Most myasthenia gravis patients put a high value on support from friends and family. If that’s you, know that your help is appreciated—whether you bolster an MG patient’s spirits or offer much-needed physical aid.
First, try to understand
- It takes time for a person to accept that he or she has an illness. A person may face loss of health, limits on activity, body image changes from medication and more. These losses may prompt anger, denial, fear, and confusion before acceptance sets in.
- Uncertainty is stressful. When MG symptoms appear, your friend may be on pins and needles wondering, “What’s next?”
- There’s a ripple effect. It takes time to figure out how MG affects a person’s place in the world, for instance, with:
- Relationships, including marriage, friendships, parenting.
- The ability to work, attend school, run a household, care for children.
- The ability to pursue activities, hobbies and travel.
- It’s difficult for a previously able-bodied person to ask for help.
What can you do?
- Listen. Accept what the person has to say. Try to listen without diminishing or making light of their concerns. (Avoid responses like these: “I feel tired, too.” “It could be a lot worse.” “Everyone’s eyesight gets worse with age.”)
- Be patient. A person talks when he or she is ready.
- Be flexible. Plans may have to change from day to day depending on how a person with MG feels.
- Offer help. Repeatedly.
Click here to go to MG Support Groups.
Unless otherwise stated, the information provided here is of a general nature, composed by non-medical personnel. It is meant to be accurate and helpful advice for MG patients. It is not intended to be medical opinion, nor is it a substitute for personal professional medical care.