Beaten by the Heat: Oh, What a Night!

Beaten by the Heat: Oh, What a Night!

It’s 1 p.m. in the U.K., and it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I can hardly move due to the heat.

My left hand is typing this. The rest of my body has shut down.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the hottest July day in recorded history in the U.K. I had set up a local doctor’s appointment some three weeks ago, but I’ve had to cancel it.

Luckily, I’m now in the coolest room in the house — on the ground floor, facing north — with a fan blowing steadily in my face. (It’s certainly not cool because of my very unhip presence!)

The coolest room in my house. (Photo by John Connor)

I tried the back garden for a while, but even under a prodigious sunshade, it felt like I was in Acapulco! OK, there aren’t any cliffs nearby, but the heat is that exotic, and heat sensitivity makes my symptoms worse.

I’ve also got a new hospital bed. It does all the tricks: goes up and down, raises my head and my knees, and even tilts. I was able to sleep with my legs above my heart for the first time ever. This is brilliant for lymphedema. I’ve been wearing compression bandages on my calves for nearly six months now. They have certainly squeezed the lymph fluid out. Unfortunately, some of it just migrated to the undersides of my thighs! Sleeping with my legs up actually reduced these lumps. Hurrah!

The downside was that the bedpost was on my weak right side. I couldn’t get my right leg in even with my leg lifter. It’s amazing how a small deviation floors me — sometimes literally! I only just managed to cling on, so at least that didn’t happen.

I work late every Tuesday and don’t get home until around midnight. Anyone who works needs recovery time before actually going to bed. If you work in showbiz, I’m afraid you need even longer because of the adrenaline pumping. And I’m not even on stage! But after managing the egos of six stand-up comics, I might as well be.

It was 4 a.m. before I made the attempt.

I completely failed and tipped backward onto the foot of the bed. The heat and my weak right arm conspired to leave me a helpless mess. I couldn’t even get to my phone. Instead of shouting for help, I flailed about and involuntarily started groaning loudly.

My 23-year-old son eventually walked in and archly asked if I needed help.

I whimpered, “Yes.”

Luckily, the heat meant he was also still awake at 4.

Not at 7 a.m., though! I managed to get out of bed for a pee, but again failed spectacularly to get back into bed.

He rescued me again, but this time I’d woken him up.

At 10 a.m., it was so hot I could hardy move.

By now, the fight had gone out of me, and I left imploring messages for help on various Ansaphones, sounding like a confused 3-year-old.

My wife has now moved the bedpost.

So, I guess tonight is the rematch.

Ding ding!

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

‘In 1982 John Connor was a stand up, sketch writer & journalist – crap at all three he decided whilst watching a man performing with a paper bag on his head that as nobody else was going to write about stand up he would’. ‘Comics’ Papermac 1990. In 2009 John Connor was diagnosed with MS. In 2017 John Connor still produces/directs his own live 27 year old resident topical comedy show at London’s Comedy Store – ‘The Cutting Edge’. He was also a leading UK Casting Director specialising in comedy – including one of the hippest shows ‘Black Books’ [double BAFTA winning Situation Comedy Award] & for at least a decade the biggest sitcom on British TV ‘My Family’. TV & MS was a step too far – and we know how hard any step can be. Luckily his satirical show was a built in part time job & with the election of Trump is now in the zeitgeist. John now writes “Fall Down Get Up Again” – an irreverent journey with MS.
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‘In 1982 John Connor was a stand up, sketch writer & journalist – crap at all three he decided whilst watching a man performing with a paper bag on his head that as nobody else was going to write about stand up he would’. ‘Comics’ Papermac 1990. In 2009 John Connor was diagnosed with MS. In 2017 John Connor still produces/directs his own live 27 year old resident topical comedy show at London’s Comedy Store – ‘The Cutting Edge’. He was also a leading UK Casting Director specialising in comedy – including one of the hippest shows ‘Black Books’ [double BAFTA winning Situation Comedy Award] & for at least a decade the biggest sitcom on British TV ‘My Family’. TV & MS was a step too far – and we know how hard any step can be. Luckily his satirical show was a built in part time job & with the election of Trump is now in the zeitgeist. John now writes “Fall Down Get Up Again” – an irreverent journey with MS.
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One comment

  1. June Turnbull says:

    You’re not kidding about the effects of this heat I have to have the fan on in the evening even though my husband insists it’s not hot! The sweat is literally pouring out of me. I suppose it could be worse…I can’t cook anymore, husband does all that stuff, I think I’d just melt. Nor do I iron. This all upsets me…I can’t run a house anymore…but I doubt I could at the moment. Are we ever happy…I dread the winter. I fall over at the sight of just one snow flake. Think I’m destined to stay in with the extractor fan on in Summer and a roaring fire in the winter. There are ways!

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