Date/Time: 01 May 2018 - 12:00 to 13:00
Organiser: South East: Katie Hourigan
Region: South East
Date/Time: 01 May 2018 - 10:00 to 12:00
Organiser: South East: Una Goan, Community Worker
Region: South East
Date/Time: 01 May 2018 - 11:00 to 13:00
Organiser: North Dublin: Sean Kinsella
Region: North Dublin And Fingal
Date/Time: 01 May 2018 - 11:00 to 12:00
Organiser: South East Regional Office
Region: South East
Date/Time: 02 May 2018 - 10:00 to 11:00
Organiser: South East: Una Goan, Community Worker
Region: South East
Date/Time: 02 May 2018 - 13:45 to 15:00
Organiser: Mid West Regional Office
Date/Time: 03 May 2018 - 09:45 to 11:15
Organiser: South East: Una Goan
Region: South East
Date/Time: 03 May 2018 - 11:00 to 13:15
Organiser: South West Dublin, Wicklow and Kildate: Roseanna Duke
Region: South West Dublin And Kildare
At the start of New Year 2019, Declan Groeger shares with us his plans for the year ahead. Read on for a plan of action we can all adapt to our own resolutions. 2019 is a new year; a year full of hopes and fears, a year full of aspirations and dreams and a year full of good intentions. But it is also a year that, without proper planning, will be filled with disappointments. John Heywood, an English playwright better known for phrases that are embedded in our psyche, is credited with the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. This was modernised to the phrase “softly-softly-catchy-monkey” by Queen Victoria. Loosely translated, both these phrases mean that patience is important. The essential ingredients for success are realism, focus, planning and patience; each ingredient being of equal importance. Another trite adage alerts us to the importance of planning “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”, Benjamin Franklin. Realism is important for everyone but even more so for people living with Multiple Sclerosis; we must acknowledge our limitations and plan accordingly. To my way of thinking there is no point in targeting a climb to the summit of Mount Everest without setting a schedule of lesser achievements and waypoints on the journey. Focus is equally important. I find that maintaining focus for a long-term project can be difficult and to that end, I recommend the ‘buddy system’. Confide in someone; share your resolution and accept help and encouragement from your confidante. Write it down; having a goal in writing somehow makes it more real. Planning is essential and this ingredient incorporates patience. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish". Some goals seem much more difficult without intermediate targets and for me the inclusion of these waypoints make the challenge seem less onerous and more achievable; softly softly catchy monkey! A word of warning- planning should not be used as an excuse to procrastinate. Planning is essential but procrastination is the death knell for many good intentions. I’m only making one New Year resolution this year. In past years I would make a list and start off the New Year with the best of intentions and ultimately most, if not all, fell by the wayside. Time has passed and now more than 30 years after my diagnosis I have learned to be more realistic. I make one resolution and try to do it well. Attempting to do too much is foolish and this is true in any walk of life. Do less but do it well. My New Year resolution is to be kinder to myself. Why that one you might ask? The answer is simple; I haven’t been very kind to me and I need to be. What New Year Resolution have you adopted for 2019?
Raising awareness of the invisible symptoms and unseen impact of MS. World MS Day 2019 will take place on 30th May. The 2019 campaign will be called ‘My Invisible MS’ (#MyInvisibleMS) and the theme is Visibility. My Invisible MS will raise awareness of the invisible symptoms of MS and the unseen impact of MS on quality of life. The campaign will give a voice to everyone affected by MS to share their invisible MS symptoms and express what you want others to know and understand about MS, in order to challenge common misconceptions and help people understand how to provide the right support. There are many ways to get involved in World MS Day and use and adapt the My Invisible MS campaign. You can take part in the campaign online and on social media, hold an event to bring people together for World MS Day, lobby your decision makers to make positive changes for people affected by MS…there are so many possibilities! We’ll be sharing more information and resources in Spring 2019. Watch this space!
