What did I write about last New Year’s?
As usual, it was related to a bodily function: urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Then, readers almost unanimously recommended methenamine hippurate.
I had tried several times to get the medication prescribed. Then, a few months ago, my local multiple sclerosis nurse suggested it, and I jumped at the chance. It was offered under the brand name Hiprex.
It’s a preventive medicine. You take it when you are UTI-free, and it reduces the risk of developing the infection. It works, too. For the first time since 2018, I remained UTI-free for almost three months.
Then, the Saturday before Christmas week, I was poleaxed!
I should have recognized the signs. I did have a bit of urgency, and the giveaway was that I had to use Cathejell to lubricate every catheter.
I’ve had so many UTIs that sometimes my symptoms can be incredibly nuanced. It’s only when my entire body stops working that I finally pay attention.
In my defense, I had a lot of things going on. My wife had finally sold her parents’ house after they passed, and she had to help with clearing it out. Then, in the synchronicity of things, my mother died the same week. As it was Christmas, my workload was far too intense for someone with MS.
Though MS does have its upside in this regard. I’m far less tolerant of whingeing than I used to be — in my role as a show producer, this is actually something of a boon.
Luckily, though somewhat wearily, my wife suggested that I probably had a UTI, rather than my MS having finally won as I was declaiming. MS obviously doesn’t stop my own incessant whingeing.
As all the signs were there, I downed some Co-amoxiclav (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) I’d thoughtfully squirreled away. It’s a wide-spectrum antibiotic that still works well for me. Unfortunately, I only had three pills left. Still, I took one and slowly began to improve.
As it was the weekend, my doctor’s surgery was closed.
We have something called the 111 service in our National Health Service. You first talk to an operator who takes you through endless questions. The process is tortuous. But having called at 10 a.m., a real, live doctor turned up in my bedroom by 11 p.m.
Thankfully, after some testing, he prescribed me a full course of Co-amoxiclav — and he even carried a box in his car.
By Sunday, I was recovered. So much so that I went into central London on Monday and Tuesday to run my show.
If you’re going to have MS, then the U.K.’s health service sure makes it easier.
Happy New Year.
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.