine—why does she have a handicapped parking pass? Since those with MG are able to get around on a good day, only to be unable to move from the car to a wheelchair the next, a handicapped sticker is most certainly needed.
- There are lots of good treatments. Yes, and many of them help. However there is no surefire way to treat the condition and many treatments cause serious side effects.
Statements like these sadden me. Myasthenia Gravis is a condition recognized as disabling by the Social Security Administration. It is a rare and all too real disorder that causes anywhere from slight fatigue to permanent disability and death. There is nothing "fake" or "harmless" about MG. Please share this article on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere you wish. Together we can spread the word and debunk common myths about MG.