Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Myasthenia Gravis ?

This has been a difficult week for me. My breathing has become more and more of a problem. My fatigue is increasing. I have gained a surprising 14 pounds in 7 days without any change in eating habits. I am blowing up like a bullfrog. I have gained 32 pounds since Easter--and I honestly do not eat much at all.

I went to my local physician on Friday to see if the weight gain was a fluid build up. My thinking is that weight gain and fluid retention was leading to my breathing problems. I had an ultrasound to check for fluid build up in my abdomen--there was none. This is good news, but does not answer why I had sudden weight gain and can't breath.

I have also been in contact with Dr. Lee at Vanderbilt this week about these problems. He finally received the Pulmonary Function Test. After review of that test and re-reading all my records, he believes there may be some weakness occurring in my diaphragm muscle. Your diaphragm make your lungs move to breath.

Taking into consideration my recent vision problems, jaw/temple pain, fatigue, previously mentioned voice weakness with use, etc., he believes I may have developed Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in addition to everything else. MG is another autoimmune disease. MG can severely effect breathing muscles.
He prescribed a new medication called pyridostigmine which is the standard treatment for MG. I took my first pill last night and my second this morning. Right now, I am breathing better than I did yesterday, but time will tell. I hope and pray this continues to improve. This is not a definitive diagnosis, since there are other neurological conditions which can be treated with this same medication.

I still have all of the other problems and they are beginning to worsen. Dr. Lee has suggested plasmapheresis again to clean the antibodies out of my blood for a second time. Sounds great to me.

I go back to the cardiologist for the official report of the heart cath on Monday. I see my internist /rheumatologist on Wednesday just to have a fresh set of eyes look at my situation.

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