Myasthenia Gravis Fighter

How would you react if you came to know you are struggling with an auto-immune disorder, and there is not much that you can do about it? Read our Fighter's story about how a young sportsperson battles Myasthenia Gravis.

13 December, 2020

It’s just an average day and you are hanging out with friends after a sport session. After a fun-time, you head back home. Suddenly, you start seeing two of everything. You feel dizzy and try to calm yourself down. It’s nothing, my eyes are just too tired, and you try to convince yourself. But the double vision continues to bother you. You see a doctor, and he tells you that you have a disorder that can never be cured. You pray he diagnosed you incorrectly. But your heart knows that those few words that the doctor said have ruined your life. If this were true, how would you feel?

I hadn’t thought this would be my life, either. I was shattered when I discovered I had myasthenia gravis. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body’s immune system misidentifies one of its own parts as an enemy, muscles in this case, and attacks it. For a 20-year-old sportsperson like me, this challenge felt unconquerable. The condition wasn’t in my hands, but I decided that my reaction to it certainly was.

I felt hopeless at first. But I was not the one to let the condition override myself. I took the situation in my hands and decided to do something about it. Over time, I have managed to make Yoga and meditation an integral part of my life. After I saw other myasthenia gravis patients doing better with Yoga and meditation, I also gained inspiration and motivation to do the same. These have helped me immensely. I do feel frustrated at times when it gets too much, but I draw my strength from my mother who is my rock. When she learned about my disease, she must be devastated, surely. But she always made sure she did not say it out loud to me, because she is aware of what she means to me. She is the one who teaches me that challenges are part and parcel of life, and that the strength in me is always greater than any challenge. 

One might feel I’m unprivileged, or unlucky since I have to live with the condition. But because I manage the symptoms well, I can go about just like an average person, only with a bit less energy. But I’m not complaining. When I remind myself of all the things I’m grateful for, there is no room for complains. But if I have to sum this up in a sentence, it’d be this – do not hesitate to seek help from professionals. Just as we normalise, even encourage seeking a doctor’s help for physical ailments, going to professionals for mental health is as important, if not more. If our mental health is blooming, it will brighten up all the other spheres of life.

~ Vaishnavi Pathak