October has finally arrived, which means that the 4th International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day is almost upon us. On October 7th the Light Up Teal campaign will see buildings across the world light up in a teal hue, with many buildings in Ireland joining the awareness campaign.
So far, confirmation of 34 structures has been received, including the 3 Arena, Convention Center, Mansion House, Cork City Council, National Concert Hall, Christ Church Cathedral, Shannon Airport, NUI Maynooth and Galway Cathedral. Elsewhere, Niagara Falls, the Canada Peace Bridge, Perth Concert Hall, the Trafalgar Sq Fountains, Taipei Tower and The Sichuan Tower to name just a few, will don the same colour also. Continue reading
Imagine, you’re stuck with me in an utterly crazy, hilarious episode of The Big Bang Theory.
There is the Penny-type of person who thinks along the lines of “Not seeing = questioning = perhaps, possibly, maybe believing”. She thinks it’s hard to value the worth of something when it’s not visible, but given time to learn, she might just try and see things your way.
Feel free to consider me a female ahem… Leonard who knows that he’s not on the same score card anymore than some of his contemporaries. He knows that there is truth in the world, and more importantly, inside him. He says, “It exists, I have proof, and I will demonstrate it to you until you finally believe it exists.”
Not that long ago I was caught talking to my MS medication – all 28 tablets a day – in the hope they’d finally get their act together and start doing what they’re supposed to. Work. Things. Out.
I believe the phrase was, “If you are my Ross, I will be your Rachel.”
Sure, I’ve thought crazier things than that. If people would know what I’m thinking half the time, they’d take me straight to emergency and say I tore all the ligaments in my head.
Two of the biggest life lessons MS taught me, is that you can just as well have fun, and what you think, you become. A bit of semantics here and there. A touch of rhetoric too. And a tiny bit of Ubuntu if you like. Rather like, “I’m medically fascinating.”
I’m chronically fabulous too.
(Or so I am told)
I step on my own toes and hurt my own ego for the sake of applying a bit of black humour to the conversation to stop the person in front of me worrying about my physical state. So, I’ll be damned before I start taking myself too seriously. Stepping outside the box doesn’t work because I was never in the box, to begin with, and I never will be. Continue reading
Sometimes it’s hard to pin down which illness you have, as symptoms can look and feel alike. This is the case with MS and fibromyalgia. However, they are very different illnesses.
Despite the overlap in symptoms, diagnostic methods and profile risks, having one doesn’t put you at a higher risk of having the other illness.
If you suspect you have MS or fibromyalgia, please seek medical advice. A rheumatologist will be able to tell you if you have fibromyalgia, and a neurologist if indeed you have MS.
When I look back on life, books have always played a pivotal role while growing up, through the good days and the bad, and in sickness and in health. If it were not for the many hours spent with my nose tucked deep in books in the downstairs library in our apartment, my life would not be the same today. It would similarly not be the same if my mum had not let me ‘read’ our atlas so many times, its spine became battered and bruised, and all pages near the maps of Great Britain and Ireland were falling out as if Boudica herself had rampaged through them.
Years later and by now living in Ireland, books continued to be my backbone and often saved me from emotional distress before or after surgeries, diagnoses and retiring from work. Some were a hard rock to hold on to while trying to stand firm against unwanted medical test results that would change the course of my life. Some were a ‘do not disturb’ sign while others the perfect antidote to something called ‘uncertain days’. Continue reading
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are 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.
Social media often finds me catching my breath because of its reach, its intent and its questioning behaviour towards the mindset of the people they follow.
After tweeting about the content of my blog, I received a rather ignorant private message from someone asking how raw my content, or I, can get and if I wanted to elaborate.
On my blog, ‘raw’ is A Powerful Letter to My MS; Death, A Fearful Thing?; Waiting and My Brother. These were pivotal words that had to be written from an emotional perspective as learning to accept a chronic illness sometimes comes with letting go of life as you once knew it.
Others say that Let’s Be Frank; Ignorance; and Hope Cures Old Wounds are realistic enough to prove that life with a chronic illness is not just about being ill, but about society judging someone’s illness also. Getting a raw deal, in other words. When somebody receives a neurodegenerative diagnosis, the lives of those living with the person who was diagnosed will change to a certain degree. Not only that, each person affected will have a theory on what that illness should be like, and how they should handle it. Continue reading