LGMD “SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
Name: Jonathan Age: 54 yrs. old
Country : England
LGMD Sub-Type : Not known
AT WHAT AGE WERE YOU DIAGNOSED?
Initially when I was 11 (1973), I was diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Myopathy. No further action was taken or attempt made to identify what type of Muscle condition.
Finally, following a mini breakdown in 1988, further tests were done and I was diagnosed with Limb Girdle Dystrophy. Sub Type unknown, and at that time it was not suggested that further investigation would help or be necessary.
As I had always done, I adapted and learned how to deal with it.
WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST SYMPTOMS
When I was a baby, my mother noticed that I could not lift my head up. Whilst I walked at a normal age, she said I found it hard, fell a lot and seemed a lot weaker than other toddlers of a similar age. Later on, trouble walking, falls and other issues flagged up warning signs.
DO YOU HAVE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WHO HAVE LGMD?
No, although it’s possible a maternal great Aunt had a Muscle condition ….but that is historical.
WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES IN LIVING WITH LGMD?
- The mental acceptance of being subject to a muscle wasting condition.
- The frustration of being unable to undertake simple tasks such as getting out of chairs.
- The exclusion of certain activities.
- Being unable to control muscle strength.
- Breathing – two near death experiences –living with a ventilator.
- Heart – curtailing improving fitness.
- Becoming exhausted all the time.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My children, neither of whom have any indication of muscle weakness. Both are fit and healthy.
Being a nice guy, with many friends and a great family. I worked for 35 years full time.
HOW HAS LGMD INFLUENCED YOU INTO BECOMING THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY?
I believe LGMD has influenced me, for the worse mainly.
From an early age I was conscious I failed at a lot. Especially at school, but also in the family.
My sister was three years younger than me, but seemed to overtake me very quickly and achieve success in many areas. She’s lovely, my sister, and I didn’t begrudge her, but it was hard to take. I got used to losing. I was sent to Public school which specialised in sport, Cross country runs I would come last by such a distance that I would be told to go round again and I tried Rugby, Football, Squash, Cricket, Hockey, Fives….I never used LGMD to avoid having a go. But I was hopeless and hated it. This inadequacy crept in all areas, I lost all confidence in academic work…. I panicked in exams and failed most of them. True friends were few and far between…and I couldn’t get a girlfriend for anything…they just laughed at my attempts. I am sure this lack of self-confidence was a result of my physical condition impinging of emotional and spiritual feelings. Whilst I still feel this , I have developed ways to overcome most areas of life, and have made it through 54 years.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT LGMD?
That it is as much to do with internal emotions, as practical difficulties.
IF YOUR LGMD COULD BECURED TOMORROW WHAT WOULD BE THE FIRST THING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO DO?
I’m not sure I’d change much. I love walking and perhaps I’d go back to Cornwall to enjoy the Coastal cliff walks. It would be nice also to do a bit of travelling without the worry of exhaustion, breathing and logistical practicalities.
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