Feeling on Top of Things Meant I Nearly Ended Up on My Bottom

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by John Connor |

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Would I jinx it?

In last week’s column “How I’m Staying on Top of MS’ Many ‘Gifts,'” I wrote about being on top of all my MS-induced ancillary symptoms. Wendy, one of my two readers, pointed out that she didn’t want to jinx me. The trouble was that I’d already been jinxed.

As someone who’s had the disease-modifying therapy alemtuzumab less than five years ago, I now monthly monitor my blood, and have urine samples taken. Thankfully, these started to be done at home, well before the pandemic began. It was becoming increasingly difficult to heave my body into the local hospital. Besides, in the past, they’d failed to pass on many months of results anyway!

Now, I have a lovely regular phlebotomist who makes the whole process easy and even pleasurable, which I suppose Dracula does, too, but not with laughs.

Here’s the timeline, so pay attention: Last Wednesday, I filed copy for my column. The week before, I’d been tested on Monday, and found out Friday that I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). Got it? Good. There’ll be tests later.

My UTIs are definitely getting sneakier. Maybe with my current ability to nuke them, their quorum-sensing ability has in true Darwinist fashion decided to oh-so-carefully take over my body. I have no urge to wee directly after already doing so, for instance. With all the Hiprex (methenamine hippurate) I take, my wee now has a disinfectant odor. There is no telltale stench, such as if I’d been out for a day’s fishing with a fine catch. (OK, I’ve cheated and been to the local supermarket.)

In hindsight, my wife pointed out that my legs have gotten fatter. In other words, the UTI kicked off my lymphedema. Also, my trigeminal neuralgia had been acting up more than a bit, which always is my doomsday concern.

So, last Saturday morning (remember the quiz, folks, and if not, you’ll have to reread the above, or perhaps just give up), I got up the same as I’d been doing for months. I got on my trusty Molift, and then transferred to my commode-shower chair. UTI or not, I’d been managing.

Only this time, all power left my body. Luckily, due to the strong advice of one of my neurophysiotherapists, we followed the practice of making the move as small as possible. As such, I managed to slump some of my body onto the commode!

I was now so weak that I was just clinging onto the Molift like I was over a ravine, and unlike Indiana Jones, I was feeling my injuries. True, it was only a wooden floor, but these days I’d need paramedics or fire personnel to get me up again. Call me Humpty Dumpty.

My wife had to use the hoist to sit me up again. And there I sat for a couple of hours to regain my strength and deal with the other end. You really don’t want to go there.

I was then hoisted back into bed for the day, where I could cause no more trouble. I tried, though!

Extra antibiotics began to kick in over the next few days, and now, as I write this on the following Wednesday, I’m feeling fine.

I hope you kept up with the quiz, and noted that this week, I really will be jinx-free.


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.


Lukas avatar


Hello John! I follow you since years, but never commenting. I know a lot of the things you are going through, and I really like your attitude and how you write. Wish you all the best

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ta v much.

U qualify as my third reader!

Cheers John x

Heather avatar


I really enjoy reading and learning from you. Thank you for your sincerity and honesty. Your attitude with living daily having MS challenges is truly inspiring!

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ta v much.

OK, U officially qualify as my fourth reader!

Cheers John x

Jane avatar


Thanks for your inspirational observations. I like your style, and always look forward to your columns.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

OK - my fifth reader.

This is likely to get messy!

Cheers John x


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