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.

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  1. Brownieville Girl

    Delighted to hear your good news xx

  2. I’m really pleased your scan came back negative – although i would’ve had words about the “all clear” letter going astray – you shouldn’t have had the stress of the last couple weeks, from the sound of things!

    i had to have a brain scan about 10 years ago, when i had bell’s palsy (which is when the nerves to the side of the face go dead – it feels like you’ve had an anaesthetic in the mouth, permanently, and you look like you’ve had a stroke, nasty. Fortunately in my case it wasn’t permanent – wore off over the course of about 6 months). they didn’t tell me what they were scanning for, thankfully, i had the consultant pin my pictures to a light board and say “well there’s no sign of cancer or anything like that” and i looked at him rather startled, cos i had no idea that was a possibility. And i’ve always mentally thanked them for that, that i didn’t have that stress and worry.

    But for the reason you’ve outlined above, with expectations, i hate it when they warn you at the hospital or something. “This may hurt”.. oh gee, thanks, now i have something to get wound up about.. twice i’ve been told that an invasive procedure “might hurt” enough to be offered a relaxing sedative, in both cases, i got myself into a right tizzy worrying about it and when it happened… it didn’t hurt at all. *mutters*.

    anyway, i’m glad the scan is all clear – hopefully they can find out soon what the problem is…



  3. I’m really, really pleased to hear your good news x

  4. kate (uk)

    Very good news indeed.x

  5. So glad to hear the positive news!

  6. Thank heavens! Now you can move on a bit and look forward to the summer. 🙂 It amazes me how much you get done when you are so off colour.

    About those borders … Have you thought about phloxes? They smell lovely and the hummingbird moths love them.

  7. veronica

    Oh goodness, you must have been through hell and back waiting for those results. I know exactly what Cookie Girl means, the waiting can be worse than the diagnosis, as all sorts of ghastly possibilities go through your mind. I do admire the way you can cope with all this and share it with us.

  8. So glad you’ve got the all clear – I’m sending you a big hug this time!

  9. Thank goodness. :0)

  10. My dad died of a brain tumor (he had it removed and it grew back, which was rather expected) so I can say from experience that I am really glad that your scan came back negative.

    It’s the not knowing something for sure that sets the stage for our imaginations to run away with us. Whatever happened to preparing for the worst but hoping for the best? Do we do it to ourselves so that we can be terrifically relieved when it turns out everything is okay?

    I hope they figure out soon that it’s something easy to fix, and that you’re soon on the mend.

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