• MS in numbers

    “Instead of going into the possibility of ending their life in a wheelchair, I refer to the opposite side of the scale. When they say “But 25% of people with MS will end up in a wheelchair!” I say “Perhaps, but that means that 75% of people with MS will not end up in one at all!” Continue reading

  • Types of MS

    Doctors divide the symptoms into three groups: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary symptoms come from damage to the protective sheath around the nerves in your spine or brain. The damage is called demyelination. It causes scarring, which makes it harder for … Continue reading

  • 10 bold myths about MS

    Multiple sclerosis is an illness subject to many myths that turn out to be misconceptions believed by far too many. When you scratch the surface, you find stubborn tales that create unnecessary anxiety and sleepless nights for those just diagnosed. … Continue reading

10 Powerful Lessons I’ve Learned in 2014

New Year’s resolutions are about looking forward to 2015, but I want to stand still for a few minutes to look back at 2014. Many positive things happened on the writing front, but sadly, as Isaac Newton’s third law of motion goes, I ended up with a four-month relapse. Action and reaction played out in perfect unison, so.

After a very relaxed Irish Christmas and New Year’s holiday, 2015 is off to a great start. Determined not to let 2014 end in utter silence, the following 10 lessons can perhaps be a guide for this year also.

If people can’t handle you at your worst…
‘Normal’ life without a chronic, neurodegenerative illness can be hectic enough. However, if you have an illness that causes a progressive loss of neurological functions, life becomes truly demanding and gargantuan. So stand up for yourself, and quote Marilyn Monroe if need be, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.”  I’ve come to live by that maxim, and it’s empowering once you know you deserve better people in your life. Continue reading

Identity crisis

WordPress Daily Prompt: Say your name
Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something?
Are there any stories or associations attached to it?
If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?
Photographers, show us YOU.”

My name is a story of yes versus no, of not liking it, to being very recognizable because of it. It’s a story filled with confusion.

When I was born, my mum wanted me to be called ‘Maya’. However, when my biological father returned from the registry office, he walked in waving my birth certificate at her, mentioning the name ‘Willeke.’

Ouch. Continue reading

Dream, Think, Believe, Dare, Do!

live live imageTo say that life can be funny is, well… funny by any stretch of the imagination. Time is just flying by without it taking notice of those who want to enjoy it that little bit more, or live it that little bit longer. And as I get older, I am trying to cram as many experiences into one day as possible, or even in one year.

There are personal goals that need to be met, articles that need to be shaped into something clear, concise and uplifting, and if possible, new connections to be made. No man’s an island, and as waves come and go, so do we. Continue reading

Positive MS News: December 2014

Image of medication

Well it was a busy December, in more ways than one. I hope you all had a great Christmas and wish you the best for 2015.

From the amount of research and clinical news we keep hearing about month after month, I can only be optimistic for the future. A cure will not happen tomorrow, next year or even in five years, but we’re edging closer to more relief. My wish is that all those people with primary and secondary MS will be receive better treatment options than they now have. Continue reading

Trading pens and ink for bullets

Charlie image

Like many other people this week, I was horrified by the barbaric Charlie Hebdo massacre. Twelve people were killed in the Paris office of the weekly newspaper, a strongly anti-racist and left-wing satirical paper, sometimes publishing controversial Muhammad cartoons. It’s been on my mind since, and I’m not finding any answers to why and how people can mindlessly and effortlessly kill others for holding a different belief system.

When I published the now prominent #JeSuisCharlie black/white image on my blog two days later, my eyes caught the title of an earlier blog post on my homepage… “2015: Year of the Pen”. Seeing it made my heart stop for a second, and I felt my year of the pen wasn’t meant to be like this, or to happen this way. In Paris, pens, pencils, ink and paint were exchanged for bullets, and it happened in such violent, repulsive and tyrannical way that shocked and scared everyone. Continue reading

2015: Year of the Pen

We’re a few days into the New Year already, and I’m looking forward to sitting down in Starbucks Ireland once again. Parker pen, a large latte and carrot cake to take me through the thoughts in my mind while a new notebook waits for thoughts that sound like words; with emotions that sound like sentences or paragraphs. Life’s the story; my family, friends & MS gang, my inspiration.

This year will mark my fourth year of blogging, although mentally blog ‘posts’ are now called ‘articles’ and blogging turned into ‘writing’. No, it’s not a matter of being arrogant, being a social climber, or being above ‘mere’ blogging. Writing simply became a lot more than blogging.

Writing became a lifestyle. Continue reading

My blogging year 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Image od lady Writing

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2014, there were 111 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 336 posts.

Most visitors came from The United States. Ireland & U.K. were not far behind. That’s 136 countries in all!

Click here to see the complete report.

Ireland, still here

45500_569789193038961_937932256_nImmensely overlooked in my blog this year has been one of the three biggest champions in my life. Some friends say ‘There’s definitely a book hiding in you, so it’s time to start writing that autobiography.’ The word ‘autobiography’ fills me with trepidation though, as I immediately think of the libraries I worked in, and I see long shelves packed with autobiographies of distinguished writers or obscure rock stars.

Perhaps we secretly all want to write a book, and if we dare being vain, write our own biography, with your good self as the protagonist, Hercules-style. The name of the main character in my autobiography might perhaps surprise you.

It’s not multiple sclerosis; any illness that tries taking my identity doesn’t deserve the main role in my book.

It’s not the hospital or my pharmacy, either.

Hell, it’s not even myself.

Continue reading

How to wrap friendship

Image of respect in friendshipFlirty Sprinklepants reporting for duty, sir!

Kind of.

With that name, and only two weeks away from Christmas Day, and I still haven’t had that sprinkly, Rudolph-like wintery feeling just yet.

Oh dear.

No presents yet. No Christmas Day clothes to wear yet on the very day itself. Even putting up my Christmas tree yesterday resulted in it looking rather… boudoir-like. Tacky even. Hell, it simply belongs in a red light district. Whoever said to try red berry fairy lights in my tree… You are a marked man. Continue reading

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