Oh, media, when will you ever learn?

Vintage typewriter

Dear Media, You should know better. It began with this article in 2017 (*) Meet the Cambridge scientist on verge of curing Multiple Sclerosis: This amazing work could literally change the world Cambridgeshire Live, June 4th, 2017 Two years later… Meet Su Metcalfe, the Cambridge scientist on the verge of curing multiple sclerosis Healthy Living Idea, […]

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Things that make you love and hate MS resolutions

strong-women

“I must work towards a new set of ears,” I thought, blissfully unaware that getting these would be a herculean feat of biomechanical engineering. No matter how much I wished to exchange one of my senses because of bouts of noise intolerance, I had to retort to the usual, “Ah, the joys of life with MS” when laughing about another one of my MS-induced naps the following day.

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The beauty and cruelty of words

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer

What we hold dear about putting pen to paper is the urge to create something out of nothing, quite often to slow down a fast-paced society where the purity of words have become chaotic and yearn to become meaningful and treasured again.

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Too warm for you? Heat sensitivity explained!

Uhthoff’s phenomenon is when changes in body temperature make a person’s existing MS symptoms worse, even a rise of 0.25°C to 0.5°C in the core body temperature is enough to cause upsetting symptoms in those living with MS.

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The paradox of our time

Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers. Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but we have less. We buy more but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses, but smaller families. More conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense. More knowledge, but less judgement. More experts, yet […]

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Hell is other people

person holding clear glass ball with flame

“The best lesson I ever taught myself was that “What you think, you become.” I refused to let being unhappy define me or let it shape my mindset for the rest of my life. In gaining happiness and trust again, I also learned to anticipate the outcome of whatever I decided in life. After all, happiness, hope and trust are 100% up to you, and you alone.”

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Ignorance

Oh, people will stalk you on Facebook on their smartphone, but do not ask them to find unprejudiced, trustworthy websites to learn something about your condition on that very smartphone. Quite often, they “will do so when they have time,” despite having their phone in their hands 50 times a day.

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No Place for Extremism

I may have been critical of my native country Belgium in the past, but yesterday’s events in Brussels solidified friendships and my love for my people’s resilience and way of life. IS, ISIL, ISIS, Daesh (or whichever way they want to be called next) may think they won another war on foreign soil, but the western […]

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Let’s be frank

“Too many times we like to blame others for our own problems. Situations and people create our experiences, but these situations and people don’t create you. Understanding our past helps us to distinguish why we hold on and repeat self-destructive behaviours.
When we feel anger, resentment and other non-positive emotions, the only one we annoy is ourselves. So, choose taking ownership over blaming others, happiness over negativity, a new way of life over just remaining in a rut.”

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Responsibility hurts

“When physical restraints curb your potential, you realise that you want so more from your own life, and out of your own reality. Life is moving forward outside your medically induced world, and you feel annoyed when healthy people don’t realise the worth of their bodies, their unused potential. It reminds you that being chronically ill sucks. It’s energy depleted in all the wrong places. There is no uptake to being ill. There is no room for manoeuvring when you’re faced with an illness that will -quite literally- be there until you draw your last breath.”

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Christmas… rescheduled!

Sometimes life just throws tantrums and curveballs because of your illness – missing out on Christmas with my nieces and uncle at the very last minute is just one of those moments. But then you realise that your family’s love, acceptance and support will keep you going long after the Christmas holidays, no matter what. […]

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Trading pens and ink for bullets

“My own freedom of speech means the need to write, to create, to share, to ask, to think, to discuss and then create again the way I intended, the format and content I choose. It’s not only my basic human right, but it’s yours also and should be upheld regardless of country borders or religious background.”

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13!

Thirteen years ago today I moved to Ireland. A teenage dream turned reality. Little did I know that 2,5 years later, my life would be transformed in a way I had never imagined. Still, there are no regrets, and where anger could have lived, none is left for two chronic illnesses that could easily have […]

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Proud

Mum, I’m a very proud daughter. The way you overcame many obstacles in your life before, during and after your pregnancy with me, made you into a woman who stands up for herself, who is very funny, intelligent and simply, a good soul. We often tell one another how proud we are of each other, […]

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10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2014

“Don’t change because others tell you to, just be that limited edition that you know you truly are. Don’t be afraid to break the mould.”

