This is the UK blog of a 34 year old man from Sussex who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year, charting his attempts to get on with life, keep working, stay married and avoid being eaten by his Border Collie puppy.

Saturday, 12 January 2008


So far my vision has stabilised; by which I mean it has got no worse and it has got no better (well, maybe a little - just enough to be adequately within the bounds of wishful thinking, anyway). I don't know if that's because this is merely a bad fluctuation or if its becaue the beta interferon is working to make the effects of the MS milder (and I did take an injection yesterday...) or if its because I'm throwing sufficient quantities of cannabis at it to stymie the effects.

And that's the problem. Maybe one of these things is working, maybe none of them are and this is merely a mild episode but because I cant know for sure, I have to keep doing all of them to ensure I get the beneficial effects again. I mean, what if I didn't do them and then suffered a serious attack? Why take the risk?

The rational bit of my brain kicks off at this point, skeptical of my mind's ability to construct a sketchy superstition out of inadequate evidence. People do tend to look for traditional causal relationships where none may exist. What if the pot and the rest is just a manifestation of that?

The horror is that I can't know but will probably get to find out with experience.

Friday, 11 January 2008

The Price of Illness

I've been ill for a few days; I don't know if I caught a flu and my vaccinated immune system fought it off or if I just had a cold but I definitely had something. I'm pretty much better now but my MS has flared up in response to whatever the hell it was firing up my immune system.

What this means is that all my previous symptoms are flaring up (for up to 48hr periods) - I have shooting pains in my fingertips, a really stiff knee and ankle/foot and a big chunk of my vision fell out earlier this afternoon in what is probably a visual field issue but could be a new thing in the muscle that focuses the eye... And just when I'm meant to have a sight test for the DVLA. There goes my license! Hopefully all of these things will pass withing their individual 48hr time limits as otherwise it would mean that I'm actually having an MS attack which would do more permanent damage to my central nervous system.

Other than all this, my mind has turned to lining up work for February. I am going to start going to Brighton New Media 'freelancer' meetings to do some networking/schmoozing starting on Monday with a free drinking session at the prestigious Linden Labs offices in Brighton.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008


Well after my earlier bout of self pity, I pulled myself together, caught a cold/flu (despite having been vaccinated) and got a bit drunk with the wife on NYE.

The cold or whatever it is has caused my MS to flair up and I'm currently experiencing fluctuations in all my previous symptoms, from dodgy hands and feet to piss poor balance and intermittent issues with my vision. I've been taking interferon, though, so following the stats that 60% of flu cases result in the MS sufferer having an attack within 6 weeks, I'm hopeful that any such action will be relatively mild and not brutal and unforgiving!

This is now the first year I've started with my diagnosis on the table. Its hard to say what to make of it all, really. I mean, its a pretty cruel disease, nibbling away and sensation and physical capacity then restoring it just long enough to make you really miss it when it snatches it away again. On the other hand, I'm kinda optimistic that there'll be improved treatments available before it has the chance to properly screw me up. That's not really based on anything except my naive optimism (not usual traits for me, I assure you!) and the exceptional confidence I've had in the people who have been involved in treating me, their honest intellectual curiosity about what is, objectively, a pretty fascinating condition.

I've decided to give getting hold of Sativex a go as I know that most strains of cannabis appear to have some impact on my symptoms and so there's a reasonable chance that Sativex will be close to one of them. I want the beneficial effects of cannabis without the bullshit of smoking it, getting stoned or annoying the wife. That's definitely a goal for me this year.

Anyway that's for the future... for now, Happy New Year!