Saturday, 22 May 2010


For the second week running I have nothing to say of any real importance, interest or I could make up some spurious MS related stuff or I could say nowt...having said that I did have a new and slightly odd sensation that may have been nothing to do with MS.....I have had several episodes of what I can only describe as  light headed in...oh, I think I’m going to fall over...two of these ocurred whilst lying down in bed which certainly added a perplexing edge to the falling over’s difficult even for me to fall over whilst lying down...but my usually unreliale balance is at these moments of light headedness completely and utterly’s the sort of thing I’d normally put down to vino rouge but as it occured without the use of vino rouge and continued to occur without such help, I guess it’s not wine or football related...which brings me neatly back to my opening statement that nothing of importance, interest or relevance has occured...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

When Saturday Comes

I had to hold off writing this from my usual Sunday to the less popular's why...Monday afternoon was my big chance, my big shout for a career as a pro footballer...I lie, I've always been rubbish at kicking anything except the cat who is so old she can't remember where her food tray is...but, through serendipity of job I was given the chance for a "kick-a-bout" on the hallowed turf of the great Tottenham Hotspurs. We've followed the Spurs in our family since my Father's father's father lived round the corner from the ground. My brother flirted briefly with West Ham we've forgiven him this peccadillo and generally stayed loyal to the lilywhites. And now this was my chance to come down from my seat in the stands and run on the pitch...maybe score a hatrick, glide gracefully over the right wing, shuffle a couple of dummies, deliver a defence slitting pass...I mean how difficult can it be?

We got changed in the first team changing room...given our kit like proper footballers...shin pads and everything and then we were out through the tunnel and on to the pitch to the deafening roar of silence. This was my moment. 4 teams playing a round robin tournament of 20 minute games which meant three lots of 20 minute hard can that be?

It was the first three minutes that threw's a sodding long way over the sods of White Hart Lane...really, it's the time I'd run over to the wing where I was starting I was out of breath. The manager spotted this and put me in goal for a was a half a mile run from the half way line to the goal. It's much closer on tele...then it turns out the goal is huge and I have to "cover the ground"...well sorry to the earnest defender who was taking it dead seriously..."bring it keeper, bring it, bring it, bring it" to a man who has lost control of his lungs, legs and liver (too much red wine the night before) will always be met with a feeble kick that travels barely 10 feet. We lost. Twice. I can't remember the other result. I was dead.

The day after I was aching more than I've ever ached before..and believe me I've ached...And so I have rung Capello and told him of my retirement from international football thus abandoning my dream of a late call up to South Africa...and I promise I will never again berate a player that runs the length of the pitch only to scuff his shot...When Saturday comes I’m watching.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

R and R

Relapsing and Remitting or Rest and Recreation? Quite similar really. Lots of recreation during remission and lots of rest in relapse. And that remains both the nightmare and the godsend of this strange thing. Two years after diagnosis I still meet people that say oh, I hear you're ill and then look at the currently healthy me with a slightly suspicious expression. Well, you should have seen me from March 26th to April 2nd is what I want to say but it’s not a terribly convincing response. Not because it ain't so but because when in remission I really do begin to think I'm not ill at all and therefore I subconsciously start to show just how healthy I am. Not that I break in to star jumps and squat thrusts during the conversation but I do find myself telling people just how active I am at the gym, exactly how many minutes I spend on the rowing machine and how heavy the weights are. It's like a sort of health tourettes. I can't help it. I burned 400 calories during a spin class just pops out.

And that was my mood when I was requested to attend Clinical research for an "out of hours meeting". On my return from Africa last month I had felt obliged to tell them about my lack of legs in March and I was pretty sure I'd be in trouble with them. Mainly because the paperwork I signed at the beginning of the trial specifically says that when experiencing symptoms of relapse I should contact them...but...and this was my argument, it doesn't say anywhere that I shouldn't fly to Sub-Saharan Africa before telling them. I followed this line of argument with a detailed list of star jumps and squat thrusts undertaken and then my final coup d'gras...35 kilos.

Something about the way they laughed, shook their heads and sent me to the toilet with a jar didn't convince me I'd won the argument.