It’s Only a Matter of Time

It’s Only a Matter of Time
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There was a time when I didn’t have deadlines. I’d finally finished academia. No more essays ever!

In theory, I still had seven essays to write. Luckily, those essays could only improve my grade, so I got away with it. But only to a degree. I just scraped by with honors, but hey, now I could legitimately put a BA after my name. Of course, no one does that unless you work in legal, finance, or dentistry!

I knew I’d never use it. My degree was in economics, and there was no chance of me employing (finally a Keynesian pun!) a subject I discovered I hated too late. I didn’t know where I was headed, but it certainly wasn’t the world of economics.

What a breeze with nothing hanging over me! No constant gray cloud of intermittent drizzle.

It was fun for a while, but weirdly, I began to miss the deadlines. I solved that by becoming a journalist. I’ve also worked as a TV casting director and a comedy producer. Now MS has brought me full circle by writing for this very prestigious organization. (I’m also a forums moderator at Multiple Sclerosis News Today Forums.)

I have deadlines aplenty. But MS saps time like nothing I’ve confronted before.

Refill the stapler? That will take one hour, sir. I could ask someone to do it for me, sure, but that feels like giving in. I only relent if I can’t find a way around it.

Some things are just ridiculous, though. For example, an eight-hour bathroom break! (OK, once it was 12 hours, but that is another story.) It’s in no way exciting, so I’ll endeavor to be brief.

columnist pic
Water way to spend oodles of time. (Photo by John Connor)

MS causes so many problems, and dealing with one leads to another. At some point, these problems coalesce. In my case, they coalesce when I shower.

It’s not as bad as it was a few years ago when my shower ate me. Now I have a perfectly adapted bathroom, but combating aspects of MS still consume my time.

To deal with lymphedema, I wear constricting stockings overlaid by constricting bandages. Putting on the stockings is like wrestling angry pythons while the bandages mock my weak and restricted right arm. My able-bodied wife also finds them nearly impossible!

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I’m too disabled for wrap! (Photo by John Connor)

Putting them on and taking them off is hours of work!

Therapists blithely say things like, “Take them off at night!” Well, that would mean getting out of bed and putting them on, grabbing some breakfast or brunch, and taking them off again before going to bed.

That was a fun day!

A Peristeen anal irrigation system adds at least two hours to my bathroom routine. With a few months of practice, I can now manage it in a tad over an hour. Throw in shaving, actually having a shower, and the time necessary to recover from fatigue, and there you go — eight hours.

I said I’d be brief! But that’s MS for you.

***

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 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.
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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.
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3 comments

  1. Alex chesser says:

    Interesting story. It touches home as I am a 30 year old male with very aggressive ms that does stand up comedy. Ms has negatively impacted my life in so many ways, but I gotta say that it has made me stronger and a better person in a lot of ways. Maybe I am lucky or just beginning my journey but watch out for me in comedy cuz i’m coming

    • I know exactly what you mean about comedy it’s the only thing that keeps me sane with my MS. I tell everyone when I fall I’m okay because I bounce and that’s why I stay and the heavy side!¡I get a lot of laughs and people tell me I have a good outlook!! Keeping people laughing at you will help it does me!¡Good luck with your journey¡!

  2. Elizabeth Brenban says:

    Ridiculous is a perfect word to describe life with MS. Thank God for my friends and family who can see the episodes of ridiculousness. Laughter is the best medicine. 😊🎯✔️

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