205/365 – Island life with myasthenia 

I’ve written previously about how where you live can affect your myasthenia, but my last few days travelling around some of the west coast Scottish Isles has got me wondering about the added complexities of island life. 

Regardless of the weather, many visitors fall in love with the Scottish isles and some fall hard enough to try to make a life there. It’s safe to say Elaine and I are smitten – testament to this is we were sitting in the airport lounge coming up with ways we could make living on Skye work. With its close communities, endless options for outdoor activities and ever changing light, it would be an ideal place to call home in the future. However, there are a few considerations that make the prospect slightly less romantic for someone with MG.

1. Getting around

While some of the Scottish Islands have decent bus services, if you want any kind of independence driving is pretty important. While I’m healthy enough to drive around at the moment, if I was having issues with my vision again or had muscle weakness it could be an issue. Even getting to the doctor could be an ordeal.

2. Travel for consultant visits

There are times since my diagnosis where I have been in to see consultants and in the hospital several times a month. That’s not every month but it does happen. From conversations I’ve had, there are neurologists in Glasgow and Edinburgh who treat myasthenia. From Arran that wouldn’t be too much of an ordeal, but from the other islands it would be tricky and tiring.

3. Sense of community

While it would be the same in rural communities, having a support network of other people with myasthenia would be tricky on an island. It would take a bit more effort or creativity to meet people with MG or similar conditions. That could be quite challenging when feeling low. 

4. Hospitalisation

Fingers crossed I won’t be hospitalised in the future, but if I was it would be on the mainland. Similar to the Consultant visits, this would be tricky. In this case, it would also be difficult for family and friends to visit. Also, if it was an emergency I would possibly need to be airlifted.

The way I’m feeling at present, none of these would be enough to put me off – they are more things to keep in mind. If anyone has any experiences of living on an island or a remote location with MG, please share your experiences below.

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