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

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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. You make me wanna get them boots too! How talented you are to know how to speak 4 languages! Loved your post about Before & After coffee!!!

  2. Hello and thanks for visiting and liking my blog. I hope the heat isn’t too bad for you. I’ll be checking on your posts and hope you’ll come back again and visit me soon. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      At this stage I’ve been praying for rain and it’s on the way, at least parts of Ireland have had minor flash flooding but not where I live.

      You’ve a wonderful blog and I look forward to reading more!

  3. I greatly appreciate your attitude! I know it isn’t easy, some days are harder than others. I look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Some days are indeed better than others, but you learn as you go along I suppose. And sincerest apologies Linda for the very late reply. It must have gotten stuck in between others.

  4. Hello you have a great blog here..Thanks for submitting article via blog.I think you post the same article on your blog also.
    Cyril

  5. It’s interesting to see non-Irish people living in Ireland’s viewpoints on Irish society and culture..I am Irish living in Germany and of course I hear the stereotypical “rose-tinted” glasses view you mentioned in your latest post all of the time. Where are you from anyway? If you don’t mind me asking..

    1. I’m originally from Belgium, but I find the country too crowded, too noisy and dirty for me. Flying back to Ireland is always followed by a sigh of relief so :) And yes, a whole lot of people have that rose-tinted view of Ireland, although the Ireland of old is hard to find in Dublin these days. Mind you, I still find the Irish as friendly as 10-11 years ago :)

      And if you don’t mind me asking, where in Ireland are you from?

      1. Hey, I’ve been living in Belgium since 2004, in Antwerp since 2009. Judging from your blog’s name you must be from Flanders too? Great to see another exophonic writer—and one who can write well at that. :)

        1. There’s some truth in that, being free and completely honest is something people have to learn, they just don’t get to that stage without having crashed and burned before.

    1. Sorry for not seeing your comment sooner Saverio, it ended up in my spam folder on here. Thank you so much for reading and for your well wishes!

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