Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal briefly discussed his health during a Commissioners Court meeting last week, addressing concerns from the public and colleagues.
Neal, who was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in August 2010, said the affliction has caused his right eye to shut and remain closed the past few weeks. Neal said people had expressed concern about his eye, fearing injury, but the county judge assured those in attendance at the Nov. 30 meeting that aside from limited vision, he was in good health.
“I feel great,” Neal said.
Ever the jokester, Neal used humor to lighten the concern in the room as he spoke.
“I constantly get asked, ‘Who hit you?’ and my wife has gotten to the point of raising her hand,” he said.
Neal said a specialist has told him his eye will eventually reopen, though it’s uncertain when that will occur. In the meantime, the county judge will be trying different medications to regain control of the myasthenia gravis.
“This is an amazing thing I have and we’re back to this point,” he said. “I thought I was on the road to recovery.”
“God is good — we’ll figure this out,” Neal later added.
According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Inc., the affliction Neal has been diagnosed with is experienced by about two percent of the national population. Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the voluntary muscles of the body.
Those diagnosed with the disorder often have difficulty swallowing, speaking or controlling facial movements.