23 April 2012

I used to be..

I used to be scared to talk about my health, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be afraid to plan ahead, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be hating stairs, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be fit, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be very emotional when friends got babies, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be the world's own optimist, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be thinking I had a chance at finding love easily, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be insecure about giving up friends, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be walking like a penguin, but I'm not anymore.
I used to be afraid for the morning after a night dancing, but thankfully, I'm not anymore.

22 April 2012

Things we forget

A thought on a sticky note.

21 April 2012

Health Madlib Poem

Hmm.. Nice try.

all in great

All in great went my sleep trying
on a careful step of small
into the old notebook.

damaged bittersweet knowledge ed few and ing
the painful information before.

weak be they than melodic Twitter
the horrible difficult information
the difficult painful information.

damaged difficult interest at a lovely days
the nice friends before.

experience at activity went my sleep trying
trying the pain down
into the old notebook.

damaged bittersweet knowledge ed few and ing
the extreme sports before.

green be they than alive difficult bed
the bittersweet lovely information
the better few n information.

damaged better angle at a small woman
the beautiful try before.

illness at medication went my sleep trying
trying the voyage down
into the old notebook.

damaged bittersweet knowledge ed few and ing
the beautiful support before.

better be they than alive reason
the gifted important information
the mysterious worried information.

damaged mysterious mountain at the great voyage
the worried pain before.

All in great went my sleep trying
on a careful step of small
into the old notebook.

damaged bittersweet knowledge ed few and ing
my doctor discover illness before.

- Mari & e.e. cummings

Create Your Own Madlib on LanguageIsAVirus.com

20 April 2012

If only.. there was a miracle cure

A new study claims green tea with ginger, cinnamon and red pepper, topped with hot milk foam could be a powerful weapon against rheumatism – one of Europe’s most occurring chronic diseases.

Drinking one cup of tea every day could halve your chances of developing inflammations, which make the disease so painful, it says.
This combination of spices can be traced back to Asian times. It used to be an established treatment, before western medicine was developed.
Because of this, it is already taken daily by more than two million sufferers in Europe to protect against further inflammations and pain. Thousands more take it to ward off cold feet.
But this latest research is just one of a flurry of studies in the past few years which have claimed that these powerful spices may also help treat other illnesses - including painful stomachs, insomnia, cold hands syndrome and headaches.

So is green tea with ginger, cinnamon and red pepper, topped with hot milk foam, really a wonder drug that we should all be taking every day to ward of potential inflammations? Doctors warn that long-term or high dosage use of this combination of spices can, in rare cases, cause irritation to the stomach lining and mood changes. For this reason, you should always consult your GP before taking this spicy tea on a daily basis.
They also claim that much more research is needed to back up the claims made for the tea in recent studies. This is because many of the studies so far have not been clinical trials. Clinical trials involve several hundreds of patients taking the tea or a placebo daily, over a number of years, which is the only way to prove that this miracle tea really works.
So is green tea with ginger, cinnamon and red pepper, topped with hot milk foam, the new miracle cure for rheumatism? We will keep you posted.

19 April 2012

Dinner invitation

Who would you love to invite for a perfect dinner? Who are, or were, the people dear to you, with whom you would love to catch up, and share memories? Perhaps, if possible, once more?

The first person, who I would love to invite, would have been my grandmother. She passed away 13 years ago, and she was special to me. She was lovely, quiet, but a strong woman. She suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years, and I would love to speak to her about it. I would love to hear her experiences, and learn from her. Plus, I would love to hear her sing in the kitchen while preparing food, like in my memories of her.

The second person, who I would love to invite, is a dear friend. She is always happy to listen to my stories, experiences, worries and moments, and it doesn’t matter to her if they are embarrassing, funny or sad. We studied together, and we still share a lot of interests. We can basically talk for hours. She’s an intuitive and sensitive person too, and I’m just incredibly lucky to have her as a friend.

The third person, who I would love to invite, would be an old friend. She passed away too. She was far too young, and she spent her last years battling cancer. I would love to hear her laugh once more, hear her funny accent again, and would tell her that I am sorry that I was so bad in staying in touch with her.

The fourth person, who I would love to invite, is a friend from years ago. We spent some time together during our studies. He was special to me. It just wasn’t the right time and the right place. Even though, I kept on leaving countries and built a lot of walls around me, we had amazing talks whenever we met, and there definitely was a spark. Probably, there still is, when we would meet again.

The fifth person, who I would love to invite, is someone, who is kind of special to me right now. I know him already for a long time, and I would love to open myself up more, so he gets a chance to know the ‘real me’ too, including my health situation and my uncertainties for the future. If I keep on building walls around me, I won’t be able to love myself, nor can I become loved by someone else.

