All Quiet on the MS Front

All Quiet on the MS Front
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It hasn’t been that quiet in my surrounding world!

Last week there was a crow fight so loud in our back garden that it echoed down the chimney into the front room that now is my bedroom. It sounded exactly like being in Hitchcock’s horror film “The Birds.” My family reported the crows were chasing a magpie!

If you’ve seen the film you’ll understand my reluctance to investigate. It would be like “crossing the streams” with “Rear Window” as I’m also in a wheelchair. Looking out the back of my house, there are definitely too many filmic tropes for me to deal with. Still, it might be nice to imagine myself as James Stewart despite being pecked to death!

Their song may now be sung. The shops reopened in England this week and traffic noise is returning with — perhaps not a vengeance, but certainly a staccato vroom.

So the old MS has decided to take a step back. Typically it’s mocking me with something I will never do again!

A tertiary measure of my more recent MS relapses is how they spike my trigeminal neuralgia (TN). “Spike” being the operative word. More correctly, it’s like bad dental surgery. As I’ve once again smashed through the presently closed doors of cinema by going on a reverie of filmic analogy, let’s do another one. The pain of TN in my left lower teeth is what the dental torture scene in “The Marathon Man” must have felt like. A sincerely sinister Laurence Olivier as a fugitive post-war Nazi digs into the teeth of an uncomprehending Dustin Hoffman while demanding between each excruciating scream, “Is it safe?”

I probably haven’t seen the film since it came out in the ’70s but that seminal scene has never been forgotten! TN has brought it flooding back. Hoffman’s character suitably escapes and, as the titular “Marathon Man,” he easily outruns those who, ironically, are on the run.

OK, this is a complete sidebar but it is one of my favorite showbiz stories. Hoffman, a dedicated method actor, stayed up for 72 hours before that dental scene. Olivier, one of the world’s best stage actors (at least for his time) declaimed waspishly to Hoffman, “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?” To be fair, it wasn’t that much of a stretch for Olivier to play a sardonic, buttoned-up Nazi!

The TN has finally settled down. It was so bad that I munched my way through two months of supplies in something like 10 days. There were lots of imploring calls to my doctors for extra supplies. They’d never heard of “The Marathon Man” and were just glad to be rid of me. Who’d have thought being a bad raconteur would actually be useful?

What else?

My eyesight! But in a strange way. We all know that MS affects eyesight. If you get optic neuritis you can lose it entirely! In the early days doctors found something wrong with mine, but since it didn’t affect me, I cavalierly never took note of it. I think it was part of the evidence used to prove that I had MS.

I bought expensive new glasses last summer. They stopped working overnight. Fair enough — MS works in mysterious ways. In desperation, I tried my wife’s and then a pair that are probably five years old. Eureka! I’m using them now. They’re by no means perfect but at least I can actually make out all but the smallest type.

I was going to write about the START team that began last week but they’ve been waiting for a risk assessment. So little has happened except a bed bath every day.

As I’m a big bloke with a big bed, I’ve ended up with two burly, laughing men who are exactly the size and demeanor of the doormen I’ve spent half a lifetime working with.

They, however, never gently washed my private parts.

Unsurprisingly, I don’t have a movie scene for that one!

***

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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3 comments

  1. Thomas Unrath says:

    As a person living with MS, one of my most vexing issues is trigeminal neuralgia. After hitting the max dose of several meds which had worked, until they didn’t, I tried CBD oil which helped somewhat, until it didn’t anymore. Then I was able to get a neurologist to prescribe medical canabis. It is working well. I use a combination of capsules, tinctures, and gells at different times.

  2. Sylvia Delozier says:

    I was diagnosed with MS about ten years ago. The reason for the testing was the tendency I had to pass out for no apparent reason. I underwent many, many tests to find out what was the cause of this until I was finally told I had MS and this was ,fortunately for me, my only symptom at the present. I was told there was no treatment for me as I was asymptomatic except for these once or twice yearly fainting spells. About a year later I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP which I find uncomfortable and seldom use. I have recently put these two symptoms together and believe it is the MS that is causing the sleep apnea. I am of normal weight and do not snore. I do have bouts of extreme fatigue and suffer from cold symptoms that last for only a day. Even though I take a prescription for anxiety and a sleeping pill it takes me one or two hours to fall asleep and I feel like I never go into a really deep sleep. Which kind of doctor should I go see. I would be eternally grateful if someone could lead me in the right direction.

    • John Connor says:

      As we say all over the site people like me have no
      medical training.
      Presume at the least u should be seeing a neurologist who specialises in MS!
      All our MS journeys are unique. Sleep and fatigue problems both occur in MS. For instance sleep is no different for me now but fatigue became a leading bugbear.
      If u haven’t already pls join our MS Forum where u can ask questions to a wider group/read other people’s experiences.
      Full disclosure I am one of the sites Moderators. so I am also paid to be biased!

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