You retired at age what?

Old clock

So, yes, I retired at age 36,5 and it will never be what I envisioned when I moved to Ireland. I ‘ve crashed and burned, stumbled and found hope in tiny triumphs and friendships larger than life that will stand the test of time.

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Why I love advocacy!

No talking girl

No matter when you were diagnosed, there might be moments when you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs when symptoms take a little too long to disappear, or because people are just getting on your nerves.

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MS News: January 2018

MRI brain scan

Your monthly MS news is back after spending a few months in the cooler. It will continue as before, with highlights, news on research and clinical trials as well as lifestyle, diet and mental and emotional health. If you found an article you want to add to this post, please let me know. Highlight! 5 […]

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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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UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

Having a neurodegenerative illness that cannot be cured has given me the best gift I could ever ask for, strength and meeting the most inspirational and brightest people with disabilities in Ireland and abroad. Yes, they might “be different” in the eyes of many, but they showed me that not everything in life has a price or a tag. They taught me that disability is about misinterpreted ability because they help other people with or without disabilities within their communities in a time when their government shows signs of deliberate discrimination.

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Books? Great medicine!

Black and white book and milk

All joking aside, I cannot even begin to count the number of books I have read since childhood or how many I handled while working in a library. Books become part of life, a friend I will remember forever, a gateway or hiding place where distraction reigns. Just holding them, turning page after page, waiting to be explored, conquered, talked about and put on a shelf waiting to be taken out again. And so the cycle begins again.

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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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Health Organisations – Ireland

Overview of health organisations for people with disabilities Health Service Executive (HSE) Department of Social Protection Press Office of the Department of Health, Ireland Disability Federation of Ireland National Disability Authority Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Irish Medicines Board (IMB) Revenue Commissioners Information on Rights and Entitlements Medical Cards […]

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Ireland Speaks No Language

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Ireland speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no songs I cannot feel by their touch on my lips. Holds no love I cannot embrace with my thoughts. Ireland listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte, 2013, 2016 #1916 #Ireland1916 #EasterMonday #RTE1916 #Easter1916 #1916Rising #EasterRising © Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & […]

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Disable Inequality

It’s been rather quiet down here. The past four to five months, I’ve been involved in disability rights campaigns and had a long much-needed Christmas and New Year’s break. I’m now back to passive campaigning in some form or another while having the flu… it’s never boring in MS-land. With the Irish election campaign in […]

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Whát?! 2015 in review!

The WordPress.com statistics monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. With a total of 22,599 views from 13,765 visitors in 137 countries in 2015 and with 1,857 followers so far, I cannot be any happier. Writing and posting have been slow the last few months, but I will be back soon enough with […]

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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 resided, none is left for two chronic illnesses that could easily have […]

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I don’t miss myself

So… Rugby world cup. At last. England in a fashion faux-pas. Coin toss aside, they resembled players of Wales, China, Japan or Kyrgyzstan (Fijian, red is Fijian). Mum’s nine-day visit to Ireland now over. Visited Dublin Zoo once again. New camera making me rather shutter-slow, hence prevalent photographic bonding with rear ends of several animals. […]

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Older, and dafter too!

Another year older today, and another year dafter too. Kookier. Most definitely away with the faeries. Never one to take myself too seriously unless needed, I am taking my new number in my stride. Having family and friends I love and who in return, seem to like me enough to give me a place in […]

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William Butler Yeats @150

William Butler Yeats: Irish prose writer, dramatist and poet; Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. 1865-1939; compiled the Oxford Book of Modern Verse. My favourite Irish author would have been 150 years today. Ireland, myself included, celebrates a man so talented, his words still touches people today. Two years ago, and on my birthday, I […]

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Healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet can be a tricky thing sometimes, especially when temptation is everywhere. I often tell myself, ‘Ah but I’m already doing so much for my health by using my own ‘everything-in-moderation’ diet. Since I don’t consume alcohol or other legal and illegal highs, I something think I am allowed at least a […]

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Some oomph along the way!

Many women will agree, and perhaps a few men also, that great shoes have a way of lifting your mood. My left foot, in fact, stopped yelping shortly after I was told that Dr Martens boots would substantially improve my old and new Achilles tendon injuries as well as my gait if I added a […]

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#strongerthanms with MS Ireland

“So, how’s the book,” friends often ask me. “Oh, it’s getting there,” I joke. “I’ve finished one page, the one with the title and my name!” I don’t lack the ambition to keep on writing, but I have an overabundance of low energy levels, so I must ask people to use their patience… patiently when […]

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