Resistance May Be Futile, but the Borg Taught Me Something

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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good news, indwelling urinary catheter, UTIs, hospital stay, steroids, COVID-19 vaccine, UTI, side effects, sex, Great Escape, fluoxetine, santa claus, thanksgiving, forewarned, carers, urologist, adapt, beast, poo, rage, show, THC, off

OK, you’re not all science fiction nuts, so I’ll explain:

The Borg are a cybernetic race and the lead baddies in the “Star Trek” universe — or, the way the latest Netflix iteration is going, the multiverse. Besides trying to take over all life forms, they also have the sneaky ability to adapt their personal shields, admittedly after a few of their brethren have fallen.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has forced me to accept this sneaky ability to constantly “adapt.” I’m also sneakily writing about science fiction so as not to reveal too early that this is yet another column about poo!

For a while, my new vegan diet meant I’d vanquished the need to use the anal catheter that had proved so successful last year. Then, I recently lost the ability to stand on my own and was reduced to asking my family to transfer me to my commode. I felt emasculated.

Now, MS has imposed even more changes over the past few weeks. Not even the vegan diet can conquer it!

The anal catheter has made a triumphant return. I can’t even get onto the toilet. I can’t lift my bum far enough onto my commode to slip it into the requisite repository. You try thinking up clean analogies!

I simply remove the poo-catcher in the shower (my commode is also a shower chair, which is very handy) and insert the anal catheter. Ah, so easy. I should have thought of this before!

My steed in a crime scene reconstruction! (Courtesy of John Connor)

Hold on, cowboy. There is a downside. Even with help, there is absolutely no time after the eruption that dislodges the catheter to replace the poo-catcher. Though company is the last thing I want at this stage of my MS.

This is when I go from being the cowboy to being the horse — or the donkey. OK, the ass! I place the poo-catcher as best as I can on the floor, but with up to half a liter of lukewarm water inserted, I have the accuracy of a rodeo cowboy trying to shoot while riding a wild bull.

The first time, I missed the majority of the receptacle. But while I was trying to pick that up with a small plastic bag worn like a makeshift glove, hell’s gate opened again. There is no point in trying to control it. At this point, I can to an extent, but this only puts off the inevitable for hours. Now, I really didn’t know which way to turn.

Things haven’t improved much yet. I’ve had a couple of wins and one devastating loss.

As the Borg say, “Resistance is futile.”


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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Wendy Hovey avatar

Wendy Hovey

Your ability to be so brutally and hilariously honest is priceless. Thank you.

Pete Gnoza avatar

Pete Gnoza

I can relate to most of your column topics but as of yet I haven't had the severe constipation you experience. However I need to use a combination of Benefiber and magnesium to keep myself relatively regular. Gross topic but needs to be discussed while having a sense of humor. Thanks for doing this John. In the spirit of Star Trek..."Live long and poo!"

Penny-Marie Wright avatar

Penny-Marie Wright

I had the opposite problem so on the advice of one of my specialists I started using RestoraLAX which has helped a lot. Have to watch how often I use it though or I end up with your problem. Seems to be you can't win either way. It's good you can turn it into a joke.

SueWho avatar


Progressive MS. Paralyzed waist down. Zero rectal motility as verified by a very thorough Physical Medicine MD specialist. Suffered thru doing my own digital (finger) rectal extractions for 6 years. Then when the function of my hands got so bad I could no longer do them I had to face the long dreaded need for a colostomy. Best thing I’ve done for myself in years! As my sister says I just had to get to the point of misery & desperation with the extractions that I would not be repulsed by the colostomy. I actually should have done it much sooner, greatly improved my life!


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