The Neuromuscular Specialist called the other day – 2 days after I had called his office and left a message asking for an update on the test results. He was rattling off a lot of medical terms I wasn’t familiar with, and his thick accent didn’t help in understanding what he was telling us. But from what I could understand he thinks I have Mitochondrial Myopathy, which is a genetic disorder involving DNA mutations. I questioned him about that, as it would seem logical to a lay person that if it were genetic I would have had symptoms my whole life. He said symptoms often didn’t show up until a person’s 50’s or 60’s, and my first movement disorder symptoms did show up in my late 50’s. And I was what people used to call a sickly child.
From what I’ve read it’s actually called Adult Onset Mitochondrial Myopathy. I did find a very good information source online at the UMDF, United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation . Once I joined with a free membership I was able to read quite a few helpful articles.
There’s a long list of possible symptoms associated with MITO, as it’s abbreviated, depending on which organs are affected by the gene mutations. But I do recognize myself in the list. Even the Type II Diabetes is on the list, as well as the Myoclonus.
He is scheduling me for a muscle biopsy for a more conclusive diagnosis, although even then it won’t be definitive. But I’ll feel better knowing we’d tried everything we can to pin down the diagnosis and what type of MITO I might have. I handle the Devil I Know much better than an unknown enemy. There’s just something about being able to read about the disease that helps me deal with it – even if there is no real treatment for it.
There are some articles I’ve read that suggested there are some vitamins and supplements that may help to delay the progression of the mutations, but these articles caution not to take them without medical supervision, as some can actually make variations of MITO worse, rather than delay progression.
So it’s still a waiting game, as I continue to be very weak and find walking to be difficult and slow and holding up my head very tiring and painful.