Do I have stupid written on my forehead?

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Can you recall what life was like before this craziness started?


Neither can I.

There is a bit of mental derailing going on right now. Fatigue is back with a vengeance. I am so excellent in not sleeping well, that when I do, it’s a reason to organise a party, or rather, a pyjama gala. Sponsored by MS. And it’s undoubtedly impacting my thinking.

No, seriously, having MS is not a simple task, job or status.

It’s always there, in the background.

Or in the limelight.

In the shower.

In bed.

While talking.



Trying to remember how to step up a staircase.

Or just for once, trying to finish a year without seeing a whole dinner decimated because you managed to drop another few cups and dinner plates. Again.

You get it, so.

It. Is. Always. There.

Granted, it’s nothing to laugh about, but sometimes your immuno-compromised body is a source of giggles or roaring laughter.

Earlier this year, I received a phone call from my attending hospital about MRI scan results that resulted in hilarious laughing on both sides of the phone line:

Hospital: “I hear you’re going to Belgium soon?

Me: “I am?

Hospital: “You asked for your MRI scans?

Me: “I did?

Hospital: “We require your photo ID before we can send them to you.

Me: “Isn’t an MRI, like, a picture of my brain, photo ID?

It once again demonstrated that you are faced with two choices when you have an incurable illness like MS. You either keep enjoying life or you waste away.

Laugh or cry.

Sink or swim.

Do or die.

Mine is not a fool-proof way of living, but its formula is to laugh at my inadequacies, my failures in speech as well as in writing. We keep track of my spoken words that come out all wrong and I wonder if it’s time to publish that very dictionary.

a03c7ec9c029648021149bd333410af1Life with MS is learning how to accept and how to adjust. It is also about recognising progress, being grateful for what you can still do and keep an optimistic view on pretty much everything in life.

MS doesn’t define who you are. You define yourself, you and the strength to carry on fighting every single day. Throw anger about not being the old you anymore, overboard. Life’s so much better without all that hassle.

The most neglected purpose of a serious, chronic diagnosis is that you can start over and do things differently this time. Once I realised that hill-walking and rock climbing was not on my list of things to do anymore, I scouted for things I could do.

And, oh boy, I found way too many things to do.

The fact that you are reading this right now is one such thing; my writing was developed out of the necessity to find different ways to fill my life going forward and as an exercise in conveying optimism through writing.

Long may it continue.


Blog Awards 2018_Winners Gold MPU2018 Winner Best Blog Post with ‘3443 Needles’, Blog Awards Ireland, Ashville Media Group, Dublin, Ireland

◾ MyTherapyApp: Multiple Sclerosis Blogs: 10 of the Best in 2019
◾ Ireland Blog Awards: Finalist 2014, 2015, 2017
◾ MyTherapyApp: Best MS Blog for Simplicity 2018
◾ Everyday Health: Top 10 MS Blog of 2018
◾ Feedspot: Top 50 MS Blog 2017, 2018, 2019

© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

18 thoughts on “Do I have stupid written on my forehead?

  1. I found your post encouraging. Just spoke to my sister who may have been diagnosed with this. She is having more tests to confirm. I was devastated when I heard but after reading your post and comments on your post, I feel a little better. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I found this so helpful to read! I have recently been diagnosed (aged 23) and it’s been so good to read blog posts like this from people who are still finding the funny side of everything!

  3. That did me good reading this. We all have our own thing with this MS but I noticed a few coincidences in the list. I thought it was a me thing that I have to decide which foot to put first when climbing stairs, but no I am not so peculiar after all. Dropping things is also becoming a hobby, but I somehow have it under control, sort of thing. It is the picking them up afterwards that is the problem, no matter how small or big. I have probably been suffering for many years, like 30-40 but it was only discovered last year (at the age of 70) and now I see things more clear. It is not the funny walk I have because I am not fit, but I have a problem and now I know what it is. I will be looking in again.

    1. So sorry to hear that you are still struggling. If it’s any consolation, at least you know why you were unwell before. Not knowing at ails you can be quite difficult as is. Feel free to drop in anytime, always there! x

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