Neurology Patients would welcome more information when they are diagnosed A newly published report by the Neurological Alliance reveals that over half of patients surveyed reported they did not receive sufficient information at the time of diagnosis, including details of relevant patient support organisations. The findings come from the first ever patient experience survey of neurology services carried out by the Neurological Alliance. The survey examined a range of aspects of patient experience at their most recent appointment including waiting times, privacy, opportunity to ask questions and provision of information about medications, reasons for any treatment etc. Respondents were also asked about their diagnosis and how this was communicated at the time as well as their overall experience of neurology services. While a majority of service users were broadly satisfied with many aspects of their patient experience, there is a clear need to address information provision, especially at the time of diagnosis. Mags Rogers, Executive Director with the Neurological Alliance said " If patients are telling us that they want more information we need to listen to this. While the small sample size and other limitations make it difficult to generalise from this research, it is an indication that further investigation is needed in order to understand and improve the experience of neurology patients at this most critical time in their lives". The report is available to download here
Stress is a normal part of everyday life and our stress response is the body’s way of protecting us. In small doses, it is a powerful force that helps us overcome challenges, excites us into action and helps us stay focused. Having a balanced lifestyle is the best strategy for managing stress but it is now during Christmas that retaining this sense of balance can be most challenging. Managing Stress Levels When it comes to Christmas time, the planning, shopping and socialising can send stress levels way out of control. Our reactions get in the way of clear thinking, we fail to accurately ‘read’ other people, decision making falls to the wayside and we ignore our personal needs. Living is not about avoiding stress but knowing how to manage your stress when you recognise it. Am I Stressed? Managing stress levels is the key to having a good Christmas. If the turkey gets burned, the dogs eat the cushions and discussions get heated, being able to manage your stress will help you stay balanced and, no matter what, come through the challenges. Know what stress ‘feels’ like for you and recognise some of the early signs: Physical signs Aches, pains Tense muscles Exacerbation of sensory symptoms (‘pins and needles’) Troubled sleep/fatigue Upset stomach (diarrhoea/constipation) Psychological Sign Hard to think clearly Feeling overwhelmed Irritable/short tempered Difficulty making a decision Behaviour Signs Minor accidents (dropping items, trips, off-balance) Increased smoking/drinking Unexplainable grumpiness Being ‘short’ with others. Managing and Responding How we manage and respond to stress is the key to achieving the positive outcomes to relieving the symptoms of being over-stressed. If you shut down, withdraw and disconnect from people when you feel stressed, try doing something that stimulates and energises you. Go for a walk, play with the children, play a game. If you get angry, loose the head with people and ‘see red’, you will respond best to something that soothes and calms you. Go for a walk, do some yoga stretching, relax in a quiet room for 30 minutes, listen to relaxing music Identify What Works For You We all have different needs and different methods that work for us. Building a ‘tool-kit’ of methods that help ease our stress ensures we choose suitable techniques at different times and situations. The more you allow stress to build up, the more difficult it can be to re-balance. Strategies to prevent this involved stimulating your senses to invigorate and soothe you. Techniques for stress relief will have immediate results and be something we can do straight away. Exercise, plenty of rest and relaxation are the overall ‘goodies’ to remember. DIY Stress-Busters/ Quick Tips for Christmas Calm! Move: Dance around, wiggle your toes/hands; do some yoga stretches, stamp your feet, go for a walk. Mindfulness/Meditation: Stay ‘present’ and focus on your breathing; use meditation techniques, be contemplative and just ‘be’ in the moment.. Taste: Sip a nice warm cup of tea; savour a nice piece of fruit and relish eating a piece of your favourite Christmas treat. Smell: Light a scented candle; make a mulled drink using delicious spices, fresh oranges and cloves/cinnamon; enjoy the smell of a ‘real’ Christmas tree, Hearing: Listen to your favourite music, sing Christmas songs, enjoy the sounds of nature when out for your post-dinner walk Touch: Pet the dog/cat, wrap up cosy and warm in a soft blanket, wear your favourite soft winter jumper, enjoy the hugs from friends and family. Sight: Snuggle up to a flaming fire, hang holly/ivy wreaths on your door, buy a Poinsettia, watch an uplifting Christmas film, cosy up with a new book. At this time of year, if you are fortunate enough to share it with family and friends, take time to be thankful and enjoy what is good about your life. Focus on what you can accomplish over the holidays and make the most of your time. Do things you enjoy with people you like and no matter what the Christmas challenges are, you’ll be set for calm start to the New Year 2019. Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year
In the throes of the Christmas Season, Niall McGahon delves in his experience of MS and shares with us how he deals with the uncertainty by keeping things in the moment, in the day. Read on to calm…. I am forever amazed at how the small things that you take for granted when younger have such a massive impact as you get older. “The evenings will soon be on the turn….” is a saying from my Dad when I was growing up (and still is for that matter!). It meant one of two things: the evenings would be getting shorter or they were about to get even longer! I loved the thought of the latter as it meant come March, the evenings would be longer, school would nearly be over and golf was the only thing I had on my menu! This has changed over the years, but my core excitement of the longer evenings has not changed one little bit. Warmth returns, growth begins again and last Spring (2017) was so very special- we welcomed our first child. This only confirmed for me that Spring truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Life regenerates and the cycle starts again, fresh growth appears in the trees and the bright colours are abundant in the sky. As the season turns, I look to Spring because it is quite the opposite of what I am now facing in my health. There is little regeneration and the cycle is not restarting. If anything, its quite the opposite and we are essentially trying to stop MS dead in its tracks; stop it so that I retain function and stay well. This is a particularly difficult time of year for me because it was 4 years ago this month that I found out that I had MS and my life was changed forever. Now, I am living life from day to day, week to week, month by month. Staying in the moment is welcome. However, not knowing how I am going to be when I wake up in the morning can impact greatly on the day and night I have. It can also have an impact on those around me- I am difficult to decipher and who knows what version of Niall they are going to get on any given day. On some days, I am nothing short of a pain in the ass. I try and catch myself but…thankfully, I have a massively supportive family near and far, a beautiful home, great friends and a good job. When I do wake up in pain (most days lately) I know its part and parcel of what I’ve got to deal with, difficult as it may be. Little by little, I am getting better at being kind to myself. I keep it simple. Daily, I have one of two choices to make- I can either have the outlook of Springtime, where the light is bright, where there’s warmth and life is in abundance or I can close my mind and let the winter darkness come over me. Yes, it is a difficult time of the year but I choose to use my Spring outlook and grasp whatever life has in store…no matter what way the wind blows this winter.
09:45 - 11:15
South West Dub...
11:00 - 13:15