Keep Taking the Tablets

Keep Taking the Tablets
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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.

‘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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11 comments

  1. Trudy O Brien says:

    Four years ago, I went numb from the waist down. After quite a few MRI’s, spinal tap, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was on Avenox for almost 2 years, i had 1 year of monthly steroids IV, had to stop due to hip pain. Through my physiotherapist i learnt about a MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS HERBAL TREATMENT from R.H.G. (Rich Herbal Gardens) and their success rate with the treatment, I immediately started on the MS treatment. I experienced decline in major symptoms including hand tremor, back pain, difficulty walking, muscle paralysis and weakness, uncomfortable tingling and burning, fatigue, urinary retention,double vision, slurred speech difficulty swallowing, numbness. Visit http://www.richherbalgardens.com. I knew that a positive attitude is everything and to just believe, I’m in control of my life again….

    • John Connor says:

      OK Trudy I’ll bite…. what’s the name of the treatment? They say nothing about MS on their site. Though they do mention Parkinson’s which might be an autoimmune disease.

      • Janet says:

        Hi, John,
        Question you might be able to help with…
        How do we know when someone writes about a ‘miracle cure’ on this website that they do in fact have MS and are not employed by the
        miracle, often herbal, company that produces and sells this product?
        Call me cynical but hopefully wrong about this.

        • John Connor says:

          Hi Janet – quite right I don’t!
          But as she didn’t get her link quite right (had to edit) I figured she might be legit. Either that or she’s the mistress of the double bluff. In which case she deserves the win.

          I’m not condoning a herbal remedy. But if she believes it the placebo effect might be helping.

          Hell. I’ve got so desperate I’ve gone Vegan!

  2. Dorothy Levinson says:

    After taking the second half dose of Ocrevus last April my husband, who has had MS for 50 years, came down with a bad UTI and was hospitalized for 5 days while receiving IV antibiotics. We were told that Ocrevus can cause UTIs. I called in my husband’s urologist for a consult and asked what, if anything, I could give him to help prevent these frequent UTIs. He prescribed Methenamine Hippurate 1GM tablets once daily. The doctor said that he MUST also take one 500mg tablet of Vitamin C with it. My husband has been taking this combo every morning since April and has not had any UTIs since.

  3. 2019 was the year of almost constant UTI’s for me. Had heaps of high dose keflex over many months but am now on Hiiprex x 2 a day with vitamin C 500 gm plus one 250 gm of keflex at night.

    My big whinge is the heat. I do love Sydney, where I live, but the heat and smoke this month have been unbearable. My MS, as it is for many people, is affected by temperature particularly heat. When the A/C gave up on Saturday, so did I. I was an absolute zombie. But at least the UTI’s are at bay for the time being thanks to Hipprex.

  4. FB says:

    This comment about Herbal Treatments is just one of a range of spam comments which turn up frequently in a variety of forms in numerous places on the internet (e.g. on various forums and Facebook pages etc). They usually promote assorted herbal and other “treatments” and “cures” which don’t have any evidence to back up the claims made.

    Note that just enough info is included in the comment to make it sound legitimate e.g. a reference to an MS drug is included (but with the name mis-spelt). Steroids are also mentioned but the dosing regime quoted is not that which is actually used in MS i.e. relapse dependent. The hip pain cited ties in with avascular necrosis, which can be a side effect of ongoing steroid use. There’s just enough info to make it sound like the person posting the comment is a real PwMS, but rest assured they are not – these comments are posted by people who are being paid to sit on a computer and prowl the internet for places to upload comments using false names created to suit the target languages/cultures.

    Basically, the glossy looking websites which these spam comments lead people to are scams designed to tempt desperate people to part with money. It’s not worth “biting” or asking questions as you won’t get further information – they just want you to take their bait and buy their “products” – which probably won’t ever turn up for you to try. It’s easy to set up these websites and make them look professional, but as with all of these “miracle” treatments, it’s caveat emptor. People with incurable chronic diseases are just an easy “target market” for unscrupulous rip-off merchants.

    What people should also be very concerned about is that some of these sites are fronts for malware and hackers – remember the advice that you endlessly hear about not clicking on links in e-mails – well the same advice applies for these “miracle treatment/cure” comments.

    (And “No”, I’ve not been caught out by such scams, but know of people who are more trusting who have been ripped off)

    • John Connor says:

      Ta FB – I’m constantly having to deal with spam in my role as a moderator on this site but hey am no expert.

      Shouldn’t have fallen for it but quite glad that it has created debate & have learnt something as well.

      I could take it down but with comments like yours think that it better illustrates your point.

      But if u think that would be better just let me know.

  5. Peter says:

    I use to had an UTI twice a year, then one lady with MS advised me to use D-Mannose, and I haven’t had a UTI since then (over a year). I take 2 times a day 1g of D-Mannose. In 95% of cases, UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria and, according to studies D-Mannose is even more effective in preventing UTIs than ATBs. And unlike ATBs, D-Mannose has absolutely no side effects. In addition, ATBs lose their effect over time.
    Highly reccomend to try it.

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