Turning Life Around: A Myasthenia Gravis Story

According to a story from image.ie, the Italian journalist Veruska Anconitano first began to experience symptoms of myasthenia gravis when she was a child. She recalls bouts of weakness affecting the left side of her body. Even a five minute walk could leave her exhausted. She would begin seeing double, and her eyesight would become blurred. The issue caused Veruska to eventually quit her job. Driving was also out of the question. The problem carried over into her adulthood, as she had never received treatment or a diagnosis. However, she decided it was time to get to the bottom of her medical problem.

About Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is classified as a neuromuscular disease which is characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal muscles. It is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system mistakenly creates antibodies that attack receptors that are essential for nerves to cause muscle to contract, therefore resulting in weakness. Symptoms of myasthenia gravis include double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, facial weakness, and trouble breathing (which requires mechanical assistance). It is difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can be problematic to distinguish from other neurological problems. Treatment involves medication to improve muscle function and suppress the immune system, plasmapheresis, and surgery. To learn more about myasthenia gravis, click here.

Finding Support

Veruska was finally diagnosed with the illness in 2003. She was able to find support by opening up about her experience on her blog; she had joined several myasthenia gravis Facebook groups, but had found them rather negative and discouraging. But once she shared her story, many other patients flocked to her blog in order to do the same.

No Holding Back

Despite the difficulties, Veruska travels alot, which she says helps her cope. Regardless, maintaining a good diet and following her medication regimen closely is essential, and she has to take everything that she needs for treatment where ever she goes.

While she still deals with some symptoms, like weakness and poor vision in her left eye, Veruska says that myasthenia gravis has not held her back. She is now able to have a fascinating career, and she responds well to medication. Her experience has taught her to remain motivated and positive when facing challenges.


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