Will Football Help Me Get Through a Tough Week?

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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Right, I actually have to start writing my column early this week because of the football schedule. For you Americans, that’s soccer, y’all. The biggest, most popular game in the world!

The UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euros, is on. It’s the 2020 competition, but it’s being held a year late because of COVID-19. For us Europeans, it’s the second most important footie competition.

South Americans have their own tournament, the Copa América. Africa also has its own. As of Monday, England is still in the Euros — we’ve made the round of 16. But we face our biggest nemesis, Germany, tomorrow.

I will either be euphoric or dismal, depending on how that match goes.

I had a rough weekend physically and my usual stoic demeanor was punctured. This was probably due to the reality of a reader’s honest and awful prognosis of her own secondary progressive MS (SPMS) — a reply to last week’s more upbeat missive.

I’ve not delved into SPMS, which I revealed I’d slipped into a few weeks ago, as there seems little I can do about it. Because my MS has been beyond aggressive, I await the day my left arm stops working. Besides whatever intellect I have left, it’s the only limb that still works normally!

Oftentimes my symptoms are not from MS but from the drugs I have to swallow to alleviate its many comorbidities. I always fear the worst. This all-encompassing disease has turned me into a hypochondriac.

Taking too many drugs on Saturday to deal with spasticity in my right arm left me with little power.

Taking too many drugs on Sunday to deal with trigeminal neuralgia‘s unbearably painful flares means I’m now seeing double. Nothing will focus. I’m groggy and losing physical power.

It’s not so easy to reassure myself that it’s just the drugs.

Monday turned out fine, as I spent the day recovering. After taking just one diazepam as a muscle relaxant that night because my right arm was seriously beginning to spasm, I was wrecked on Tuesday morning. Usually one pill doesn’t affect me at all the next day. My arm only slightly relaxed, but all the strength in my working left one was also shot. After nearly being able to use my anal catheter, I left the wet room looking like the Somme battlefield in 1918.

Amazingly, I woke this morning, Wednesday, to find my right arm as relaxed as it ever gets. No extra drugs needed!

England beat Germany 2-0. It was the first time we’ve won against our old enemy (in purely footballing terms!) in a major competition since we triumphed in the 1966 World Cup final against them. I think England, in that moment, was unified for the first time since Brexit. Ecstatic joy.

I’d just had the perfect sports massage!

There’s no footie today, but the new episode of “Loki” just dropped on Disney+. I’ll struggle on.

We won, baby! (Photo by John Connor)

P.S. The weather in the U.K. is still dismal, so no pool entry yet. I still prefer ours to North America’s!


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.


Dan Nicolini avatar

Dan Nicolini

Well in America I am fully emerged in the European football tournament as I always am! Kinda pulling for the Italians I can’t lie but England has a cast of my Chelsea players so yes I agree that football can help you get through some tough moments! Push on!

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Grazie mille.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ah, so now u know how we English have felt - still do - for 50 years!


Mark Genco avatar

Mark Genco

I too am enjoying the footy, although watching Italy last night made my anxiety and hence MS worse for a bit!! Never easy is it?

I am half Italian half English but tend to follow Italy more in the football.....i was born '72 and Italy won the WC '82 so the perfect age to grab ma!!

Ciao Ciao


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