Dit is mijn hoofd niet meer (or is it?)

2 weeks ago, the neurologist casually mentions, whilst he is copying the MRI report at my request, “Oh, by the way, you might have a meningioma!” And with that information I left his office, to spend my weekend on the internet googling what the hell that thing is (what else did he expect?). It is a most likely benign tumor, growing on the brain or spinal cord (as in my case), and that is where the problem lies. It might crush a nerve, the bone marrow, or whatever (hell, I don’t know!) and do some serious damage.  Today, I still don’t know what the dark spot on my T2-T3 spine is. A year-old CAT-Scan has been has been put on their server (after my insistence) to compare (as it might be another (pain-free) hernia). But fuck (excuse my language, but fuck, I cannot find a better word), don’t you know that having a hernia or having a potentially very harmful tumor is something completely different? How much longer do I have to wait for the answer? All I think now is: “How much longer of quality life do I have before a potentially very risky and harmful operation of which no one will be able to tell the result in advance?” When I got back in my car after the neurologist appointment, first thing I did was google that word. (yes, I finally got mobile internet). And one of the first sites that showed up was: “Dit is mijn hoofd niet meer” – This is not my head any more… About a person whose spine was so badly crushed by the tumor they had to operate immediately. She survived the operation, at a price. A damaged brain. Short term memory loss. Extreme fatigue. Your life just changes… I’ve had my share of shit over the past few years. I can accept I don’t have Hercules power anymore, and will have to count on other people to take care of my moving boxes (yes, I move just a bit too often). But then I decided to get rid of a lot of superfluous stuff. My next move will be swift (the last one was around 70m3). I don’t like window cleaning, so when my chiropractor said: “Don’t do windows!” I said: “Yeaaaaaah!!! I realise the C5-C6 hernia is giving me more & more serious problems. Repetitive strain injury inclusive (added to a carpal tunnel syndrome, damn, I am fucked up!). The furniture making classes are slowly getting pushed to the back. My creative energies will have to go where there is less strain on my body. All I can think now is: to be pain-free (or nearly), to be able to do everyday physical activity (forget about the window cleaning, I can live with dirty windows!) and to ride my bike…


Not being able to ride my bike is hard. It is a joy to go out there, enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine on my face (yes, it does happen once in a while in Belgium!), the country side, the fields, the forest, the lovely smell after the rain, even biking whilst it rains  – because I can!- , the energy I get from it, my mind that just goes elsewhere (it’s always in overdrive), and of course, the joy of all those calories spent. I know I can go for a walk. But it’s not the same. It’s sloooooooooooooooow. I don’t always want slow. Biking is just the right speed. Walking one hour takes me around the block. A 40 minute bike ride takes me to Scherpenheuvel  ( a major pilgrimage town in Belgium). I think that after  3 months of no biking, it is time for a trial ride. Aim for Scherpenheuvel by the end of the year (if the sun keeps on shining!). Light a candle. I’m not religious. But I am grateful. Grateful for every day that I can live a normal life. It’s something you should think about. Be grateful for physically walking the path of life. Be grateful for seeing the  beauty of this world. Be grateful for your brain that shoots crazy but luminous ideas at you. Don’t clutter your life too much, it will just make it all harder! Clutter-free… enlightened… grateful! Yep, just keep pushing forward 🙂



About Claire

As an eternal traveler and restless soul, I am always searching for ways to design my life. I have lived and worked in 7 different countries, and traveled to many more. Discovering new places, new people is what I love. My favourite thing is checking out local supermarkets for food products, have a taste of the local cuisine, and look at the arts & crafts shops. Of course a bit of sightseeing (historical, cultural, pure design, artistic,...) is a must too. Inspired to work with semi-precious metals, wood and other recycled materials, I have turned my creative energies towards craft based design, setting up a home and workshop in the countryside. Appropriately, My name means Hope. "Hope is the dream of a soul awake" is the personal statement. With Eternal Traveler - Design your life! I aspire to create a creative environment for functional art and life design. And with this reach out to like minded people.
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