A Drizzly Summer Weekend and an Antibiotic Rejection

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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There was a time when I’d regularly strap on two pads, stride out between English showers, and attempt to bat on the subsequently dodgy surface.

That was good for the fast bowlers, except they now found themselves also slipping on the sopping grass. I sympathized with them, as I was a quickie myself. But not too much. They could no longer bowl fast enough to leave bruises — it was thwacking time!

I realize that this is a drawn-out cricket analogy (well, even at my level, it still took all day!) for readers mostly from the U.S. What am I like? If you’ve ever read my stuff before, I think you know.

Last weekend saw persistent drizzle, and no cricket would be attempted anywhere in southeast England. I could no longer stride anyway, but I was still strapping on two pads. My bottom was erupting!

The family had all eaten the same vittles (there, a cowboy reference) and I didn’t seem ill. Lying in repose on a mound of bed protectors overnight, it dawned on me that I had been through this same icky scenario recently. I had been in the hospital for cellulitis, and the antibiotic clindamycin, which I’d been taking successfully for weeks, had turned me into an oil gusher at the time.

I’ve been on a long-term antibiotic regimen for the past six months to deal with a biofilm in my bladder. I had to visit the hospital to see a specialist consultant I found after a long search, so they could take a catheter sample. Ordinary tests would probably show I didn’t have any active urinary tract infection (UTI) in my system, but this one did.

So, I needed to stay on antibiotics, and after being on nitrofurantoin for six months, it was policy to change drugs. I was therefore put on Selexid (pivmecillinam), which as a sidebar, my consultant wrote: “In the Nordic countries, pivmecillinam has been widely used for lower urinary tract infections since the 1970s. It is hardly used in the U.K., and that gives us a significant sensitivity advantage.”

Except that after a few weeks, my lower tract raised a serious objection. Most of the Nordic countries are in the EU. As we’ve just left, it would be fitting, considering what the purpose of the lower bowel is, that it sided with the more maniacal of the Brexiteer supporters.

Phew, that was as medically a load of gubbins as I ever want to write. Apologies if you read it all. Really, thanks if you’ve gotten this far.

But I have to plunge off again into this world for the finale.

I stopped taking Selexid and immediately began to er, dry out. Thinking I should give my body a rest from antibiotics for a while, I did. Then, heavy fatigue set in. This isn’t surprising, given the last couple of days. But instead of the fatigue slowly dribbling away, it got worse.

I hadn’t had a full-blown UTI infection since Feb. 21 and had obviously become a tad blasé about it. With my system at a low ebb, and with no antibiotics, my ever-present collection of bladder lurgy busily told each other (via quorum sensing) that this was finally a chance to have a muck about in the playground of my body.

So, it was back to the trusty nitrofurantoin.

The suckers who’d come out to play were met by my trusty serial killer. By Monday morning, I had recovered.

How was your weekend?


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.


Jenny Orlov avatar

Jenny Orlov

Hello John
Since you mentioned most of your readers are from the USA, I thought I’d let you know that I am from South Africa.
You are my favourite columnist.
All the best,

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Hi Jenny,

Ooh, u may have become my favorite reader!

For somewhat bizarre reasons have worked in Jo'burg twice. My show was booked there.

Cheers John

Miss j bradley avatar

Miss j bradley

I always like to read your articles as finding a Brit writing about MS is , well frankly , a lovely change . Keep up the good work . Cricket weather is here but of course most are more interested in the Euros . I also love your honesty in your writing . Pads are the pits , I agree but without them I wouldn’t dare leave the house . Not that I can do that without a carer to push me around , and even then I’m too ill most of the time to want to . With lockdown the non MS population get to experience what’s life is like when you can’t get out the house . I can’t help but think - Think yourself lucky , lockdown won’t last forever for you .

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ta v. much.

I can only move around 'cos of my powered chair! Lost the ability to use a manual ones
a few years ago. Only the downstairs mind. Still, have been banned from the kitchen. Well, I did scratch
our new fridge...

Have u thought of getting one? Has given me some freedom though now need help to get in or
out of it.

Cheers John

Mark avatar


Hi John,

I really like your posts, you tell it like it is....literally sh*t in your case!!

I've just ordered myself a powered wheelchair with, hopefully more stability than my 3 wheeler. I am hoping for the same as you, more freedom. Living the dream now at 48!!

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Cheers mite

Cynthia MacFarlane avatar

Cynthia MacFarlane

Thanks for sharing with us again.
I always look forward to reading your column..... lots of info , given with a great sense of humour!
From a Canadian "" fan"

Jenny Orlov avatar

Jenny Orlov

Hi John
I was unaware that you’d responded to the message sent last week . Thank you for the reply. ?
That is incredible - your work in Johannesburg.
I live in Cape Town and the only bit of Jhb I have seen was the inside of the airport many years ago.
I am about to read your latest article. Brightens up a dreary Monday.


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