Success Story

Photo of Diana Cassilly

Medical Treatments Improve Myasthenia Gravis Patient's Quality of Life

Diana Cassilly can now function without suffering from constant fatigue, headaches, and double vision, thanks to the care and treatment she received at the University of Maryland Myasthenia Gravis Center. She shares her experience below.

I went to see a neurologist because of a problem I was having with my right hand. I mentioned that I had trouble with double vision, swallowing, chewing, and sometimes talking. He took a few blood tests, then had me schedule an appointment with a neurologist that handles myasthenia gravis. My neck was weak and I was always resting my head on my hands. I was plagued by headaches (which I didn't associate with the neck problems). I also had problems with what I believed to be "clumsy" tripping. I was no longer able to ride, or stay aboard, a horse. The most insidious problem was an ever present feeling of fatigue.

I found out about the University of Maryland Medical center from a friend. They worked for the neurology clinic at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and suggested that I see Dr. Carol Lee Koski, with whom she worked.

Two years ago, Dr. Koski helped me taper off the Prednisone that I had been prescribed by another physician and began IVIG treatment. (Intravenous Immune Globulin--an intravenous medication given through a small, peripheral catheter). At first I needed treatment every four weeks. It has tapered down to every seven weeks. The IVIG treatments help me maintain strength in my limbs, neck, and face. I am able to function without continuously suffering from fatigue, or tripping. The headaches and swallowing problems are relatively rare. I am able to speak clearly. The double vision is not as pronounced. The constant fatigue has disappeared.

The doctors and nurses at UMMC are exceptionally kind. The doctors actually listen to my litany of symptoms and complaints and suggest ways to lessen or eliminate the myasthenia gravis related difficulties. It helps to be treated like a human being rather than a "case study."

Dr. Carol Lee Koski retired and I am now followed by Dr. Charlene Hafer-Macko, associate professor of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and medical director of the Myasthenia Gravis Center.

All of the physicians, the nurse practitioner, and the nurses have been exceptionally kind. I can't think of any way that a patient could be treated more effectively or with more respect. I am grateful for their sincere kindness and the positive results of the medical treatment that I have received at the University of Maryland.

Interview by Michelle W. Murray

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This page was last updated: July 29, 2013

         
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