About

“In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that within me
lay an invincible summer.”
(Albert Camus)

IMSM is an award-winning blog that recounts the journey of the quirky, tenacious and neurologically compromised life of Willeke-Maya on becoming normal when life with MS is a beautiful mess. Fifteen years post-diagnosis, her world turned more imaginative, engaging and determined. In short, “My lesions and I are one big happy, dysfunctional family.”

Living in Ireland since 2002 and diagnosed 2.5 years later, MS seemed awkward, puzzling, easier said than done at first. Any illness is unwelcome, and life with multiple sclerosis often resembles a war zone, especially when trigeminal neuralgia (excruciating eye and facial pain), joins fatigue that belongs in the narcolepsy category of life, including sound sensitivity that turn screaming children into auditory hell. Elsewhere, neuropathic pain, vertigo, ataxia and prospective memory issues are just a few things that occupy my day.

In short, MS is the type of illness that carries this tagline, “The illness is mine, but the tragedy theirs,” when asked how loved ones feel about your condition. Buzzwords that don’t exactly calm down an overactive mind. But, life goes on. Fifteen years with a progressive, neurodegenerative illness beg you to keep your chin up, for there is no other way to go through life. I hope you will find some solace in what I write, and do feel free to comment or send a private message in the Contact page.

Contributor to several MS organisations and blogs, here are just a few reviews that still make me blush and feel on top of the world to this day:

MyTherapy, Multiple Sclerosis Blogs: 10 of the Best: These Bloggers Living with MS Share Their Insight and Wisdom:

“We wrote of Willeke Van Eeckhoutte last year: “Willeke’s insightful writing and thoughtful sharing of information has earned her blog widespread recognition, and made it a fantastic destination for anyone seeking straight-forward answers to the many questions posed by MS.”

Those words ring still ring true today, as Willeke continues to combine musings about her own life with commentary on the wider world of multiple sclerosis.

In the 14 years since Willeke’s diagnosis, she has built a wealth of knowledge on many of the more complicated aspects of multiple sclerosis. Her seemingly effortless ability to use this knowledge to expand upon her own personal experiences is all the more impressive when you consider Willeke, originally from Belgium, is not writing in her native language.

Willeke comes across as a thoughtful individual, whose blog is as well-written as it is insightful and well-researched.””

Everyday Health, The 10 Multiple Sclerosis Blogs We Can’t Stop Reading: Here are the 10 funniest, most empowering MS blogs to put a smile on your face while living with the illness.

“Referring to her symptoms as her “MS-sponsored pajama party,” Willeke-Maya often takes a jovial approach in her blog, Ireland, MS, and Me.

Once, when retrieving the results of an MRI scan, she was asked to present a photo ID, to which she wittily responded, “Isn’t an MRI, a picture of my brain, photo ID?” She also has her more serious moments — like when she questions whether to enjoy life or waste away — but her posts consistently end on a happy note.

PS: Make sure you check out her encouraging post about being single and chronically ill on Valentine’s Day, and why it really doesn’t matter!”

 
◾ Contributor to the Teva MS blog Life Effects
◾ Contributor to the Novartis MS blog Living Like You
◾ Contributor to MS Ireland’s blog MS & Me
◾ Contributor to The Mighty
◾ Guest contributor to MyTherapyApp.com

◾ WEGO Health Patient Leader Award Nominee 2018

(Because above websites write new award-related content over already existing top pages, some are not easily found online anymore. I will do my best to find cached versions of them ASAP).

This website does not:

◾ Publish health claims that seem too good to be true
◾ Use deliberately obscure, “scientific” sounding language
◾ Promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results

Updated: September 15th, 2019

Signature Willeke-Maya

Join 4,968 other followers

blog-awards-2018_winners-gold-mpu-e1563778008969

2018 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, 2011-2019.

60 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Willeke, thanks for following my blog which brought me to your wonderful website. Thanks for spreading optimism. I will keep visiting your posts.

    Sincerely,

  2. Thanks for following my blog. I’ve returned the favor. This is a timely meeting. I’ve just finished reading a profile of Ultra-runner-with-MS Shannon Farar-Griefer, and it left me with lots of questions… which it seems likely that you’re going to answer. Looking forward to my education and getting to know you,

  3. Thought I’d pop over and say Hi to welcome you aboard Pensitivity101. Thanks for the follow. Comments are always welcome, so hope something somewhere amongst my musings will interest, bemuse, or amuse you.

  4. hello, i’m loving your blog, thank you for sharing. Both my dad and I have MS, i think that puts me in an extremely small minority so I am looking for others in the same situation! :)

  5. I’m glad that I have found your blog. My father has MS, and I have done some fundraising with him.

    I’m also living in Ireland and like you, I couldn’t attend the Blog Awards (for a different reason: I’m epileptic).

    Your blog looks amazing! You have put so much work into it, it’s a pity you didn’t win but wasn’t it just wonderful to be a finalist?

    I’m looking forward to reading more!

  6. hey from ecuador
    thanks for the pingback (smiles) and i am glad to see your blog and read about your life. a very long time ago i had a ‘possible’ diagnosis of MS so i have special empathy for anyone who has made life changes becasue of MS. i think/hope that aspartame was the trigger in my own body, and aside from fatigue, i have had no more symptoms. yes, i fall asleep anytime anywhere and sometimes wonder if it’s narcolepsy…

    anyway, i am delighted to find your blog and will be following. my internet is very very slow, so many times i might be able to read but not comment or like, but i’ll be there when possible to follow your progress.

    thanks again,
    lisa

  7. Thank you for nominating The Gad About Town (http://thegadabouttown.wordpress.com/) for the Liebster Award … I promise to do my best to maintain standards of excellence. Your blog and your work as an advocate are inspiring me to do more about ataxia and neuromuscular disease awareness issues with my blog. I love the connections I have made in only a couple months as a blogger.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.