MG, Anesthesia, and Mental Health

So I have had several minor procedures with MG that have required anesthesia and you learn immediately that MG and anesthesia is dangerous. There are many dangers with MG. In simple terms the danger is that you will be given a group of anesthesia that can cause further muscle weakness that can cause the heart and lungs to stop functioning properly which means no breathing and paralysis. Doctors have found ways around this by giving a small dose of general anesthetic that works ‘against’ MG patients that it only works for a few minutes so they have to drip it constantly through IV but as soon as they stop we wake up. I have had great success with anesthesia general anesthesia.

However, when we move to more localized anesthesia i have not been as successful. It takes quite a bit to work and for us MG patients, since we are awake it feels like your symptoms are activating which is the worst. You feel weak or like something is going wrong.

My worst reaction was to a spinal for a kidney stone laser lithotripsy, they numbed me which was fine but I (who is usually very hot-natured) began to shake like a leaf from chills during the entire procedure. They did not have enough blankets for me. Then AS SOON as it was over I vomited. I felt better after that but if you have MG you know how scary vomiting can be because once you start vomiting you are scared that if you over-fatigued the muscles there by continuing to vomit that you may choke and go into crisis. Choking/ drowning on vomit is no fun and I have been there before. Gaining control over your anxiety during surgery and while laying down to vomit was hard. Then it took WAY longer than normal for the spinal to wear off. SO needless to say there is a warning in my file about it. I’m guessing they will only do it if necessary. It wasn’t the worst experience just not the best. I was also extremely loopy coming off the spinal I was hilarious. I was so glad my husband wasn’t there until a few hours later because had he recorded that I would have never lived that down. I gave the nurses an amazing one woman comedy act.

Every MG person is different and since some people are at different stages this may vary. I have full blown MG without a thymoma. Some people only have ocular MG. Choose wisely and ask many questions. My neurologist spearheads my MG, find the head of your team and stay on it. Take control and be your own advocate. You will find if you do not it will get out of control and you will feel very helpless. Also try to find a support group life my or a community group or psychologist. I also update a small list on my computer and in my email that I send to a few important people that has an ongoing list of my medications, surgeries, allergies, the name of my condition, what hospital I prefer, and so on. This way they are on the same page if something happens to me. It also helps when you go to the doctor and they need to know what meds you are on and what your last procedures you had. I try to update this at least once a month. 

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