I have chosen to see Myasthenia Gravis (MG) as a bouquet of roses. In this sense, I look at the fact that a rose has thorns but it also has the beautiful flower portion that everyone loves.
Some of you might wonder why I say this about this terrible neuromuscular disease. Well, sometime last year, June 2017 to be precise, I listened to the keynote speech at the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) conference and it “wowed” me.
The keynote speaker titled her message “Unwrap the gift”. She said she looked at Myasthenia Gravis as the wrapping paper with a gift inside. As a thief, MG stole her career, her ability to enjoy her active hobbies, her marriage, and her slim figure (because she gained a lot of weight). However, one of the gifts inside was the gift of time – time to figure out who she was if she wasn’t a doctor, and time to spend with the people she really cared about. Another gift was that of the true desire of her heart – to be a writer/an author.
Before I heard her keynote speech, I didn’t know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings about Myasthenia Gravis. Between 2013 and 2015, I focused on all the things that this disease stole from me. It stole my independence (because I had to depend on others for help to carry out daily activities), my hyperactive self, my slim figure (because I gained a lot of weight), my speech, and my self-confidence. However, in October 2015, I started to look at what MG gave me. It helped me find my purpose in life, gave me the opportunity to be a writer/author, and helped me prioritize my life.
After listening to this speech in 2017, I searched for the speaker to connect with her because I believed she understood how I felt. We both looked at Myasthenia Gravis in a similar way. Today, we have become friends.
Her question to us: Have you opened the gifts that Myasthenia Gravis has given you? Or are you still focused on the ugly wrapping paper?For her, whenever despair wants to overwhelm her (as a result of MG), she counts her blessings, no matter how little they may be.
“Don’t think about what you cannot do, instead think about what you can do! It will change your life if you start thinking this way.
Think of Myasthenia Gravis as the wrapping paper, look for the gift inside, open the gift and pass it on.”
Vickie Petz Henderson
So, now I try to look at the gifts inside the ugly wrapping paper known as Myasthenia Gravis, one of which is this – “If I didn’t have MG, I would never have known a lot of the people I now know!”
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