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An Upbeat MS Column for You Lucky People

An Upbeat MS Column for You Lucky People
4.7
(15)

The trouble with a degenerative disease is that things only get worse.

In the long-gone days of my youth, I somehow wrangled myself into being an arts critic. Wizened journalists imparted the lore that a bad show was much easier to write than a rave. Satirical barbs are far more fun to fling at your typewriter (no computers in my day) than joyous prose. Fortunately, there is so much rubbish in the arts that critics have always had it easy.

So, a weekly column about MS makes this part of my life easy — unlike the reality.

I received my second injection of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine last Saturday. I went through a night of agony following the first dose, which sent my trigeminal neuralgia (TN) into hyperspace.

To save you nonsufferers from having to click on the TN link, the condition causes pain in the mouth, as if your teeth are being drilled without anesthetic. Actually, given the choice, my preference would be the aggressive drilling. See how much easier negative copy is?

The consensus from my rather extensive raft of care workers (two of whom visited four times a day for six long weeks), who also have had the second jab, is that its side effects were generally worse than those of the first jab. Experience told me to expect horror — something out of “The Exorcist” perhaps? Admittedly, a 360-degree turn of the head would be a tad more excruciating than TN.

Instead, I experienced some gentle listlessness and went to bed at 4 p.m., though I didn’t fall asleep. Actually, I was ready to get up at 9 p.m. The trouble was, that’s also when my care workers arrive to put me to bed. Rats.

Therefore, they had plenty of time to get me ready, but wouldn’t even read me a bedtime story or get me a whisky and soda! Double rats.

The second injection had no other effect on me. How good is that?

On Monday, seemingly out of the blue, I got a call from my neurologist. Only, it wasn’t out of the blue. It was a scheduled call replacing a hospital visit. My recent extended stay at my local hospital, hence the overwhelming number of care worker visits, had thrown me off-kilter.

I spent the first two minutes of our conversation waiting for him to ask if I’d just been in a motor accident — a regular U.K. insurance scam. I actually thought it was even more suspicious, as these days they are all robocalls.

Gone is my fun of saying, “I have been,” and after a bit of gentle luring, loudly proclaiming, “I was stoned at the time, but that’s all right, ’cause the other geezer got out swigging a bottle of tequila!”

There was always sweet satisfaction to see how far I’d get before being disconnected. I scored double if I also received any sort of groan. It’s no fun with a computer program. Ah, progress.

Luckily, I had sent my doctor a recent column in which I wrote I would take the steroids he’d prescribed. It gave me some scrambling cover. Indeed, he’d emailed back that he’d found it helpful.

Phew, the call was back on track. I think maybe I got away with it.

***

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.

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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