In Real Time

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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mental disorders in MS

john connor

So, “it” started on Monday. I have no idea what I’m dealing with. Is it a urinary tract infection, a relapse, a bird, or a plane? The superhero metaphor is warranted because, just like in “Avengers: Infinity War,” there will be no resolution by the end. Hmm, I’ve blended the DC and Marvel universes — I guess this is what they call a mixed metaphor.

Oops. Spoiler alert. Sorry.

I’ve been self-catheterizing for so long that I’ve forgotten there used to be a simpler way of having a wee; one where I don’t become a martyr to urinary tract infections (UTI). For the last few years, I’ve slathered my hands in antibacterial gel and tried to be as careful as possible. I even used gloves for a while, but this became somewhat self-defeating because MS has reduced the dexterity of my hands too much!

Power has left my body. I’m hardly an athlete, but typically I can still stand up, thankfully. However, when I’ve got a UTI, standing becomes a Herculean effort. I dipstick-tested my output, and though most of the markers weren’t too bad, my leukocytes registered deep purple. That is not a good sign unless you really like British ’70s heavy metal! My wife had a doctor’s appointment that day, so I sent a urine sample to the practice with her. Within 30 minutes, the doctor kindly phoned and said my proteins were a bit high, but that was all. I didn’t have a UTI.

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I took one more antibiotic dose that evening to be on the safe side. On Tuesday, I woke up bright and breezy and prepared for the one day I physically have to go to work. All was well.

At 3 p.m., I started handwriting the two pages of work notes (as I’ve done at this time of the week for half my life), but I had to stop halfway through! I know MS gives me fatigue, but this was extreme. The handwriting was also mostly illegible. I swallowed antibiotics and risked struggling into work. Once dressed and in my wheelchair, I got pushed into a taxi and then ferried to my work venue.

The drive takes about an hour, and by the time I got there, I was already feeling a lot better.

Today, I’ve had one wobbly moment and seem to have gotten through it.

I can type this column, so I’m hoping I just have a UTI. But knowing my luck, I’ve got a confluence of that and a relapse.

This writing has all been a bit dour. Managed to plow on to the end? I’ll share a joke that I wrote and got into my satire show last night. One of the subjects the audience requested was a gag on the current Paris fuel riots.

‘The good news for the French authorities is that fuel is now so expensive the rioters couldn’t afford to throw any petrol bombs!’


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Gwendolyn E Mugliston, PHD, DVM MSN avatar

Gwendolyn E Mugliston, PHD, DVM MSN

The vignettes you publish of ordinary people coping with the suddenness of an MS "event" gives me courage to just continue to cope. I had my first "event" at 27 years and am now in my 79th year. Due to lack of medical/scientific "evidence" my various complaints were dismissed as "your imagination" for years. Of course, years later based on that first MRI showing clearly the periventricular and subcortical white matter plaques and my clinical/physical signs, I am no longer dismissed. I admire the people who persist and describe what they cope with, and I especially enjoy reading about their coping skills. Thank you.

Haslie Kemp avatar

Haslie Kemp

My attitude. "This too will pass" I have had this disease so long that I have learned not to blame everything I feel on MS. Infections make a person feel lousy no matter if they have MS or not. A normal body gets cold or gets hot will make it feel lousy. 30 years or longer without a diagnose tells me "this too will pass" Do you people ever hear normal people talk about the ills?

John Connor avatar

John Connor

A normal person writes: Get stuffed mate!


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