Fall Down, Get Up Again- a Column by John Connor

In the ‘80s, John created the first regular column about the burgeoning London stand-up scene. In 1990 he wrote a book about its effect on the Edinburgh Festival: “Comics: A Decade of Comedy at the Assembly Rooms.” That year he also devised and ran a live topical stand-up team show at The London Comedy Store, The Edge. (It was destroyed in 2020!) In 2009 John was diagnosed with RRMS, which cut short his main job as a TV casting director for “Black Books,” “My Family,” et al. Now, John writes “Fall Down Get Up Again,” an irreverent journey with MS, and also serves as MS News Today Forums co-moderator.

And a good time was had by the sclerosis boys

I haven’t seen my mate Nige for years. Actually, to his face I call him Nigel, but it’s Nige when I, or anyone else, talk about him in the third person. It’s weird — I’d never thought about that before typing his name just now. And it’s not like he…

A quiet MS week that’s just too darned loud to think

Big breath, for my travails below necessitate a catch-up on my story so far. For once, my multiple sclerosis and the myriad joyous comorbidities it’s conferred on me — trigeminal neuralgia, lymphedema, diplopia, spasticity — have given me a break. So have the fellow travelers who’ve…

Aggressive MS has me depressed for one whole day

How do you start a column about depression that isn’t, well, depressing? That’s a question for me to answer rather than you lot. If you’re still reading this week’s musings, then so far I’ve done pretty darned good. It was a confluence of events that fortunately involved water. I’d…

You’ve got a Napoleon complex, you have, mate

I don’t have a Napoleon complex in the sense of being small. My body still spans 6 feet, though that’s only when I’m lying down; I doubt I get anywhere near 5 feet tall while seated in my wheelchair. Saint Jane (my wife) is 5-foot-2, and I now look…

MS comorbidities make me a stranger in a strange body

I was never a hypochondriac until multiple sclerosis (MS) whacked me. A catastrophic fall while playing tennis in 2007 resulted in a shoulder separation that took two operations to fix. The pain was so bad that, at the time, MS was just something else I had. To be accurate,…

I can’t make my own bed or even lie in it!

For most of the past six years, I’ve been suffering from that weekly journo disease known as “columnitis.” One column is finished, hurrah! Bathe in the relief of getting that one in the net. (It’s a football reference, American “Ted Lasso” finale fans.) We’ve also just had the…

Up at 9, in bed by 8, yet still no time?

My sleep schedule, according to mathematics, leaves me 11 hours — so what’s my problem? My current ultra-efficient carers arrive at 9:30 a.m. and usually get me into the wet room 15 minutes later. Maybe 20 if my bottom has been misbehaving. It’s been something of a miscreant ever since…

Global warming and the fine art of ambulance chasing

Who’d have thought of the following shenanigans? It only took four days of constant badgering to fix. Last summer brought exceptional (actually, likely to be semi-regular from now on) hot weather in the U.K., with parts of England surpassing 100 F for the very first time. This caused a…

Reflections from the front line: The waiting game

It transpired that I’d gone and fallen at the worst possible time, landing myself in the midst of a major news story. I’d been aware that what had toppled me was most probably my persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs). They were different and numerous, and acted like allied combatants…

Reflections from the front line: Dying, an atheist (a)muses

If you noticed my sudden disappearance, it wasn’t because I was sacked. Surprising, I know. Just “MS MIA” — missing in action with multiple sclerosis. While raving in the hospital, I was suddenly moved to my own private room. In Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), this could only mean…