Tag Archives: prom

Don’t Need No Edukashun

ChrisIt’s all over.

The tears, the angst, the arguments.

Day-glo highlighter pens were flung across the room, doors were slammed and the fridge was stripped bare on a daily basis, until even the rubbery carrots and three-day-opened tub of houmous was wolfed down.

Yup, The Teenager’s exam season is finally over and it couldn’t come soon enough.

I tried my best to be understanding and supportive. I made endless rounds of toast and was sympathetic when he regularly drained my printer of ink as yet another past paper trundled through and was stapled, completed and torn up before he stomped upstairs, scattering the pieces.

I gently engaged him in conversation only to be rebuffed with, ‘gah, you wouldn’t understand, you’re like, old yeah? and didn’t even have computers Back Then. Or the internet. Or mobiles. Or Facebook. Or Snapchat. I mean, really, what did you, like,  do all day?’

I regularly received text updates after his exams, ranging from ‘smashed it, ohhhhh yessss!!!!!!!!’ to ‘leavin school, not doin A levels’. Or, ‘Dominos? Pleeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeee?’

He came home after a rather hard maths exam and told me he had decided to go into gainful employment after his exams rather than continuing his education. I reasonably told him I’d take him to Burger King on his results day to sign him up. Along with all the University graduates who can’t find a job. ‘But I love Burger King. I can tell them that in the interview?’

Anyway, there’s not much we can do until his results come through on 20th August. In a cruel twist of fate, that’s the day before his 16th birthday.

The Prom Suit Saga filled much of our time, mostly mine. Due to his stature, we sourced the Gentlemen’s Outfitters that kits out the Welsh rugby team. Only problem was, it was embedded deep in the valleys, so deep that even my sat-nav queried me at one point with, ‘turn around when possible, you numpty, you, there’s nothing here.’

On The Prom Evening, suited and booted, he rushed downstairs. ‘PROBLEM’, he yelled, ‘there’s stupid, idiot lines in my trousers, where’s the iron?’ He was frantic and with only five minutes to go before he was to be picked up for the prom, so was I.


‘Lines? Lines? Look‘.

He pointed and flapped at the beautifully pressed-in creases in his dinner suit trousers.

‘That’s what they’re supposed to look like’.


‘Yes, my little cherub. It’s a prom suit, a dinner suit, now let me get a photo of you’.


*strop, thump, meh*

He left, his tie skew-whiff (‘s’right’), photo taken for posterity (‘muuuuuuuuuum, really?’) and I slumped on the sofa.

We got there. In the end.

Tagged , , , ,

Guilty? Oh, Yes.

guiltAfter a truly horrendous couple of years with MS and then the wonder of Alemtuzumab treatment, I am at a curious place.

I’m over the moon that my MS has stabilised; the enduring symptoms remain but are manageable, mostly.

Relapses are now few and far between – horrifying when they happen, catapulting me back to the bad old days, but they pass.

Before I went to Austria on holiday, my mum was worrying herself silly that I wouldn’t be able to cope with MS and all its symptoms so far from home. Luckily, with a bit of forward-planning and plenty of adjustments, I pulled it off.

I was having a chat with her today, and I remembered saying to my neurologist in January that always, always, at the dark place in my mind was my dad’s MS and could, would, the same thing happen to me at some point?

Of course, I know it probably won’t, but the mind is a strange thing. I feel incredibly guilty that my MS has been made a whole lot easier than my dad’s ever was. And not only that, also that I’m faring better than a lot of people who have MS today.

I’ve tried to re-form this thought. Ok, my MS is under control. So, what can I do with this reprieve? Should I do everything I possibly can, everything I ever wanted to do? How long is the window of opportunity? MS has shaken me down, given me a resounding slap across the face and pushed me into places I’ve never been before.

Me? Public speaking? Well, yes, even with my weird Scottish-Americano accent – I’ve talked at MS newly-diagnosed days, to executives of Genzyme (the manufacturers of Alemtuzumab) and forever on film for World MS Day, chubby face and all.

Me? Take a Master’s? Yup. I even passed the first year and am looking forward to the second.  And mulling over my tutor’s suggestion about taking a PhD *faint*.

Me? Take on unscrupulous employers and win? Yes, and then some.

My biggest fear hasn’t been realised – I’m still here to cater for The Teenager’s every whim. We’ve got through the exams, the future plans and the prom (a very, very long and traumatic story – not me, him).

I’m still here, I’m doing ok, but I can’t shake the guilt.

Tagged , , ,