The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

All’s well that ends well


Photo: Zebedee the leghorn hen

Photo: Zebedee the leghorn hen

In my late twenties I took a post graduate teaching degree. My subjects were Drama and English (subjects that I’d studied at University). I did my post grad year at Goldsmith’s College in London. The majority of the course consisted of placements in London secondary schools.

One of the schools that I was sent to was in Blackheath. On my first day I was given two classes to teach. The first was described to me by their teacher as
“Intelligent bubbly kids. Great fun to work with.”
The second classes teacher looked grave.
“These are difficult kids that need a firm hand.”

The bubbly group were great fun to work with – in Drama lessons they took chances and did brilliant work. The other class were a nightmare. They called me “It.” They didn’t enjoy my classes and I disliked them.

One coffee break in the Staff Room a young male teacher was in tears. He couldn’t control his class describing them as daemons. I was amazed to discover that this was the bubbly group of kids that were doing such great work with me. In fact most teachers found them difficult. When I enquired about the second class very few teachers had a problem with them.

This was a really great lesson in belief and expectation. I didn’t become a teacher but it was worth doing the training for this lesson alone.

We’ve had a stressful few weeks. The Neurologist that I’m seeing managed to swing the insurance company into covering my sessions with him and all tests. This was great news as he wanted me to have a brain scan (£500). The brain scan slightly alarmed me. Did I have a tumour? Was I going gaga?

During the scan there was a window where I could look out and see the scanning staff in action. One of them appeared to be reading a magazine – I could just see the top of it. The other one looked bored. Then suddenly they both perked up and peered at the screen.

Had they seen something?

Normally in the UK we are given scan results on the spot. But brain scans are different they have to be studied carefully. As the weeks went by we didn’t get the ‘all clear’ letter and began to think that something was seriously wrong with me. My memory has been bad these past few months and suddenly it seemed to get much worse. I struggle to keep a grip when Inca fell ill and spotted that the vets were repeating themselves endlessly to be certain that I understood her medication and what was happening to her.

I was trying to make plans for the future but until I knew what the prognosis was I was in limbo. We returned to the Neurologist expecting bad news.

He opened the file and looked at me.
“They told you that you’ve got the all clear on the brain scan I expect.”
I could have kissed him all over.

I hardly slept that night. I was too stressed to sleep. It was in the early hours of the morning that I remembered that lesson from all those years ago.

  Leave a reply


  1. casalba

    That’s absolutely brilliant news. Hope you have a wonderful and worry-free Easter. With love and best wishes, Sally

  2. Both stories and how they twine together show your sensitivity and vigor. Your life is a gift to many of us. Keep on.

  3. Good news!

    We tease my mother that she’s the only one of us who can prove that her brain is normal, and that the rest of us are going on trust.

  4. seahorse

    This got me thinking about how little I understand my own brain, and so I went off and found the following, which seems to do a good job explaining brain functioning in ME/CFS patients.
    Have a read, I hope it helps.

  5. seahorse

    It’s such a relief to rule out other nasties when dealing with ME/CFS. I am convinced at times I have Alzheimer’s. But I tell myself I’m far too young and that I definitely do have ME, and that’s enough to be honest.
    I’ve heard all sorts of explanations for the forgetfulness, from lesions (though I think your scan would’ve picked these up?) to the more vague ‘post viral’ explanations.
    No one seems to be able to pin down precisely what is going on in the brain to cause such forgetfulness in ME patients. If anyone does have any good links then do share them. Here’s one on the disease in general, and it’s a good overview.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,245,769 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder

Skip to toolbar