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Identity crisis

WordPress Daily Prompt: Say your name Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself? Photographers, show us YOU.” My name is a story of yes versus no, of not liking it, to being […]

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Ireland, still here

“Ireland is still the protagonist in my life that runs away with its stories, and drags me along in its clear chants and rebel songs. I hear tears falling on the sound of uilleann pipes; I feel the waves when I read Seamus Heaney’s ‘Lovers on Aran’. I’ve walked with James Joyce and listened to William Butler Yeats. It feels as if my heart came home. In my mind, I was already part of Ireland.”

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How to wrap friendship

Friendship image

Friends reply less when words fall between the cracks of self-censorship. When they decide to stay away, it’s up to us to never think any less of the friends who stay away. I consider it a justified reaction. I’m also on the other side of the scale where I chose to stay away from certain people because of their words.

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Under-caffeinated writer. Please help.

“Ah ladies and lads, you know I can be a bit kooky at times; hell, I can even get a little annoyed as well when things don’t go my way. I therefore won’t do it on this page. At all.”

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Defined by myself

“As you can tell, I have lots that strengthens me and drives me forward. I also have (dis)abilities: severe bouts of pain and fatigue, which I bent into a positive writing tool for others to lean on. My limitations serve as other people’s motivation. Their motivation became my inspiration.”

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Thank you

No man’s an island, we weave connections through waves of emotions, through faith and happy occasions. This month, I’ve been very lucky to have found waves meeting others, and to have found people with the kindest of hearts, the softest of voices but the strongest of minds. This is for them. Joan, Aoife, Niamh, Karen, […]

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Wise words

While I’m not a religious person, I do respect others who are. Perhaps with the dawn of Pope Francis, I am starting to feel more open to experiencing religion. It was with this in mind that I stumbled onto a nice poem by Pope Francis that I wish to share. So for everyone, religious or […]

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Christmas!

  © Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2012. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’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 Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis […]

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Christmas: The Paradox of Our Time

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but […]

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Evil resolutions

Ah, that dreaded question! That thing we all say we will do but never actually make it to the finish line! We’re all creators of almost-standard replies that sound like “This year is the year I will lose 50 pounds of weight!” Or “From January 1st I will stop smoking for good!”

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Misty Monday

Right now I’m in from some kind of self-inflicted, being-stuck-syndrome. Thankfully, it only happens a few times a year. I am gasping for air and checking if I’m still alive every 10 seconds. It’s stifling my bones and putting my knickers in a twist. So I am listening to Lady Gaga. To lift my spirits.

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My brother

A small, black leather wallet. Used, worn and carrying the scent of the jeans my brother used to wear. A plectrum, faded by the many songs he played on his bass guitar. Memories. Too many to fill my mind at once. Love. Too deep to ever forget he was my brother, my only sibling.

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20 things you didn’t (necessarily) know yet

While browsing through the weekend newspapers yesterday, I came across a nice list of questions. I like lists. And I like questions. A female attribute? No doubt. Just for the fun of it, here we go! The book that changed my life: Ulysses by James Joyce, no doubt about it! The quote that keeps me […]

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Sleep: a time-consuming commodity

Shoulders back, head held high. Striving to soldier on, wanting to do more. Body says ‘no’, mind perhaps too. This morning I ran into my leading enemy. Not the one I declared war to over some silly misunderstanding when I was 8, nor the one who swore she would never talk to me again when […]

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Being active

Last week I received an invitation to take part in the 2013 National Meeting Day panel discussion on September 28th by the MS Society of Ireland. Needlessly, I accepted straight away as ‘Being Active and Interactive’ is something that lies close to my heart. If you’ve been part of my blogging community for a while, […]

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Every leaf speaks bliss to me

As the days grow shorter and temperatures colder, it is time to welcome autumn, and indeed, what should be a small new lease of life. There is nothing more comforting and relaxing than seeing daylight fade early in the evening. Darkness captures me, telling me that time has come to cuddle up on the couch, […]

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Contrary!

“You’re just being contrary!” my mum used to say. I think that from a young age, she must have found me indeed, a bit different than other kids my age. I wasn’t rebellious, in fact as a teen I was anything but rebellious, but you might say that I went through the usual girly teen […]

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Five-year plan

Bad tidings always happen when you least expect it. Your plans for tonight, next week or the following year get punched right in the stomach and you have to regroup. Not only does rearranging your life involve more people than just yourself; your family, friends and colleagues need to find out where you and your […]

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He is my dog, by Gene Hill

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man.
With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.
He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.

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