Denial Anger and Acceptance
Denial, Anger and, Acceptance are all part of grieving. When you lose your ability to do what you love to do, you’re going to go through these phases. I think I’m over the denial phase. It’s now time to deal with the others.
It’s difficult to give yourself permission to be angry I’ve been told. I’ve always been taught it isn’t good to be angry. I don’t know where to direct my anger. There’s nobody to blame, and if there was, it wouldn’t do any good. Nobody wished this upon me, and I didn’t do anything to bring this upon myself. They don’t even know what causes MG. So, I’m not sure how to be angry, but I do have negative emotions about my disease.
Wearing a Mask
It’s easy to wear a mask when you’re in public. What others don’t realize is their short interaction with me might be the ONLY thing I can muster that day. For example, when I go to church, that’s about all I can do for the rest of the day. In fact, it might even put me bed on Monday because I overdid it.
I hear comments like, “It’s nice that you have a good attitude about it,” but what they don’t see are the emotional breakdowns when all you can do is wallow in self-pity. Because I’ve rested before going out in public, they don’t see me when I can’t open an eye, having dysphonia as I’m trying to reach for the phone, or other intermittent symptoms.
Acceptance is something I’ve come to terms with. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about my situation, but I’m past that denial phase. For the first couple of months I kept thinking, ‘Once I get a handle on this, I’ll be out riding my bicycle again.’
The fact of the matter is, I will probably never ride a bicycle again. The risk is too great. It is a high risk that I’ll crash, and an even higher risk it will do damage to my muscles.
I accept that my MG has been very aggressive. For some, MG simply means going cross eyed from time to time. For me, it means not being able to straighten my back upon rising from a chair — not always, but I have no way to predict when this will happen. LIkewise, I have no way to predict when I will lose my voice, strength in an arm, leg or hand. I’ve come to accept that there may come a time when 9-1-1 has to be called because I couldn’t swallow or I can’t breath.
I can’t continue to wear a mask when I’m out in public. At the same time, I don’t want to be a downer. But, if you ask me, “How are you doing?” be prepared for me to be truthful.
I anticipate there will come a day when those people who see me regularly will see me at my worst. They’ll see me when I can’t turn the page of a book, or I walk like I’m drunk, or some other outward symptom of myasthenia gravis.
So, excuse me if at some point I blow a cork because I’m angry with my situation. I need to figure out how to deal with this anger and sadness. It’s like my former self has died, and I miss him.