Everything Last Week Did Come in Threes

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by John Connor |

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My week is never exactly easy, but it’s much harder for my family. Not only do they have to deal physically with my ever-enlarging lump of flesh, there’s also my verbal diarrhea to contend with.

Then last Tuesday, it wasn’t just the verbal kind. Turns out my bowels began to erupt at the end of dinner. Embarrassing (even for me!) to deliver the bad news. We worked out reasonably quickly that it was an antibiotic allergic reaction. We have plenty of experience. This was my third.

I’ve been on a high-level antibiotic regimen to deal with a long-form urinary tract infection (UTI). The aggressive drugs used to tamper with my immune system, and led to a biofilm, or layer of bacteria, lodging itself deep in my bladder walls. Fortunately, nitrofurantoin has been the one antibiotic to never upset me. I’ve been on this specialist regimen (outside National Health Service guidelines) for well over a year now.

Sensibly, my doctors reduced the nitrofurantoin dosage and gave me another, trimethoprim, to deal with “flares.” That’s a UTI to you and me. It was this that ignited the fire in my bot-bot.

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I immediately stopped taking the “explosive” trimethoprim and upped the nitrofurantoin. Don’t worry, oh powerful editors, my doctors later agreed that I’d done the right thing. The UTI retreated. But it’s an ever-present mugger in the shadows, and indeed brazen enough to loiter in the bright sunshine.

OK, boring technical drug stuff over.

Now to move onto the boring technical mechanical gubbins of the column, and another set of three.

Last Wednesday, the controller of my powered wheelchair not so much gave up the ghost as needed an exorcist. Here’s the skinny. It had begun to misbehave in recent weeks, so to preempt any problem I requested an engineer from the wheelchair service to come out to assess it. He turned up on Monday. As usual, the chair decided to work. There must be a law about this phenomenon. Personally, I think it’s the robots practicing for their long-touted rebellion.

By Friday, they fortunately found a controller (otherwise, it would need importing from Germany, and after Brexit, this would possibly be even slower than shipping something on a longboat from China) and arrived to fit it. Nae problem. Only there still was. It must be the module inside — whatever that was. Then this week, they couldn’t get anyone to fit it.

I threw myself at the mercy of the maintenance company’s organizer and pointed out the agony of being in my manual chair. With only one arm, I can only go in a semi-circle. There is also real pain from being unable to change my position.

Kindly, as I’m writing this, the engineer turned up with the module. Only that didn’t work either! He’d never seen anything like it before and carted my chair off to his workshop. I might get a loaner. I’ll see. All outside appointments have now been canceled for the week. I’m back in lockdown.

Now, in case my detective-like timeline has gotten confusing, I was without my powered chair last Wednesday and also recovering from diarrhea. By evening, the well had definitely begun to dry. At this point, conspiratorially, my wife, Jane, had to tell me that my best friend, Nige, was coming to visit the next day, if my bottom was up to it.

We haven’t seen each other for some two years. As he’s also disabled, it’s tough. Our house has also acted like a family Airbnb for all that period. He also lives on the south coast of England (I’m in London), and I can no longer even get close to his house because of pavement stairs, let alone figure out if I could then get into it.

So the surprise had to be preempted. My wife was good enough to OK it. We had a go, fortunately, because I was no longer “going.”

A good time was had by both of us. One afternoon we wittered with each other for some five hours. It felt like five minutes. Much whiskey and tequila was drunk.

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Nige, left, and John on the soft drinks of wine for dinner. (Photo by Jane Davies)

We also devised a TV format the following day. We weren’t trying to; it just sort of arrived like an unordered Uber. I’m already being hassled to get stuck into the first draft he’s already knocked out!

I’m offski.

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.


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