Sunday, February 14, 2010

Myasthenia Gravis

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful…

As of now, in this blog, I have seldom (or never, perhaps?) shared anything related to my academic field. It is not that I don't want to, but I somehow the idea never seemed to get around. For those of you who do not know me personally, I am currently studying allied health science. One of its many branches. Hence this time, I want to share this…

Myasthenia Gravis. Ever heard of the term? Or does it sound Dutch to your ears? I have had just encountered the word myself last Thursday. Correction… perhaps 'encounter' is not the correct word. I had just learnt of this serious condition in class. The word is of Greek and Latin origin, meaning "grave muscular illness". It is an autoimmune disease which affects the neuromuscular junction, the connecting point between our muscles and nerves which send messages from the brain. This disease will result in muscle weakness. This weakness is not persistent, but fluctuating, some days better than others.

What happens to people with MG? Basically, one, or more of their muscles will start to weaken. Some of the common muscles involved are: muscles of the eye, whereby the 8 muscles of the eye fail to work correctly, causing the person to see double. Another eye muscle affected is the levator muscle, which helps keep the upper eyelid lifted up as we open our eyes. People with MG affecting their levator muscles appear to have droopy eyelid, or ptosis. Another muscle that can be affected is the muscles in the limbs, the hands and feet. The person will feel very tired, and sometimes unable to move their hands, arms or legs. At times, if the MG attacks the muscle of the tongue, speech will become slurred and eating will be difficult. In more serious cases, the muscles of the pharynx and larynx (the throat) may also be affected, causing a difficulty in swallowing food and occasionally, a difficulty in breathing.

Is the info too much medical-related for you to digest? If so, forgive me. Well… why did I decide to share this uncommon disease today? These past few days, I've been a bit unwell. First I caught a minor fever, lasting about two days. Afterwards, because my tonsil was infected (with what? I'm not too sure either) I have had tonsilitis and currently, my voice sounds quite unlike me.

Sickness could be very bothersome to the average human. Of course, it is difficult to eat when your taste buds are not as sharp as usual, to sleep comfortably when you keep waking up at night to cough, and so many other nuisances.

Yet when I compare my own sickness to myasthenia gravis, the difference is vast. MG patients have difficulty almost everyday of their life, some suffer the disease in their teens. (For some true stories, visit
THIS PAGE) I have been unwell for only a few days.

Sickness actually forces us to think. Think back of the days when we were healthy, are we thankful to Allah the Almighty for all He provides us? Have we used the health he gives us for good, or have we neglected His gift and use it for things which brings no benefit to ourselves or our hereafter? Did we utilize the time we have fully when we are healthy? [The last part… it's on me actually, having had the fever in the middle of my midterm exams. Evidently I failed to use my time well previously to study as much as I should, and still need to rely on last minute study to cover up for what I had not mastered. An important lesson for me this time round.]

Lying down sick, one is able to get closer to Allah. For we pray more, asking him for help in curing us. As we lie down, we can take time to reflect on our deeds. Furthermore, one will learn to rely on Allah alone, for only He can make us better. One will also learn the art of patience, for patience is the key in waiting to get better. Patience and trust in Allah. These are the best ingredients to go through and succed in confronting sickness, or any predicament, for that matter.

Yes, my illness is not as bad as Myasthenia Gravis. Not even close. Yet no matter how severe or slight our condition is, or even if we are healthy, one must always be thankful to Allah for the condition we are in. We must also always trust Allah, the All-knowing, trust that He knows what's best for us, to be healthy or sick.

In a nutshell, everything and anything that happens to us happens due to His will. As believers, we must always try to relate them to Allah, and try to learn and improve from them. Trials and tribulations come and go, but if we have faith that Allah is always there, assisting us through, we will stand strong and remain fighting on, insyaAllah…

For more info regarding MG, you can visit
THIS PAGE, or simply google the key word. May Allah bless us all…

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