• Raw

    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 … Continue reading

  • Man up!

    “The more you struggle to live, the less you live. Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure… you are above everything distressing.” (Baruch Spinoza) Continue reading

  • 40 Essential self-care strategies

    We all get preoccupied with our personal, social and professional life sometimes. In doing so, we often forget that self-care is quite important. After all, ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ or ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’ is one … Continue reading

MS News: September 2016… so far!

Image nerve cell

Below are some MS-related topics that made the headlines this month. Do come back to check again, though, as the list will be updated every three to five days.

Highlight!

  1. #ECTRIMS2016 – Congress on Latest in MS Research and Treatment Opens Sept. 14
  2. #ECTRIMS2016 – Stay Up to Date with My Pick of Congress Highlights
  3. 25 American Athletes To Watch At The Paralympics
  4. MRI key to distinguishing multiple sclerosis from its many mimics
  5. Trending Topics in Multiple Sclerosis

Pediatric MS

  1. Pediatric multiple sclerosis: meeting the needs of the young patient and the family
  2. Pediatric multiple sclerosis: observational trials show promise for interferon-beta and glatiramer
  3. Pediatric multiple sclerosis associated with cognitive impairment in approximately a third of patients
  4. Legal Planning & Care Planning For Young Multiple Sclerosis Patients Video

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Being real!

beingreal

Imagine, you’re stuck with me in 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 from your side.

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.”

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Conversations with myself

14222347_1101763419917442_6482430576462991914_nNot 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

Difference between fibromyalgia and MS

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.

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Books? Great medicine!

10420388_896873597031395_6750446769718581885_nWhen 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

disABILITY

Disable Inequality

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© 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.

Raw

9273d650cde5389d43728b0d611c0a96Social 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

What causes MS?

Image Central Nervous SystemNewly diagnosed people find this the most frustrating and problematic question about MS. Neurologists and other healthcare providers consider it just as difficult having to tell someone that there is no known cause or cure yet.

Needless to say, the race to understand what causes MS is ongoing, and this will eventually lead to more efficient treatments and hopefully, cure and prevention.

In MS, the central nervous system – the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves – is affected. Nerve cells in the brain send signals throughout the body to control everything that happens, like movement, sensation, memory, cognition, and speech.

Continue reading

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