Retired commercial airline pilot William “Augie” DeAugustinis has enjoyed an active lifestyle keeping up with eight grand-daughters. The 67-year-old maintained good habits he formed as a pilot to stay in shape and eat well.
DeAugustinis began noticing some unusual changes in his strength and energy levels. He began to fall, and his hand strength decreased. Leg weakness made it hard for him to stand up after sitting. “These were early warning signs that I didn’t realize,” remembers DeAugustinis, of Gainesville, Georgia.
In 2008, a blood test found abnormally high levels of the muscle enzyme creatine kinase (CPK), showing that his muscles were breaking down. It took five physicians the next 16 months to come to an accurate diagnosis: inclusion body myositis (IBM).