MS? Awkward, puzzling and easier said than done. Buzzwords that don’t exactly calm down an overactive mind.

When I entered the MS Academy over a decade ago, I read the small print and knew it wouldn’t be a 365-day holiday. Being diagnosed, however, taught me one thing: the perception that no matter what happens, life goes on. Since then, life became more imaginative, engaging and determined. After starting a new life 2.5 years before my diagnosis, MS gave me a third chance of doing it right, with and for people who have given me infinite strength, inspiration and yes, lots of MS-related giggles.

As such, Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me (IMSM) was born from the desire to convey optimism through writing and it slowly turned into a mix of personal experiences and general information about MS.

Its aim is to fill the gap left by websites filled with difficult medical jargon. In addition, by accentuating hard, funny or intense moments that come with the diagnosis of a neurodegenerative illness, I hope to help change people’s negative perception about invisible illnesses like MS. Trying to make invisible symptoms, visible is something people with MS can relate to all too much.

So, if you are someone either living with MS or if you are a carer, family member or friend of someone with MS, I hope we will connect to share its burden and be an inspiration to each other. After all, Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me was created to do just that: making sense of MS-nonsense together.

Spreading my words via other MS blogs has been an absolute joy, so please don’t forget to check the Irish MS Society ‘MS & Me’ blog and the Novartis MS blog ‘Living Like You’ where you can find posts written by dear friends of mine, including myself.

Also, I would like to spread some extra happiness and gratitude around, as both blogs received awards. People with MS in Ireland awarded the ‘MS & Me’ bloggers the Volunteer of the Year award 2016, and ‘Living Like You’ by Novartis won the Best Blog in the PR News’ Social Media Awards in the US. IMSM itself won finalist places in 2014 and 2016 in the Ireland Blog Awards, which means that I cannot thank people enough for standing behind my friends who write for MS & Me, Living Like You and myself.

Because of the accolades, I cannot be more grateful to all those who have visited my little corner in cyberspace over the past six years. Thank you for opening up about your struggle with MS or any other kind of chronic illness, and please keep the comments and questions coming.

After a period of writer’s block and vision problems, IMSM is now back online with a new layout that will hopefully benefit others with similar problems. So, if you find that something is missing or just not quite nice on the website, please shoot me a message on maya@irelandms.com, Facebook or Twitter!

#LifeWithMS

#PatientsInvolved

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