Karen's Story

Karen Merrick, from Meath, was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and is a regular visitor to our Care Centre in Rathgar. Karen chats to us about her life with MS and how she finds staying at the Care Centre.

MS Care Centre

When were you diagnosed?

When I heard, I was working in Crumlin in Dublin at the time, one of the consultants told me I had to go for investigations, but I didn't think anything of it at the time.

When  I was diagnosed I was shocked,  I can remember on the day itself just being happy I was back from the hospital but the more I thought about it and when it set in I was shocked after I realised what had just happened.

Karen Merrick

How did this make you feel?

Initially, When I was at work, people would kind of say to me, "take it easy" and be really nice to me etc. but sometimes you just want to be treated normally and just carry on, because I felt okay.

Nowadays, the simple things that I like doing, takes a bit more time, the simple tasks I think to myself, "Is this going to make me feel tired?"  Now I have to nap and sleep every day, with the tiredness, I have to go to bed for an hour or 2 before I head out.

How did you hear about MS Ireland and our Services?

There was someone from MS Ireland in the outpatients Ireland in the hospital in Beaumont, and they introduced me to MS Ireland and their services. Because I could walk and felt no different, everything they gave me I threw them in the bin, I didn’t think this was for me.

Sometime later, a friend of mine from down the road luckily enough was the chair of the Meath branch, and they put me in touch with the community worker. He introduced me to what MS Ireland does, and other people living with MS and I begun socialising with them. We may not be always talking about MS But just to socialise was great, it was all the interlinking with all different people.

The facilities are excellent and are even getting better every time I visit, even the simple things like the bathrooms they were fabulous. When I go there it doesn’t feel clinical, everything is homely, the food is absolutely beautiful, you can use the physio, acupuncture, reflexology, massage and other activities, bingo, scrabble, it really is a home from home.

— Karen Merrick,
Care Services
care centre
Care centre reception

Tell me a little bit about your experience with the care centre?

I use the Care Centre in Bushy Park and I have to say it is brilliant. It’s a great place to go and meet different people and to be looked after.

 I just love the Care Centre, you have your own room, it’s individualised, and it’s all very private.

The facilities are excellent and are even getting better every time I visit, even the simple things like the bathrooms they were fabulous. When I go there it doesn’t feel clinical, everything is homely, the food is absolutely beautiful, you can use the physio, acupuncture, reflexology, massage and other activities, bingo, scrabble, it really is a home from home.

Care centre plaque

Hopes for the Future?

My hopes for the future, I feel quite well at the moment so I would hope that I would be able to lead a normal life as possible, if your brain is ok, your speech is ok and you can talk well, I just hope that can stay as well as I am at the moment.