Author Archives for Willeke

About Willeke

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




Sadly, my body can’t use itself to heal itself. What a wonderful paradox that would be! It’s about viewing your emotions as your friend, rather than your enemy. It’s also about viewing your physical weaknesses as your friend, rather than your enemy.

After some feeble attempts trying to write a few paragraphs the past few weeks, I was sent back to the drawing board after each occasion. Not good enough. Already done this. Needs more research. Too tired. Not fit enough. Continue reading

Trading pens and ink for bullets

Charlie image

(Republished on request on November 15th, 2015 in memory of those who lost their lives in the latest Paris attacks)

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. Continue reading



You’ve probably been there before.

You say to yourself… “I will absolutely, unequivocally, no-doubt-about-it stay under the duvet to get rid of a bad ear infection, facial pain, unrelentless fatigue and a bout of the flu.”

Sometimes you also think, “I suppose everyone has a point when they say I have to listen to my body a little bit more.” Continue reading

Positive MS News: October 2015


It was a busy month. ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis Congress; October 7 – 10, 2015 in Barcelona) came and went, with insight and data offered on existing and new therapies. Continue reading



Thirteen years ago today I moved to Ireland. A teenage dream turned reality.

Little did I know that 2,5 years later, my life would be transformed in a way I had never imagined. Still, there are no regrets, and where anger could have resided, none is left for two chronic illnesses that could easily have been my downfall.

Not one to dwell on issues past, I never allowed myself to live in Oscar Wilde’s famous gutter for a long period. When he said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” I realise I still am that stargazer, that dreamer, that person who loves Irish history and sociology, nature and literature, photography and psychology.

I am also still that believer in historical and moral justice, a dreamer who wants to see eight centuries of domination over Ireland undone, but knowing all too well that from a political and royal viewpoint, this is dream one dream too many. Continue reading

Positive MS News: September 2015



  1. Less vitamin D and melatonin bad for multiple sclerosis
  2. Multiple sclerosis relapse risk influenced by melatonin levels
  3. Melatonin could help treat multiple sclerosis
  4. Melatonin Linked to Seasonal Relapses of Multiple Sclerosis

Continue reading

Are you Cinderella yet?

Almog albalach_Clock Flares_YEJqQwSome days I feel like a half-baked Cinderella. There’s some promise at 8am, but by 10am my fairy tale book is closed until further notice. In the background, that all-important Cinderella clock keeps ticking forward. My body is in a rut: sleeping, eating, exercising, resting, eating, sleeping and back again.

And that Cinderella shoe?

Taken by someone else altogether.

In other words, and very much like  a psychological broken record, I keep finding out that I am 100% present, but physically I am a goner. Continue reading

I don’t miss myself


Rugby world cup.

At last.

England in a fashion faux-pas. Coin toss aside, they resembled players of Wales, China, Japan or Kyrgyzstan (Fijian, red is Fijian).

Mum’s nine day visit to Ireland now over.

Visited Dublin Zoo once again. New camera making me rather shutter-slow, hence prevalent photographic bonding with rear ends of several animals.

Otherwise, hardly left the house.


Thank you, MS. Living with a chronic illness is not all it’s cracked up to be. Chronic means chronic. I don’t get to choose the days, the hours, the moments.

Hence, a triad of medical events in the space of twelve days, now extended into a three-week period.

Flu. Impatient, it could not wait landing on my doorstep before that all important flu jab. Must remember that viruses follow idiotic timetables and adapt accordingly.

Seriously. Continue reading

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