Tag Archives: Ireland

Top 10 MS support pages on Facebook

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Multiple Sclerosis Ireland
@MultipleSclerosisIreland
Provides information, support and advocacy services to people with MS and their families. Learn more at Multiple Sclerosis Ireland website

 

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Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
@OvercomingMS
OMS supports an evidence-based, positive diet and lifestyle program. Learn more at Overcoming MS website

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UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

Ad nauseam.

Ah yes, you know the term.

In proper Wikipedia language, it reads “An argument or other discussion that has continued ‘to [the point of] nausea.” In Irish slang, “We are bloody well tired of talking or hearing about it.”

And that, dear reader, we are. Severely sick and tired of hearing that the Irish government will ratify the UNCRPD by a specified date, only to find out that they very silently forgot to live by that promise. Needless to say, having the gift of the gab in Dáil Éireann is an advantage, yet those we elected to represent our very needs refuse to use that gift when it matters most. Continue reading

Books? Great medicine!

10420388_896873597031395_6750446769718581885_nWhen I look back on life, books have always played a pivotal role while growing up, through the good days and the bad, and in sickness and in health. If it were not for the many hours spent with my nose tucked deep in books in the downstairs library in our apartment, my life would not be the same today. It would similarly not be the same if my mum had not let me ‘read’ our atlas so many times, its spine became battered and bruised, and all pages near the maps of Great Britain and Ireland were falling out as if Boudica herself had rampaged through them.

Years later and by now living in Ireland, books continued to be my backbone and often saved me from emotional distress before or after surgeries, diagnoses and retiring from work. Some were a hard rock to hold on to while trying to stand firm against unwanted medical test results that would change the course of my life. Some were a ‘do not disturb’ sign while others the perfect antidote to something called ‘uncertain days’. Continue reading

Man up!

screenshot-www-canva-com-2017-01-15-20-38-57During another stimulating chat with one of my ex-college friends, we found out that both our subject of non-admiration is Michael O’Reilly, one of Ireland’s Olympics boxing competitors who was sent home following a failed doping test during the first week of the Games. He knowingly travelled to Rio and although exempt from fighting for a title already, he kept silent for a week. Eventually, he admitted that he “unintentionally took a supplement that may have contained a prohibited substance given to him by someone unrelated to his team or association.”

Of course, by adding that he was “given the substance by someone else,” MOR is not taking full responsibility for the issue. It would be my understanding, though, that if you want to be an Olympic athlete, you don’t jeopardise your place by “unintentionally” taking things but also, that you need to be aware of everything that goes into your system. Passing on the blame in doping cases often smells like self-pity cloaked in a sense of entitlement and egotism. Continue reading

Health Organisations – Ireland

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NOTE: for mental health organisations in Ireland, please go to this webpage

Overview of health services for people with disabilities

Entitlements for people with disabilities in Ireland

Disability Federation of Ireland

Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI)

Disability Consultancy Services

disAbility.ie

Enable Ireland

Inclusion Ireland

Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA)

Leap Ireland

Rehab Ireland (Rehabilitation for Disabled People)

Health – General

Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

Health Service Executive (HSE)

Irish Medicines Board (IMB)

Press Office of the Department of Health, Ireland

© 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 are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ireland Speaks No Language

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

Also see Kick-Ass Ireland!

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© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Disable Inequality

screenshot-disableinequality.ie-2017-03-27-17-17-56It’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 full swing, it’s difficult combining high-powered fatigue issues and other MS symptoms with the amount of advocating I want to do. The first and second are, as most of you know, difficult to tackle, the latter not acted upon enough. I’m still dedicated to writing for my blog, though, and also for the Novartis and Irish MS Society blogs.

There is one thing I would like to highlight. In my belief, disability rights are something we all need to fight for because sooner or later, we will all be confronted with it. Quite often people portray to care about those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, yet they don’t. Either we are “not accountable in steering our country forward,” and therefore, are seen as “a burden on society.”

This has to end

By the time of my MS diagnosis 2.5 years after moving to Ireland, I already knew about the state of Irish health services after ending up with a knee injury, appendicitis, and endometriosis. Clearly, the focus of the Irish government between 2002 and 2010 was solely directed at job creation, providing new housing and playing golf games with bank managers and celebrities. Continue reading

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 has been slow the last few months, but I will be back soon enough with new, hopefully inspiring and helpful content.

