Growing Up to Be a Strapping Big Baby

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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It was 4 a.m. and a crisis was brewing.

I knew that this time, I’d be a nincompoop if I tried to deal with the situation myself, as I’d faced spectacular failures recently with the poop bit.

I was still groggy from having taken diazepam to deal with my now screaming right arm. Somehow, I had screwed up and hadn’t put my phone in my shoulder bag properly (the bag is indispensable for essential medications and other things), and it ended up on the floor. In my present state, it might as well have landed on the far side of the moon. Not the dark side, you Pink Floyd Neolithic Dark Agers!

Ah, Siri.

It was worth a try.

By Carruthers (this phrase was used in old black-and-white British comedy movies of my youth and is completely untraceable on today’s internet), it actually worked! (OK, obviously not if my phone was on the moon, as sound abhors a vacuum.)

“Hey, Siri, phone Jane.”

“Which phone number for Jane Davies, mobile or home?”


“Calling Jane Davies mobile,” Siri clipped, in her sonorous, mechanical voice.

“Hey, Siri, what are you wearing?”

“Let me see, the same as yesterday.”

“Hey, Siri, must be nice and smelly then?”

“There is no answer to that in the cloud.”

“Yes?” Jane replied in her sonorous, “don’t-mess-with-me-it’s-4-a.m.” tone.

“Think I’m about to have a poo, but I don’t dare try to deal with it on my own.”

As I said that, the lower end of my alimentary canal gushed. “There she blows!” Like a true wildcatter, the MS anus tends to be all or nothing.

“Don’t move!” My wife’s voice immediately had progressed from tired yet sonorous to dominatrix.

I didn’t move!

My wife turned up, gathered what she needed, and proceeded with precession to change her big baby. I helped where I could, rolling over on command, as my right arm was no longer hurting and my left was strong enough to push against the bedrail.

I felt somewhat better the next morning, for the first time in a week. I got up with help, but without the added screaming. My right arm previously had been offering levels of pain that a torturer would surely dream of.

The bed was pristine. She’d done the perfect job!

In neurologist terms, my baseline had been reduced, but now at least there had been a bit of recovery. In fact, I’d had a pre-booked call with the neurologist right in the midst of this awfulness. I whimpered my current state to him, and my wife was on hand to provide a clearer picture.

There had been some recovery in my immune system. The neurologist would ask the entire team the next day if I should have my disease-modifying therapy infusions of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) reinstated after they were canceled last December due to concerns about progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy risk. I have yet to hear back from him.

As I finish writing this, it’s our 28th wedding anniversary.

When our youngest child was born, I became a house husband, so I probably changed more nappies. Now, at least my wife is catching up!

This would be a perfect punchline, except she’d already had a kid before we met. That’s obviously why she’s so good at it.

PS: Thanks to everyone who wrote last week worried about how I’ve been recently. It looks somewhat better as of today. Here’s hoping!


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.


Beth Williams avatar

Beth Williams

I nearly always have a laugh when reading your column, John. You're so clever.
Sorry you're having such a rotten time.

Jennifer Ann Helsel avatar

Jennifer Ann Helsel

I love your column. I will be looking for it now; had me laughing and commiserating (sp?). Thank you.


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