18 April 2012

Open a book

“The sheep had taught him something even more important: that there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time he was trying to improve things at the shop. 
It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired” 
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, page 62.

When I opened the book I am reading now to point to a random point to get a sentence to analyse, or even better, get inspiration from, I only found dialogues about divorces. As I, thankfully, don’t have any experience on that field; I knew this #HAWMC prompt would become a tricky one. 

One of my most favourite book quotes is from ‘The Alchemist’, a book written by Paulo Coelho. Therefore, I decided to write a few lines on my blog on this quote from Paulo Coelho. 

The whole book ‘The Alchemist’, is filled with potential quotes, lessons to be learned, inspiration for life and wisdom. It’s about a boy on a life journey, travelling and finding his destination and purpose in life.

I especially love this quote, as it shows that we, wherever we may be living in the world, share something. Whereas there are thousands of languages and dialects, we all have our share of enthusiasm in our bodies to give to the world. Enthusiasm that makes us lively, spot on, passionate and attentive in our attitudes toward children, people, passions, and yes, even work. Enthusiasm makes us laugh, gives colour to our cheeks, makes us sing and dance, and enables us to conquer our more difficult situations. This quote helps me in my search for something I believe in, and my desire: A healthier world. To accomplish my share to get to this stage, or just help to improve my current world, I need enthusiasm and passion. 

17 April 2012

Living the hard way: 'Nobody said it was easy'

Even my first memories from primary school, when I was about 4 years old, were that I didn’t really fit in. Basically, that stayed during my whole primary and secondary school time. The other kids in class were different; or rather, I was different from them. I loved doing things on my own, such as drawing, jigsaws, and craft projects in class. Other kids loved playing in a group outside, I didn’t really like that. I couldn’t run as fast as they could, I wasn’t very good in playing hide and seek, I definitely wasn’t the best in maths and I didn’t like gymnastics, as I was always picked last for a game. I wanted to try out other things, loved geography, loved going on holidays and loved playing with kids who I only shared a few words in their language with.

In university, my life changed. When I was only 16 years old, I was living in a student flat. Away from my hometown, I found myself amid a group of new potential friends. People who were more similar to me, whom I shared interests with, who also loved trying out new things, and who also were a bit weird, as they loved going abroad, speaking other languages and learning about foreign cultures. Suddenly, it was easy to have a social life, and I enjoyed my university life a lot. I loved going abroad, and I didn’t mind that I had to socialise multiple times a year, to build a new group of friends, while doing my best to stay in touch with my existing and older friends. I moved about every half year, and even though I started off a bit anxious about that, my curiosity always won. I had to rely on myself. Listen to my gut feelings, and had to stand up for myself. It made me a lot stronger, even though it wasn’t always easy.

These years have shaped me. Especially, when my health issues evolved from some attacks every now and then, to continuous pains, and worries if I would be able to get to work OK. I was hard for myself; I told myself that I shouldn’t complain, as ‘other people had issues too’. During these years, I was determined to do everything I wanted to do, despite my annoying pains. At one point, I couldn’t any more. I had to give in. Living a life, so stubborn and determined, also made me neglect that the pains that I got used to, could be more serious than I thought. My inner voice took the upper hand, and I went back to my home country. 

After years, I didn’t have to deal with my health alone. I could ask my parents for help. Even though, that was hard. After years of being independent, I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t get up the stairs by myself, and needed my father’s hand. 
I moved to a new place, a new city, and I started a new job. This time, with less excitement. I didn’t find the joys of going abroad anymore, and I found it hard to make friends, which was completely different to the years before. I spent many nights alone, in a new flat. I had to learn to deal with my new and bad state of health and my diagnoses, which basically put an end to many ambitions I had. I felt alone very often, also because I was different again. Different from my colleagues, because I spent years abroad, and I didn't share their university experiences in the Netherlands. Different from my friends, because very often, I cancelled on birthdays or dinners, as I was too tired or was in pain. Different from my family, because I was the only family member who wasn’t living in their hometown, and didn't feel at home there.

It took this old country, this new city, this new job, and this new flat about 4 years to grow on me. It has definitely not been the most enjoyable time of my life, and most definitely not the easiest. I didn’t like the limits my health has set on me. I miss my friends and life abroad, even though I love having some of my old university friends in the Netherlands. I miss travelling, speaking other languages and having colleagues who are more open-minded, and are less direct. I miss the excitement of working with people from other cultures, working in an international environment. 
But, I have to count my blessings. I can travel again because I’m in less pain, and visit my friends abroad. My family is nearby, and I can go and visit them. I can work, even though I don’t like my work that much anymore. I can try out new things, although I’m less flexible as before. Learning the hard way. 'Nobody said it was easy'. It will remain my way of living.