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 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…

An Interview With My Primary Carer

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. My wife, Jane, who’s also my primary MS carer, went away for a few days last week, and with absence making the heart grow fonder and all that, I thought I’d strike — if she came back! Fortunately, she did,…

There’s a New Primary Carer in Town

Well, there’s a new carer at home, actually, but town sounds so much cooler. Like an old-time Western sheriff! My dear wife, Jane, has taken a few days off to attend an ayurvedic yoga retreat, so I’m without the care of She Who Really Must Be Obeyed. (I’ve…

On the Healing Powers of THC

I have to admit, I’ve wheeled down the THC path a few times before. Yes, I know it’s very difficult to stay on the path when under the influence. Luckily, I’ve solved this problem by only imbibing in bed. I say imbibing, because for me, smoking the stuff is…

I’m Back in the Desert Without a Horse

Well, that was fun. I’ve got my party hat on from a recent birthday (of course I have one, it’s my trusty trilby! See my avatar above) and have been out and about having a lot of fun. I splurged by spending time with family and friends, ’cause…

Party on, Dude, but I’m Still Blaming the Dog!

It was my birthday last Friday. No cards, please; it’s far too late. Anyway, considering the world’s supply chain disruption, I’d be well on the way to my next by the time it arrived! Just a small social gathering of immediate family. Six of us demolished 150 quids’ —…

It’s Just One of Those MS ‘Snow Days’

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” Dylan Thomas wrote in his famous poem about us humans fighting, against all odds, the inevitable moment of death. Oh, yes, I went there. I’m starting with the dark and seeing if I can pull it back with a swath of…

What Did I Do Over My MS Holiday? Stand-up!

So, yes, I’ve been away for four weeks. Anybody miss me? Well not away as such. There are places with hoists — even a specialist camper van you can hire here in the United Kingdom — but matching that with a profiling bed makes for quite the elusive Venn…

MS Presents ‘Horror Weekends’

I have always liked the odd horror movie, the odder the better. I was a bit of a fan of the trash Troma Studio mob, where their tongue was so firmly in their cheek it usually stuck right through it. For you youngsters out there, think the “Sharknado”…

The Painful Tooth: My Weekend of Agony

I’ve written about trigeminal neuralgia (TN), which entails severe facial pain, many times. Let me count the ways. Please excuse me while I go off and search through my columns. I’ll be a while. Well, it turns out I’ve written specifically about it only three times,…

‘He’s Fallen in the Water!’

Any British comedy aficionados among you will know “He’s fallen in the water” is the most famous of all the innumerable catchphrases of “The Goon Show.” That show was the root of Monty Python and every bit of the new wave of comedy that swept through our country.

Down and Out in London Town

Last month, my brother-in-law finally managed to return to Thailand and his lovely wife. He’d been trapped in the U.K. for over a year due to COVID-19. Thailand has quite rightly imposed a Kafkaesque set of rules about entering the country on an extended immigrant visa. Luckily, we had…

Lockdown Blues: Well That Was a Close Shave!

Last year, winter never quite arrived, and spring kept springing up before being crushed down again. We imperceptibly melded into summer. Then the autumn leaves hung on, and hung on some more. But these days, would Mr. Sinatra have to get his lyricist to do a rewrite? Some of…

Will Football Help Me Get Through a Tough Week?

Right, I actually have to start writing my column early this week because of the football schedule. For you Americans, that’s soccer, y’all. The biggest, most popular game in the world! The UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euros, is on. It’s the 2020 competition, but it’s being held…

I’ve Nothing Awful to Write About My MS This Week

Many of you will remember doing jankers (detention) in school. Well, those of you who easily identified with “The Breakfast Club” will. If you never did one, let me educate you! A teacher’s favorite devilish ruse was telling us to write about being in an enclosed white space.

Be Warned: Another Column All About My MS and Me!

Many years ago I thrust myself into the Edinburgh International Festival. For the many who have never heard of it: It’s the largest arts festival in the world, encompassing theater, mime, dance, comedy, film, books, and sometimes even a splash of opera. For some reason I even sat through…

A Drizzly Summer Weekend and an Antibiotic Rejection

There was a time when I’d regularly strap on two pads, stride out between English showers, and attempt to bat on the subsequently dodgy surface. That was good for the fast bowlers, except they now found themselves also slipping on the sopping grass. I sympathized with them, as I was…

This Fall Was a Real Eye-opener

Well, this was a first. I’d fallen backward once in my power wheelchair. That was in the back of our mobility van. Hubris told me I could get away with just holding on to the handgrip for a few hundred meters. As ever, hubris was wrong! About six months…

Introducing My ‘MS Popeye-Spinach Hypothesis’

For any younger readers, and by that I’m guessing 45 and under, may I present the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man. He got himself out of scrapes by downing a can of spinach, which supercharged his muscles. There was none of that nonsense of de-stalking raw young leaves…

MS and Boxing: Being Clever With My Pants

After last week’s column about my neurologist declaring that I now have secondary progressive MS, a certain ennui has seeped into me. While this isn’t surprising, it’s also surprising, because I’m on the mood-altering drug fluoxetine. OK, fluoxetine is a regular antidepressant, but “mood-altering” sounds so much cooler.

Slipping Over the Event Horizon Into SPMS

Isn’t it just like me to start my column with a physics analogy that is already confusing? Please stick with me, as all will be revealed. My point is that if a black hole is big enough, you might slip through its event horizon without even noticing. There would…

Dancing Doodle

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