Thank you each and everyone of you who found your way to my writing, and please do let me know if you have any tips or questions on billie@irelandms.com

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Balancing life and a chronic illness

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Imagine this… You are chronically ill, but every time you have a physical setback, your body can heal itself without input from your GP, neurologists, hospitals…

Our mind has the power to heal heartache and/or to show strength in times of need, yet our bodies lack that magnificent paradox. The answer lies in how we look at our emotions; are they your friend, or foe? And how do you view your physical body?

After some feeble attempts trying to write a few paragraphs the past few weeks, I was sent back to the drawing board after each occasion. Not good enough. Already done this. Needs more research. Too tired. Continue reading

13!

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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 been my downfall.

Not one to dwell on issues past, I never allowed myself to live in Oscar Wilde’s famous gutter for a long period. When he said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” I realise I still am that stargazer, that dreamer, that person who loves Irish history and sociology, nature and literature, photography and psychology.

I am also still that believer in historical and moral justice, a dreamer who wants to see eight centuries of domination over Ireland undone, but knowing all too well that from a political and royal viewpoint, this is dream one dream too many. Continue reading

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.

Otherwise, hardly left the house.

Sniff.

Thank you, MS. Living with a chronic illness is not all it’s cracked up to be. Chronic means chronic. I don’t get to choose the days, the hours, the moments.

Hence, a triad of medical events in the space of twelve days, now extended into a three-week period.

Flu. Impatient, it could not wait landing on my doorstep before that all important flu jab. Must remember that viruses follow idiotic timetables and adapt accordingly.

Seriously. Continue reading

PLEASE VOTE! MS Ireland company blog shortlisted!

MS & Me, the group blog of MS Ireland for which I also write, has been shortlisted

for the Blog Awards 2015 edition in the company Best Health and Wellbeing category!

We need YOUR vote though to become a finalist.

*** The PUBLIC VOTE is now open for the 2015 Blog Awards Ireland! ***

Voting will be open for TWO weeks from Monday, 7th September!

The PUBLIC VOTE will be worth 30% of the overall mark.

The other 70% will be decided by a panel of judges.

Please cast your vote below by clicking here,
or on the colourful Blog Awards image below!

Thank you!

Ava, Diana, Trevis, Joan, Declan, Aoife, Lucina, Helen, Niamh, Emma & Willeke

Please share…

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About Willeke

Neurologically challenged by MS and personally by her will to succeed, Willeke is a disability awareness advocate seeking to improve neurological services in Ireland. By highlighting difficult issues that come with a MS diagnosis, she hopes her words and tenacity can bring justice to people most in need of a modern, inclusive healthcare system that looks after every aspect of life.

©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2015. Unauthorized 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 & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Time to go our separate ways

screenshot-devineireland wordpress com 2015-08-26 17-38-15

We are having a divorce of sorts.

Because of the ever-growing volume of my blog, and WordPress slower as time goes on, I’ve finally decided it’s time to move blog posts about Ireland, books, writing etc to a new blog called Kick-Ass Ireland! After all, this is a blog about multiple sclerosis with facts, figures, information sheets and my journey with MS.

Ireland, books and writing does take up all my thoughts, but for now posts related to them are better housed elsewhere. The next few weeks will be busy, and I will sit down and put some serious thought in how to expand my blog once those weeks are over. Continue reading

MS, 50 shady ways of being sick

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I miss the sound of rain on my bedroom windows. Not one to feel depressed by bad weather, I physically start to thrive once more autumn-inspired weather sets in after those long, miserable months when temperatures were above 17°C.

My Spotify account on my smartphone is bloated with new soft jazz and Norah Jones tunes to accompany me on walks, and I cannot wait for those days to arrive. I can almost feel a tinge of cool air already. Sadly for those sun worshipers looking to add more cancerous rays of sunshine in Ireland, summer has been rather so-so. Continue reading

Use it or lose it!

Life with MS?

“60% hospital visits to keep the national health department satisfied, 10% sweat, and 0% tears.”

When I’m told that 30% is missing, I agree.

“30% is memory loss, which rather proves a point.” Continue reading

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