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.

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…

Old Friends, Broken Chairs, UTI Admissions, and Redemption

The week started with a bang, albeit with a hint of underlying anxiety. Friends and former work colleagues gathered during the first days of spring to chat in my sun-lathered back garden in South London. COVID-19 lateral flow tests had all been passed. Previously, we’d spent years working together on…

The Heel That Won’t Heal

The dull throbbing always hits a crescendo “in the wee small hours,” as Mr. Sinatra — or rather his songwriters — so aptly put it. I’m referring to a wound that’s been with me for over a year now. True, it disappeared for a teeny while, when my heel…

Everything Last Week Did Come in Threes

My week is never exactly easy, but it’s much harder for my family. Not only do they have to deal physically with my ever-enlarging lump of flesh, there’s also my verbal diarrhea to contend with. Then last Tuesday, it wasn’t just the verbal kind. Turns out my bowels began to…

Can I Really Blame MS for Everything I Say?

It wasn’t an argument; it was a reality check. I was happy, nay, self-indulgent. Within a day, the ol’ stand-up show that I produced at London’s Comedy Store for 30 years had gotten another booking at a countryside marquee just outside the city. I mustn’t disparage, as it’s our…

The Captain and His No. 2

There I was, swinging away in my hoist at 9 p.m., though my swinging London of the 2020s wasn’t only 60 years later, it was also a lot, lot grimmer. My carer and maybe still wife, Jane, stood below in a controlled fury. If nothing else, she might…

Does 2 + 2 = 4, 5, or 0?

Am I about to share my first conspiracy theory, even if it’s just about me? Why not? It’s all the rage, though this one may have a loose connection to a possible truth. Stick with the story, please. It requires some scene-setting. It was years ago, at the end of…

The Supplements of Mice and Men

Roll up, roll up, for all the fun of the fare! I swallow an awful lot of supplements. Have I also swallowed the barkers’ patter? I don’t think so. But I’m more than aware that if something works on mice, then the chances of it working on me are likely…

The Big Blue Bag and a ‘Cast Away’ Bed

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when I was very young, we British children would be asked, “What’s through the round window?” The line was from a TV series called “Play School.” The swinging ’60s may have been breaking in London, but culturally, this was the happening show…

Having My Own ‘Long Bad Friday’

In truth, my long, bad Friday started on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m., although it seems wrong in the middle of a black, midwinter night to still call it afternoon. Still, if you live in Alaska, summer nights never even start! (OK, I’ll stop musing about the vagaries of Earth’s…

The World According to MS Ennui

Move along, move along. Nothing to read here. What a great start to a column! Last week, my worries about MS lifted as I was consumed by a glitch in my computer software. I’m pleased to report that I’ve found a whole series of admittedly fiddly workarounds. I’m even…

This Week, MS Takes a Back Seat

The vagaries of multiple sclerosis are always present, but this week, my waking hours have been consumed by something far more important. I say waking hours, but we have to discount much of that time, because I’m put to bed at the early hour of 10 p.m. and spend several…

As Omicron Spreads, I’m Keeping My Head Down

I’m pretty sure that wherever you are, you’re responding the same as we all are to the ravages of the latest Bond villain, that dastardly omicron variant of the coronavirus! OK, pipe down, Kiwis. The whole world knows the extreme lengths you’ve gone to avoid a massive COVID-19 outbreak. If…

Santa Is Not Comin’ to Town!

This is the fifth year I’m writing a Christmastime missive about how my MS journey as Santa is going since the disease mortally attacked my immune system. The trouble was that it took doctors ages to work out my diagnosis. Being Santa Claus, no MRI machine…

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

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We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

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