‘Hypochondria? It’s the only disease I haven’t met yet.’ One of the better jokes I can actually remember, as I simply don’t do long ones.
MS? Awkward, puzzling, easier said than done, and the type of illness that carries this tagline: “the illness is mine, but the tragedy theirs” when asked how the family feels about your condition. Buzzwords that don’t exactly calm down an overactive mind.
Any illness is unwelcome, that much we can agree on. MS can strike in so many different ways that your life at times resembles a war zone. When I entered the MS academy, I read the small print and knew it wouldn’t be a 365-day holiday. But, if one good thing has come from being diagnosed ten years ago, it’s the perception that no matter what happens, life goes on.
And boy, does it go on. Continue reading
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
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
While doing a big administration clean up, I came across some old notebooks. The one that caught my eye started on June 5th 2005, and lists MS, professional, friendship and relationship woes as I was diagnosed just two months prior.
It’s very much an interior monologue trying to make sense out of nonsense. For example, I wrote about the last meeting with my dog Wolf right before he was put down.
Questions about certain relationships also feature heavily as a new me was now meeting new demands, wishes etc.
In the next few weeks, I will be publishing parts of my diagnosis diary, so keep an eye on my blog.
Dogs, miracles with paws
See you then!
© WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2014. 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 Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
The MS community is well known for its willingness to talk about their illness. I myself might share more than others might, but that, of course, is a personal choice. Being from a family where I am the first one with MS, I almost constantly feel a need to share, teach and sometimes to explain some differences in opinion on how to live with MS. In that regard, I sometimes have MS things on my mind, but when I go online, I can’t see them discussed in chat rooms or forums.
Take for example brain atrophy. The first time I heard about atrophy was at a MS Patient conference in May. In the nine years of being diagnosed, never had I come across, and never did anyone talk to me about MSers having a faster-shrinking brain. To my very surprise, I therefore learned that in people with MS, brain volume is lost around three to five times faster than in healthy people. Continue reading
I was afraid.
Each time I experienced gastrointestinal changes, I tried not to worry.
But I did.
Even when I tried to get this worry down on paper, I failed to finish two consecutive sentences. One sentence if I allowed my interior monologue to perform a James Joyce oration without punctuation.
That was not me however. I usually didn’t let chaos overwhelm me. My path of life had on regular intervals been paved with pandemonium, so I was well-used to it. Continue reading
Interested in reading more? Check out the Featured On page on my blog with links to guide you!
Click for news on how MS fatigue may be linked to regional brain damage
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2014. 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 Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.