A Childish Adult With MS Looks Back on His Life and Has Questions

Looking back on life is normal for most people, but is age or MS the motivator?

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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“You married a husband and ended up with a child,” quipped I.

It was first thing Sunday morning, and I was addressing my wife of 30 years, Jane. She stood with blue, latex, hypoallergenic gloves on her hands, ready to deal with my sopping wet pad. More on that later, you lucky people.

“You always were a child,” Jane replied deadpan, unfortunately without the slightest hint of sarcasm.

“Well, at least my body now reflects my inner being,” I said, trying to keep things light.

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Later, Jane removed a pad filled with the clear, jelly-like mucus I often have. Despite the bad auguries about it, I’ve been assured by my doctors that it’s nothing to worry about. Maybe it’s caused by all the years on antibiotics to deal with my long-term urinary tract infection.

Right joyous aside over, it’s back to my vague main theme.

I’m as helpless as a 2-month-old bairn lying in his cot. In bed, I lie on my back, unable to move, except for my left arm and hand. Oh, yes, and my still effective acid tongue, though it is undoubtedly more than a tad slurry these days.

Looking back

I’d been shocked by my speech when I did the occasional video or podcast two years ago. (If you want to see me in all my faded echo, the link is at the end of this column. My appearance is at the end of the clip. It took me only 30 years of dealing with comedians to actually get the last word!) Along with my general demeanor, I’m sure my voice is now far, far worse.

I still see the able-bodied person I once was. Maybe it’s the double effect — now that I’m 65, I also imagine a strapping, hip 20-something; it’s not just comparing my former self to someone who now has multiple sclerosis (MS). I, like those in every generation, thought I was truly original by being part of a particular zeitgeist. In my case, it was a comedic one. The chance to be part of such a moment meant that I wasn’t motivated by money.

Meanwhile, the real ’80s in London was the era of the yuppie — excessive money was made by the thrusting young dealers of the stock exchange. And the immediate trickle-down consequence was the explosion of the equally thrusting young dealers of cocaine. Well, that and the trickle-down of snot from all those destroyed noses.

The only time I feel like myself (stop ye titters at the back) is when I’m writing to you lot. And I’m sure that if you’ve read me before, you’ve noticed I do often stray from the yellow brick writing path. Blame a life spent in what was once the new wave of comedy in the U.K., and a love of innumerable humorist writers. I also pay homage to the old Brit variety greats by filching their occasional signature phrases. Before your very eyes.

I’m not winging it, although it sure reads like it. A few weeks ago, I described this feeling of two lives in one body as a sort of psychological schism, and I apologize for being unable to get off the subject.

Have I now entered the stage of life where I can only look back?

Perhaps my life’s physicality of closing in means that I’ll have no choice but to actually produce that oh-so-elusive great novel — the one that anyone who’s strung a few beads of illuminated words together feels they have within them.

Typical of me to actually do it, too, just at the time when the novel is in the process of being strangulated by technology. Hey, without the technology of the printing press, it never really existed anyway!

Hence the old saying, “Those who write by the sword get a very sore hand.”

Or, more profoundly, “MS — what a [insert your own profanity].”


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.

Comments

Mary Morrissey Kerwick avatar

Mary Morrissey Kerwick

John,

Did you ever read about Dr. Terry Wahls and her journey with MS? Just curious - it could change your life if you do.

Reply
John Connor avatar

John Connor

My life has er, CHANGED. All of ours have.

No - give me a precis/bare bones then.

Reply
Kathleen Fulghum avatar

Kathleen Fulghum

John, you know your humor has made a miraculous impact, and is the best possible medicine.

Reply
John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ta.

Glad u enjoy my weekly dose. x

Reply
Renee elias avatar

Renee elias

I love English comedy. I love any comedy really. In the 80’s my boyfriend and I would watch the Young Ones even though we couldn’t understand everything at first. Just kept watching and watching pickined up the rhythm. I still have on vhs the Bomb episode which is my favorite. Monty Python of course their greatness. Had to get that off my MS brain. I feel so much older than my years. Thought your article was going to be a little different than what it turned out to be. I almost lost my mind when my bladder emptied at Walmart. Regained some of my self with botox injections in my bladder. Fun fact it is supposed to hurt even with numbing to get this done. Did not feel anything. I have been looking backwards for 10 to 20 years and the MS i have is still RR. I have many things to be grateful for. Yet its the humiliations that stick in the head. The 80’s were incredible! The music The Best! I think a lot of the reasons can be given to the English. Hey can you tell I am disabled and alone most of the day so I jump on opportunities when i feel i can talk to someone? My current boyfriend doesn’t get it. The awesomeness of the 80’s. The allure of looking back in time. Yeah he still works a fulltime job. Oh well. Thank you for writing the article.. i will check out your other works. The ones i can’t reply to.

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John Connor avatar

John Connor

Post punk new wave is deffo my jam. Couldn't stand the new romantics. Except for Boy George & weirdly Adam Ant. Even Bowie was to fall off a cliff, was he in that Young Ones's bus!
The Smiths were great, but Morrisey has turned out to be sickening.
Ah well, we don't get to choose our formative decades.

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