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.

The Catch-22 of Dealing With Medical Bureaucracy

First off, let me apologize for my penchant for using hip literary references. Not everyone is aware of Joseph Heller’s seminal satirical novel published in 1961, which spawned the book’s title of “Catch-22” as a quick-fire phrase to describe anything that is nearly impossible to get out of. Our…

Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News?

Ah, one of the classic setups for a Christmas cracker joke. Others include, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and “How many ____ does it take to change a lightbulb?” While these gags are popular in Britain, I’m not sure if they exist in the rest of the English-speaking…

How Did I End Up in a ’60s Cold War Spy Thriller?

The constant light in my cell burned through my eyelids all night. Every night for days now. Prostrate on my back, I couldn’t even turn over to get away from it. Why me? I knew nothing. Wasn’t part of any organization. Had no power. Couldn’t influence anyone. How did I…

The Smog of Tax Returns: An MS Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, children, there was a very grumpy bear who kept a low-level, incessant growl going all day. And often, well into the night, too. If his family were lucky, this would only last about a week, but usually it would last a lot longer. He was snappy…

All Quiet on the MS Front — Well, Nearly

Note: The second half of this column details digestive symptoms that may make readers uncomfortable.  In the five years that I’ve written this “irreverent journey with multiple sclerosis (MS),” quoting from my very own bio at the foot of this column, I think I’ve only covered this “quiet”…

Thanks to MS Progression, My Weight Became a Problem

My weight went off the scale when my multiple sclerosis (MS) meant that I could no longer safely get on the scale. This was probably about four years ago. In them there halcyon days (for me, anyway), I still shared our second-floor bedroom (first-floor, for those of us here…

Column Saved by the Same Ol’ Side Effect to an Antibiotic

This headline is a bit of a cheat. OK, it’s a big cheat. When you’ve been writing a column for five years, there’s immense satisfaction when you’ve finished it each week. There’s even more when it’s passed through the editing process. Sometimes this can get somewhat tricky. The trouble is…

Seeing Double, and I’m Not Even Drunk!

I only had my glasses for two years, yet reading anything on my phone was now nigh impossible. Still, it did cure my Facebook and Twitter addiction. Yer, yer, I’m old. (I’m 64, you know.) Sure, I’ve written this before — surely that’s a free pass for us aged folk.

Living With MS: ‘That Was the Week That Was’ Truly Awful

Monday Unlike Prince, my Monday wasn’t manic. It was barreling along quite sedately until my wife, Jane, casually noted, “Remember, you’ve got a dental appointment on Wednesday morning.” Er, no, I hadn’t remembered. It was somewhat churlish of me, as I’d been waiting for this appointment for nigh on…

Fall Down, Can’t Get Up Again

So I’m at my multiple sclerosis (MS) exercise class working out on a sit-down bike. Yes, I know, by their very nature bikes tend to be of the sit-down variety, but for us lot in wheelchairs, these bikes are designed so we can roll up to them and have…

Five Years of Writing This Column. What a Surprise

Compared with living with multiple sclerosis (MS), the anxiety of what on water (Earth has always struck me as a misnomer as water comprises 71% of our planet’s surface) I’m going to write about next week is but a slight fluttering. Yer, yer, I know; underneath it’s…

My Right Arm Is Going to Look Really Young

I’ve just received four intramuscular Botox injections in my right arm to relieve the muscle spasticity that comes with multiple sclerosis. (OK, it wasn’t actually Botox, but Dysport, or abobotulinumtoxinA, another medication derived from the botulinum toxin to block muscle contractions.) And “my right arm is going…

Romance Means We Took the Weekend Off MS, Nearly

There is a more heavyweight subject I could inflict on you lot, but let’s put our feet up this week. Even I can do it with the one leg. My wife, Jane, and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last Friday. You’d have thought we’d have planned a big…

A Winning Belt Turns Into WrestleMania

It was a moment of clarity. Unfortunately, my attempt at making a bright, clear consommé has for the moment turned into a muddled chowder! Even worse, it was writing this column that started it. I’ve written so often in this column about using my Molift assistive device for transfers…

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