“So, how’s the book?”
I don’t lack ambition to keep on writing, but I have an over-abundance of low energy levels, so I must ask people to use their patience… patiently when dealing with me.
Like all cowards, the illness I write about lurks in the dark within my central nervous system, and it sometimes rises to the surface in unflattering ways. My body does a good job in concealing it for now, but every so often I worry about it rising to the surface and staying there… permanently. Continue reading
‘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
A war zone. It sounded like a war zone. Sound effects of an AK47 gun amid MRI vibrations and banging noises usually taking place on construction sites. Tinnitus adding an overlay I can miss like never before.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a godsend to ill people. In regards to MS, it gives a clear view on what is physically going wrong inside the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Add some contrast fluid, and yours can lit up like a Christmas tree, just like mine did this morning. Or so I was told.
Sudden, loud sounds twitches my head involuntarily. The upstairs part of my body locked in a mask, I now realise how Leo felt when he played The Man in the Iron Mask. Continue reading
For more on World MS Day 2015, check these links:
Twitter – Tweet @WorldMSDay and/or use #strongerthanMS
Facebook – World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day
Instagram – worldmsday
YouTube – World MS Day
Pinterest – World MS Day
Neurologically challenged by MS and personally by her will to succeed, Willeke is a disability awareness advocate seeking to improve neurological/MS services in Ireland. By highlighting difficult issues that come with such a diagnosis, she hopes her tenacity can bring some dignity to people most in need of a modern, inclusive healthcare system that looks after every aspect of life.
©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2015. 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.
AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (ALS)
ALS is a form of motor neuron disease. It involves the loss of the actual motor nerve cells. The nerves affected are in the spinal cord and those that travel to the voluntary muscles, so there are symptoms of both central and peripheral involvement, with weakness and wasting in arms, legs, and mouth/throat (bulbar). ALS is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable – at times disabling – disease of the central nervous system: which consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The disease attacks the protective myelin covering of the central nervous system, causing inflammation and often destroying the myelin in patches. The severity of MS, rate of progression, and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis. Continue reading
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