MG Journey of Radio and TV Host Lins O’Connor

It's hard to believe that it was three years ago I was diagnosed with MG, and what an interesting journey it has been. It all started when I was on air I started slurring my words and my eyelids began to sag my producer asked me how much I had to drink yet I hadn’t had a drop!

The next day I was watching the Super Bowl and my eyelids began drooping again so I used some tape to pull them up so I could keep watching the game I didn’t think much of it.

Everything was slowly getting worse over the next few days. I was having trouble chewing and swallowing which finally made me realize something was wrong. Did I have a mini stroke? Was it my throat causing problems from broadcasting all these years?

I was sent to Doctor Murray at the Intestinal Health Institute where they did a scope procedure and ice test on my eyelids.

That was the night my journey began.

My wife got a call informing us that we needed to go to Sunnybrook Emergency immediately. I was admitted and rushed to Doctor Zinman, Head of the Neurology Department.

He decided he wanted to monitor me overnight. I thought it was unusual when doctors that weren’t assigned to me were coming and taking photos of my face in emerge I’m sure it had nothing to do with my good looks as I have been told I have a face for radio!

The next day I had the pleasure of Doctor Zinman running all these electrical probes on me. He came back happy to inform me he had good news you have Myasthenia Gravis! It's a rare disease and there's no cure, but it's treatable, so no need to worry! That was a shock to my system because I had never heard of MG before.

I was kept in hospital for eight days under the care of Doctor Zinman and his excellent team. Things seemed to be going along great; the good doctor was reducing my  steroids, took me off Mestinon, and I was close to remission. A few months on then bang! I had a crisis on a long weekend.  I ended up in ICU as a result at Markham -Stouffville hospital on life support. After two days I flat lined and had the experience of crossing over just to be sent back the first thing I heard was the nurses talking loud to me, but then I heard my wife's voice!

It was quite an experience and it renewed my faith that there is more after life on earth. After 10 days in ICU all the tubes were pulled out of me and finally I could talk instead of using a clipboard to communicate to the nurses (which I'm sure pleased them).

It was time for the next part of the journey; to get me out of bed and sit me in the chair.

How could this be done I asked myself as I couldn't walk. My limbs were paralyzed and my neck was weak. The next phase reminded me of my media trips to Africa where I witnessed an elephant being lifted onto a truck in a huge harness. It’s a bit embarrassing but that's what happened to me each day.

The next stage was going to rehab and getting my limbs working again.

After 50 days I was kicked out just to be greeted by the C19 virus. I've been in isolation since March because of my low immune system. I'm now on Imuran and a reduction of the Prednisone steroid.

I hope to be off the Prednisone soon.

I have been strong throughout the journey and am motivated to get back to being my old self, and hope I can inspire others to stay strong and do the same as well. I ask everyone to support the research of MG and the MG Society of Canada to support and get the word out on this disease. Tell your MP, MPP, and media about the disease.

I hope to be back on air in the New Year.

Lins O’Connor

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