I am not my brain

Brain MRI

“What’s wrong with my brain?” doesn’t automatically mean, “Is my mind, my soul therefore broken as well?”

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Why I should be a brainiac, but I’m not

OMG shock and awe

It happened again. Just when I attempted to maximise my brain, it decided to take over and run the show. It’ll be fun, it said. But, it was so not pretty. Not even by a long mile. With so much physical pain and hence collected a fair amount of neurology-related knowledge due to life with MS, […]

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The story in all of us

book data document education

MS is a mere aspect, label or classification. My story is therefore not one of heroism or tragedy, satire or drama, cheap thrills or grandeur. Showing up for myself in my own life means taking responsibility for the good and the bad while also trying to achieve goals I set myself for 2018.

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Do I have stupid written on my forehead?

Can you recall what life was like before this craziness started? Nope? 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 […]

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Magnetic voices

Life with MS is about adaptation. What you can do, however, is listen to the voice of reason, no matter how hard it might seem. It might say that you will need time, rest, medicines, a decent medical team and a seriously good dose of positivity to go through life.

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Back soon!

Writing has been a bit slow lately. New content will find its way to IMSM soon!

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UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change

Over the years, many extraordinary, inspiring people with disabilities have shown how they have rocked the world in their unique way. What the likes of Trump might regard as incompetence, I have seen extremely able, courageous people who have raised the bar not only for themselves but for others as well. They are living proof that having a disability is not the end of the road. There is, in fact, a whole world ahead of you. It might be good to remember these strong words from Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.”

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Being real!

Despite chronic pain and fatigue issues, I am making the best of my life, and I am doing everything possible to be the best version of myself as I can be. All I ask of you is some understanding of what I am going through, and know that every bad day is only making me stronger. Some days, though, I want you to hold my hand or hug me and tell me that everything will be OK.

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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)

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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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MS in numbers

“Instead of going into the possibility of ending their life in a wheelchair, I refer to the opposite side of the scale. When they say “But 25% of people with MS will end up in a wheelchair!” I say “Perhaps, but that means that 75% of people with MS will not end up in one at all!”

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Volunteering, a worthy cause

“In fact, for anyone interested in volunteering, research shows it can be beneficial in improving mood, self-esteem and quality of life, and in reducing stress, pain and depression. It also shows that ill people who volunteer, become better at managing their own illness in turn and volunteering can strengthen their immune system.”

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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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Strength = choice

An invisible illness isn’t a choice. My visible hope is. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2014. 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 […]

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The big, fat, ugly truth

I am under attack. Should have expected so, but in all cases starting with a C, you rather tend to ignore the truth. GP nearly had a fit when overlooking my blood test results. Why? The big… fat… very fat… C. No, not cancer. “Bad” cholesterol, in fact. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Gulp. When my doctor […]

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Now what?!

Life with MS. You never wake up alone. In the first five minutes of waking up, facial pain pulls my left cheek west, while my eye wants to move north, and my scalp just seems oblivious to any sensation at all. Fantastic! Just the way I want to feel on any given day! NOT. Today, […]

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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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Dublin Speaks No Language

Dublin speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no song I cannot Feel by the touch on my lips. Hold no love, I cannot Embrace with my thoughts. Dublin listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material […]

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30 Things about My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

I was sent this list after National Invisible Illness Week ended and asked if I wanted to write about it either way, so here are my answers: 1. The illness I live with is: Multiple sclerosis, the house guest that ends up on your doorstep, invites himself in and never leaves again. 2. I was […]

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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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2014 Budget plea to the Irish government

“A heart transplant is easy enough these days, but brain transplants belong in the world of fantasy. Because of that, urgent reconfiguration of existing services should be done.”

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My precious boots!

WordPress Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you. Photographers, artists, poets: show us WALK. Already blogged about my favourite boots on April 1st, 2013, so for those who want to read it, here’s the link: Iconic and Princesses and Docs I’m one […]

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It’s OK not to be OK

Chronic pain. Those who have it, can’t wait to get rid of it. Those who don’t, often do not understand what is going on in people’s bodies filled with chronic pain 24/7. Not to reminiscence too much about the good old days – those where the pain was not a constant, unwanted house guest – […]

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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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MS: lesson in minimalism

Can I let you in on a little secret? It’s something meaningful and I’d like to share it with you. Before getting all philanthropic and philosophical, having multiple sclerosis is not a nice thing. Or a happy thing. Not when you’ve just been diagnosed. It’s a long road to acceptance. In between hearing ‘You have […]

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My Mum

My mum is my best friend, my backbone and my reason d’être. She’s strong despite having lost her first-born, her second husband, her dogs and much more. She’s risen like a phoenix from her ashes and every day I am more proud of her. Every day she shows that life goes on, that there is […]

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Love

WordPress Daily Prompt I Want to Know What Love Is We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”? Dedication. Commitment. Affection. […]

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Patience and persistance

Patience and persistence are key when you first start blogging. Why you want to write publicly is totally your idea, how you do so is by using WordPress and its many users’ intelligence. Almost 2 years into my blogging adventure, I still find it an amazing tool to get your voice heard. When I started […]

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Iconic

Symbolism is all around us, and you only need to lift your eyelashes once to be immediately inspired. Iconic. My left foot is indeed something of an iconic thing that is hell-bent on creating trouble. Past ruptures of Achilles tendons, flipping ankles, falling over my own feet… they have seen and done it all. However, […]

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Invictus, by William Ernest Henley

Invictus Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath […]

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2012: not the end of the world

It’s been an eventful year, and even though there are still 3,5 weeks to go before we enter 2013, I can safely say that this year was one of personal growth and finding myself. Personal growth involves letting go of things you don’t want to clutter your mind, and perhaps ups and downs need to […]

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In the blink of an eye…

© 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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Attacking disabilities…

© 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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Letting go

Life seems like a joke, out to get you when you least expect it. People disappear from your life, but it’s not until after they’re gone that you realise how much you liked being around them. Or, you understand what being truly happy means because you’ve known absolute sadness. Or you start appreciating silence because […]

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MS fatigue… the invisible monster

MS fatigue… The most common, yet most difficult to detect a symptom in multiple sclerosis. Aside from feeling exhausted, having to explain people over and over how different it is to normal tiredness, you often get a stigma assigned of “yeah, yeah, you’re just being lazy” or “sure, now keep walking, it’s probably not that […]

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Irish Gaelic you say? Sure! Why not!

As I sit here watching the Tour de France on TG4, the Irish-language TV channel beaming its television rays from the west of Ireland, I have no idea in the world what they’re talking about. Obviously it has to do with the Tour de France it, but other than that they could just as well […]

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