MeSpeak & BrainHealth: on getting older

What a failing joint is teaching me #WeAreStrongerThanMS #MeSpeak #BrainHealth

“I woke-up at 2 am this morning with a throbbing, toothache-type, pain in my right hip. I had to get-up and take 400 mg of Ibuprofen. On getting back into bed I realised that it was my birthday, I am older, I had just turned 52 and I am probably living through the gradual loss of function of my right hip. I did a 10 km run yesterday as part of my Brain Health 2016 challenge. I managed to get through the run okay, albeit on ibuprofen, and with quite a lot of initial pain. However, I paid a price for overdoing it; a sleepless night.”

“As I lay awake this morning I reminisced about my younger days of training and running competitive track-and-field, cross-country and later road running. How, I long for those days again. I suspect what is happening to me with my hip, in particular my psychological reaction to its gradual decay, is what all MSers go through when they start to lose neurological function. I know you can’t equate joint health with brain health, but my experience makes me a lot more aware of what my patients must be going through.”

“Despite being older and losing some physical function there is still a lot to look forward to; if you don’t believe me you need to watch the NMSS’s ‘We Are Stronger Than MS‘ campaign. The two ‘Together We Are Stronger‘ videos brought more than a tear to my eye; truly inspiring. Watching these videos makes me realise I can live with a limp and the possibility of a joint replacement in the future. Who knows may be VR will allow me to run into my 90’s? Who am I  to complain? I live a very privileged life, for which I am truly grateful.”

“It is a pity that we take so much for granted; we only realise we do when we have lost it.”

“If I could vote for awards for big ideas, great stories and wonderful production these two videos would get my vote. What do you think?”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • So profG now you have a choice, you know that if you keep on running you are running into a hip replacement. Do you do nothing or change to something that may change that tragectory? Stop the running and pile on the pounds or move to do something of less impact to the joints. You are asking your patients to do this every day can you do it?. Luckily you can replace a joint but you cant do a brain.

    • Luckily it was not impotence other wise think of the morning thoughts that could hae been written:-)…inapproriate to say this I know but this is going to get you thinking all day. Ha Ha

  • Are you sure it's a hip problem? I thought I was having a hip issue until my physiotherapist told me it was actually an issue with my back. Pilates sorted it.

  • ProfG – Here is some advice I have received for dealing with MS. I think it might work for you too.

    Do yoga, it works wonders! Believe me, I know of someone who had so much back pain and it went away with yoga! Lower your stress levels. Seriously stress is more detrimental than you think. Don't work so hard. Get a lot of rest. Don't think about your hip too much. Only think of happy thoughts. This is life. It's unpredictable like that. We all grow old and lose some of our functions. That's life!

    I am just joking. Please don't take above seriously. You seem like a great guy and I wish you all the best with your hip problems.

  • People with a chronic disabling disease go thru the five stages of grief. Acceptance is the last stage. Unfortunately what is gone is gone. You have to move on and do your best with whatever is left. Looking back on pre MS days is too difficult.

  • Hm. I lived in Ocean Beach in my 20s, like the surfer in the video. Stood on those very same shores. It was cool to go back there…even just via the 2D video. Two responses: 1. Watching the video, I remember that I wasn't as happy pre-MS as I like to tell myself I was. Worried too much about stupid stuff. 2. If you're going to put me on a wave via VR, I'd like to try some of those 9-story-tall ones you see in the extreme sports.

  • Funny thing, you waking up with hip pain, it reminds me of when I take some exercise, trying to walk 1000 metres with my rolltor. We both need an amber light that wrans us we are doing too much. As I get older the amber light dimms and eventually it disappears. You now start start to wake up and say "Oh shit, done it again". MS makes it dim even more quickly

  • Happy Birthday – thanks for persevering with the blog for another year on top of all your work, travels, running et al.

  • Happy Birthday Prof. G.

    Life is quite short and eternity quite long. Two most significant events in all of our lives are our birth and death. Neither can we control. One leads to the other, a constant pattern. The eternal question is why? The perfect answer lay inside.

  • Dear Dr. G, I know you meant well when you wrote of your hip pain after your 5K run at age 52. Your patients are diagnosed in their 20's and early 30's. Your hip can be treated…you can (horrors) stop running. I am sure your exhaustion from your sleepless painful night led to this most insensitive post. Anyone of your patients would trade their MS for your hip. And as a 67 year old, believe me, you're just a kid. Perspective, Dr.! Happy Birthday and thanks, otherwise, for all your efforts. Just couldn't give you a pass on this one.

  • "I know you can't equate joint health with brain health, but my experience makes me a lot more aware of what my patients must be going through."
    Seems anything but insensitive to me, as the rest of the post makes clear.

  • Oh dear! An example of why we shouldn't post on the internet when tired & emotional.

    Happy Emergence Day nonetheless, Prof G.

By Prof G



Recent Posts

Recent Comments