About nine years ago, when my daughter was 4 months old, I started suffering from mysterious symptoms.
I had difficulty breathing, chewing foods, and swallowing. I could barely form words and my speech was slurred and barely audible at times. I wasn't able to even fake a smile.
My limbs were also starting to get weak. One day, I was lifting my infant daughter out of her crib; my knees went so weak that I fell to the hard wooden floor with her still in my arms. She landed on my chest and was unhurt, but my head was smashed and bleeding. It was the scariest feeling I've ever had—not being able to trust my own body, not being able to hold my own baby. I couldn't manage with simple tasks, like brushing my teeth, holding a mug of tea or walking, and I needed help in getting up from a seated position.
I entered a dark phase of my life, imprisoning myself in my own home, afraid to leave the safety of my own misery. I spiraled into suicidal thoughts. Where had my life gone? Where were my dreams of new motherhood, of laughing and playing with my new baby?
It wasn't till 16 months later that I was finally diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular autoimmune illness that medically has no cure: Myasthenia Gravis.
I was already on a myriad of antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and insomnia pills, but after my diagnosis, I added steroids and immunosuppressants to the mix. But no matter what I did, I kept getting worse.