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.

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…

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…

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