Author Archives: John Connor

My Own ‘Left Hand of Darkness’

I was listening to a BBC podcast recently titled “The Sinister Hand,” about the history of left-handers. It seems that in medieval times, left-handedness was associated with sorcery. (What wasn’t?) It was only relatively recently that left-handed children were no longer forced to write right-handed — sometimes even…

An Upbeat MS Column for You Lucky People

The trouble with a degenerative disease is that things only get worse. In the long-gone days of my youth, I somehow wrangled myself into being an arts critic. Wizened journalists imparted the lore that a bad show was much easier to write than a rave. Satirical barbs are far more…

Can You Care Too Much? Er, Maybe!

One of the conditions of being released from the hospital a couple of weeks ago was that I had carers come to my home four times a day for six weeks. I realized it was for the best of intentions, but it still felt, albeit deep down, that these…

Britain Leads the World in Two Types of Jabbing

I was 6 years old when British boxer Henry Cooper knocked Cassius Clay on his bottom. (It was that long ago, folks — 1963. This was before Clay’s religious conversion and consequent name change to Muhammad Ali.) Unfortunately, Clay was literally saved by the bell. I remember dashing around…

How I’m Staying on Top of MS’ Many ‘Gifts’

When I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, my first question to my neurologist was, “Will I end up in a wheelchair?” She patted this question back with the generic, “You may, but no one knows the course that anyone’s MS might take.” Later, I learned that late-onset…

My ‘Great Escape’ During a Long Pandemic

Unfortunately, mine didn’t involve a cool motorbike — it was the wrong kind, as somehow Steve McQueen had managed to steal a British one — and an impossible jump at barbed wire to get into Switzerland! I’ll now never be able to get onto a motorbike anyway. Instead, it…

Santa Claus Is Still Comin’ to Town

Santa refuses to use email! At least letter-sending is a thousand years older than he is! (Via Shutterstock) Well, 2020 was a weird year for everybody. It was even weird for magical creatures, as these days, an awful lot of people believe they exist! It’s tough now to hide.

The Thankful Rest of Thanksgiving

I’m surprised I get anything done! Luckily, the parent company of Multiple Sclerosis News Today is in the U.S., so I didn’t have to write this column last week, due to Thanksgiving celebrations — even though I’m British. I also got two days off from being an MS News Today…

To Be Forewarned Is to Be Forearmed

My travails with MS invariably deal with what it does to me. This week, dear reader, it’s what I did to my jolly old self! I’ve got a daily light exercise routine designed for me by an occupational therapist (OT) and a physiotherapist. Why two professionals? Well, the…

Of Mice and Men (and MS Research)

The other day, I was watching an arts documentary instead of another repeat of a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was about John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” of which I’m a fan. The headline for a column I’d been mulling for some time about MS mouse research…

45 Minutes in the Life of John Peter Connor

I have two regular carers at the moment. The first to arrive greets me with her usual efficacious, “Good morning, John!” She’s loud enough to wake the whole street. Luckily, my neighbors should be up anyway, as my carers are booked for 11 a.m. each weekday. I have mentioned in…

The Long and Winding Road to My Urologist’s Door

Last week’s column, “The Loneliness of the Long-distance UTI Patient,” dealt with my dive into the Eastern (bloc) world of bacteriophages. It would be a fun exercise (and boy, do I need some exercise) to dive into the history of the discovery of bacteriophages and antibiotics. Both fight…

The Loneliness of the Long-distance UTI Patient

When did I first become aware of the word “phage”? “Star Trek,” of course! It was an episode about a disease that was destroying a race somewhere in the Delta Quadrant. (OK, possibly — even I fade out in the Nerdverse. But it definitely was in the “Voyager” series.)…

Resistance May Be Futile, but the Borg Taught Me Something

OK, you’re not all science fiction nuts, so I’ll explain: The Borg are a cybernetic race and the lead baddies in the “Star Trek” universe — or, the way the latest Netflix iteration is going, the multiverse. Besides trying to take over all life forms, they also have the sneaky…

Fighting the Beast

It was 3 p.m. last Thursday. Things should have been good. I had filed the copy for my previous column the day before. Ultimately, some of my outrageous musings had gone, and some I considered even worse had stayed. It’s an age-old journalism, radio, and TV writer’s trick: If…

The Terrible 62s, or the Rage of the Non-toddler Adult

It’s usually best to write with time for reflection. I often feel like a foreign correspondent reporting from the front line of my own bedroom! The shells of multiple sclerosis (MS) explode within me, and I’m suddenly airlifted into new territory. It’s like being yanked from the street troubles in…

Like Iggy Says, ‘All Aboard for Funtime’

I’ve been a moderator at MS News Today Forums for a while. One of my jobs, besides rejecting the interminable bots that try to become members, is to promote interaction. This is the hard part. The bots are amazingly easy — they are so far away from getting near…

Turn It Off, Then On Again

There’s always something! As a columnist, that comes in handy, as then I don’t have to think too much. Stop snickering at the back for thinking that I never think. How very dare you? If any of my fellow Brits are reading this, yes, I’m liberally nicking comedy catchphrases. Why…

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

Listen Here