Author Archives for Willeke

About Willeke

Quirky, tenacious, and neurologically compromised expat in Ireland writing about life with multiple sclerosis.

Books, Ireland and a few blanks

Yeats Sligo

When asked what a review of my life would look like, I’d inevitably request that poetry be added to Smile, by Charlie Chaplin; classical music to moments of newly found strength and that slapstick moments appear in the Odd News paragraph. Neither would offend my sensibilities, as I can pack a good few things in that large, worn suitcase of a weary dreamer, in my mind that is a lost and found lover of the arts, and of course, of books, libraries and any kind of Psychology. Continue reading

10 years: a lot to be thankful for

Inspirational Quotes 4

Ten years ago today, and 2.5 years after moving to Ireland, I was diagnosed with MS, an incurable, neurodegenerative illness that would change my life in ways I never imagined. Needless to say, it was an unwelcome event. Little did I know, however, that it would eventually lead to a life well lived.

There was no manual that showed me how to adapt, accept and live with a chronic illness. MS, associated with 50+ different symptoms, impacts each patient differently. There are numerous symptoms I might never have at all, and that in itself gives hope. Continue reading

I’m only human

images6“I’m only human.”

It’s a phrase we all use sometimes to explain unwanted behaviours and/or consequences. Friedrich Nietzsche would say, ‘Human, all too human’, while I wonder why we simply do the things we do without some foresight, afterthought, or a memory spark that could have shown us how to avoid running into trouble.

My failures or dodgy flaws?

I can be as silly as a young pup, crashing into you or the furniture as I go, have a memory the size of an ant, or simply be as tired as old, worn wallpaper. More than once I ran into myself at lightning speed like atom particles do in the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, and as a result, ended up in hospital in need of IV steroid treatment to get me up and running again. Because of this, my body itself reached the expiry date on steroid use, and it refuses to let it benefit me. In other words, steroids are now a waste of time.

I’m only human. Continue reading

I’m an ex and I’m lovin’ it!

905689867e575ccf3cc65edf924b70f1I used to be a lot of things. Busy. Book addict. Ireland lover. Passionate. College student… and perhaps a tad crazy also.

But then friends started saying that I was “slowly turning into a blonde”. Physical discrimination on the basis of hair colour aside, I felt they had a point. Concentration skills went from hero to zero. Walking from the couch to the fridge a massive undertaking. In tears in front of the staircase after work because I had to sleep for an hour before being able to scale its height.

In short: I knew I was ill.

It turned out I was ill. Continue reading

An Introduction to MS

© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Branded

Sarcastic image

Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

When some of my blogging friends urgently emailed me this question as part of a Daily Post, I didn’t need to think of answers myself. Friends, as great friends do, always have your best interest at heart. Sarcastic interests, even.

Do I mind?

Sarcastic is as sarcastic does. Continue reading

Book lovers, unite!

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I have always imagined that Paradise
will be a kind of library.
(Jorge Luis Borges)

If this yesterday’s long list of Firefox bookmarks was anything to go by, you’d have taken me for a very active library assistant waiting impatiently to sort non-fiction books according to the Dewey Classification again. It left me mesmerising out loud that you can take the girl out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the girl. After all, I was destined for librarianship in some shape or form from early in life. I always felt that a child with a book can achieve more than an adult with a gun.

And that’s what I ended up doing: studying library sciences. Via word of mouth I then moved to different libraries to update and integrate their manual indexes, lists and catalogues with electronic ones. Often Herculean at best, since each library had thousands of books, CDs, videos, newspapers and other items waiting to be added. Continue reading

Blurred notes to self

10446626_493205107477168_3492364098128049118_nSunday evening, as always a short look forward to the coming week, and a long goodbye to the past three weeks. There’s the usual MS fatigue and some added black-and-white-being-fed-up always having to repeat myself. In other words, today has been, and still is, all about ‘out with the old, in with the new’ but not before letting off some steam.

In a recent post for the blog of the Irish MS society, I used one of my favourite quotes by Lewis Carroll, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

I wrote about being a different person pre- and post-diagnosis. Being diagnosed was a super-charged emotional rollercoaster ride, the ride hurdled forward by the passing away of six family members (including my only sibling, Nana and stepdad) the following 3.5 years and by turning single again. Let’s just say that before being able to get up and crawl on my hands and knees, I was knocked sideways again, six times over. Continue reading

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