Reflections from the front line: Stand up, gratefully fall down again

A call for an ambulance results in a 'high point' for columnist John Connor

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by John Connor |

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If you haven’t read last week’s column (ah, another discerning nonreader), all you need to know is that I’m in a pain sandwich very much of my own making.

And this was an improvement! I’d rather be turned into a hefty snack by a Molift Raiser and a sling than have all of my considerable weight bearing down on thighs that have been deconditioned by 15 years of multiple sclerosis.

The ambulance was only going to be an hour, which was a significant improvement from my previous predicament, when it took nearly four hours to arrive.

Somehow, my wife and carer (by now, despairer), Jane, had been quietly working on a solution. She was aided now by only the feeble groans of her somehow life partner, as opposed to his earlier screams.

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Jane managed to tip the tangled mess of John and the Molift by slowly lowering the sling somehow. Your on-the-scene correspondent has, unfortunately, little idea how this was achieved — much like any netted fish.

The Molift now pinned me to the ground. It took Jane a little time to untangle the sling from it. Little did I care. A soft bed of duvet had been thoughtfully spread across the hard wooden floor for me. For the first time in some 40 minutes, there was no pain. Bliss.

The ambulance soon arrived. Well aware of the excruciating period I’d just been through, the paramedics — joy! — offered me gas and air. Yup, the very same things sometimes given to women in labor: oxygen and nitrous oxide.

This was enjoyed very much — at times, far too enthusiastically! The ambulance bods were concentrating too hard on lifting me into bed to control my somewhat vigorous use of the mask. Having dabbled in diving, I was a quick study in how to release the gases quickly. It’s just a button hidden away at the back. Anyway, it kept me quiet, and lo, it kept me grinning.

However, we had to wait several hours for a different ambulance to arrive — one that’s used to transport, ahem, rugby players. Among the ambulance fraternity, there was no getting away from the fact that this was undoubtedly the “fat truck.” Equally, there was no getting away from the fact that my whole extended family found this très, très amusing.

Happily (oh, so happily), I was only vaguely aware of being the punchline. It might be difficult to overdose on gas and air, but this fish had certainly done its best.

This, in literal terms, was the only high point for me for months to come.

Next: the waiting game.

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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