Hell Week: Record Heat Teams Up with a Sneaky Infection

Hell Week: Record Heat Teams Up with a Sneaky Infection

Last Thursday was the hottest day ever recorded in U.K. history at 101.6 degrees F. Heat sensitivity is enough to reduce me to the puddle I described last week. But it doesn’t explain the shaking of my body and the extreme pain in my right arm Thursday night.

Not unlike a cricket bowler or a baseball pitcher, MS seems to love to deploy confusion by throwing curveballs at you. Sometimes, it throws two at once — one going inside, the other outside.

I was somewhat delirious overnight, but somehow I managed to piece together that something other than the heat was going on. My wife had asked the day before if I might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). She could well have been right. Had nitrofurantoin, the regular antibiotic I’d been taking for months, suddenly been counteracted by the Darwinism of bacteria in this week of all weeks? I had a leftover box of my previous antibiotic, cephalexin, so I switched over.

I began to feel a bit better. The next night, I even had the slight sweating effect caused by the body fighting an infection. It was no longer the heat — thunderstorms had dispelled that. Indeed, part of North West England was now flooded!

Ever since I started on the disease-modifying therapy Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in December 2018, UTIs have been a problem. That one would attack me during this hot week seemed very underhanded. In cricket, the sneakiest last ball to bowl in an innings is an underarm roll when the opposition needs a four (that’s hitting the ball past the boundary). It has been done once by an Australian and, as we say, it’s “not cricket.” Not “playing the game!”

Somehow, I got through the weekend, although at times I was so strung out that we seriously considered taking me to the emergency room.

First thing Monday morning, I called my local general practitioners. I was in a bad enough way that I got an old-fashioned doctor’s visit that afternoon. The doctor also thought I had a bladder infection, and prescribed Co-amoxiclav, a general antibiotic that attacks everything. I submitted a urine sample before I started taking it.

Co-amoxiclav is currently bowling. (Courtesy of John Connor)

In the past few minutes, the doctor called and told me I am currently infected by pseudomonas, a bacteria that is atypical in someone who self-catheterizes. It’s usually dormant, but it might be the cause. There’s one antibiotic that can attack it, Cipro (ciprofloxacin), so that’s next on the menu.

“Is that it, then?” I asked the doctor.

“It might be,” she replied. “If not, we’ll knock it out and then see.”

A game of baseball takes a day; test cricket is scheduled for five days.

I’m definitely in a test cricket series!

***

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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4 comments

  1. Dotty says:

    The same thing happened to my husband after having the first two infusions of Ocrevus. He ended up in the hospital. After he was released the urine was still getting cloudy..I took him to his urologist to ask if anything could be done to prevent this from happening again. Cranberry juice didn’t help anymore. The doctor prescribed Methenemine Hippurate which creates an environment in the bladder that can prevent the infection from occurring. This is taken twice a day along with 500 mg of vitamin C. So far the urine is clear. Ask your doctor about it. By the way, my husband and I decided to discontinue the Ocrevus.

    • Cindy says:

      Why are you discontinuing Ocrevus? Just because of the UTIs or were there other side effects as well? I have had multiple drug resistant UTIs since starting Ocrevus ( I’ve now had 4 infusions) but my MS symptoms are much improved so I have not considered stopping the infusions. Did your neurologist concur with the decision? I am wondering what mine may say at our visit in two weeks.

  2. Rob T. says:

    Mr. Connor, you REALLY, REALLY NEED to give “MARIJUANA” a try, SERIOUSLY. I haven’t had a shaking fit since 2014 when I tried it again (high school around ’96 being the last time I’d smoked it), and it also helped me BEAT my own HEAT TOLERANCE! I can now get out and SWEAT just as well and much as the rest! I’m no doctor, but we all know pot isn’t gonna hurt anything by simply TRYING IT…. Good luck man…

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