Myasthenia Metaphors – Frozen Fingers 

I often find myself trying to describe what it feels like to live with Myasthenia Gravis (MG). This series of posts, Myasthenia Metaphors, is my attempt to accurately capture what it’s like to be in my body. 

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If you don’t live in a cold climate this won’t make sense to you but if you live in Canada or anywhere like it, I know you’ll be able to relate. You know when it’s like 15 or 20 below zero and you’re bundled up against the cold and you’re outside walking, or waiting for a bus, and suddenly you realize you need to do something that requires precision? You take off your mittens and gloves and you try to accomplish the task (zip a zipper, get change out of your wallet, send a text message) but your fingers are just not responding properly. They’re sluggish and uncoordinated and clumsy. And the longer you’re trying, the longer you’re exposed to the cold, the worse they get. Your mounting frustration doesn’t help and you cannot believe that such a simple task is so impossible!  

This is what my hands are like some days. If I have knit a lot the previous day, if my meds have worn off, or if it’s getting near the end of my ivig cycle, my hands might be like this for most or all of a day. Little tasks that I normally do without thinking become things I must ask for help with, or more likely simply forego. Putting on earrings, clasping a necklace, pulling up my tights, writing with a pen, cutting up vegetables for dinner, playing card games in the evening, are all things that are out of my grasp on days like this. Frozen fingers. Thankfully resting them for a day usually allows them to thaw out and the next day they’re useful once again and I can begin to catch up. 

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