The Neurology Waiting Room

This week from the MS & Me archives series Willeke Van Eeckhoutte discusses people waiting, wondering, dreading, hoping from the Neurology waiting room.

Willeke Van Eeckhoutte
10 Aug 2017

It is not fair. Nobody deserves to be here. Nobody is ever prepared to hear what the stranger in front of them has to say. A neurologist looks at your test results, gazing, thinking. Do they wonder how they will tell you that from this minute onwards, your life will be different, that you will have to change your lifestyle to suit your new, closest and most annoying illness, that your body had betrayed you?

People with neurological illnesses walk in and out. Often their illness seem larger than what they perceive themselves to be. For the ones sitting, waiting by themselves, without someone accompanying them, time goes slow. For the ones waiting with their boyfriends, spouses, parents, time is gentler. They talk about fears, or they talk about anything but the reason why they’re there.

For me, MS will always be a lonely illness because I am the first in my family who has it. It hampers, harms and sets boundaries where I want none. It shows me that people are vulnerable, open to inner destruction of a central nervous system gone wrong.

For me, it is love, friendship, knowledge and joy. It made me who I am today, strong, with the will to live fully. I will not falter, go into self-destruct. I will not go where I am not supposed to go. Stood at my own six feet under in 2008 and I returned. It wasn’t time yet.

Waiting room fills with familiar faces with MS… harmed but alive, dreaming and hoping. One day neurology waiting rooms will be empty, MS cured and eradicated. Lives back to the way they used to be.

Love. Friendship. Healthy. It is not a dream. It will be reality

Please don't forget to check out Willeke's blog Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis and Me if you want to read more.

Originally published May 2014 from the Neurology waiting room in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin