Friday, 29 May 2009

Aren’t we lucky and weekend plans

I watched a programme last night about people who suffer with Tourettes. This was the third in a long running series following a Scottish guy that started with him living with his Mum and family in the 1980s when he was a teenager. In the subsequent programmes they have followed another sufferer who is now himself 15 the same age as John was in the original programme.

I’m so lucky I don’t suffer with something like this illness and neither do any of my family, although it is a running family gag that Mrs F suffers from it particularly when she goes into a rant about someone, notably weather presenters.

In the programme John the older guy was in near tears as he reflected on his extremely lonely teenage years when he couldn’t forge any friendships with anyone. He hasn’t been able to find a partner and he spoke about how just getting to work which is a 10 min walk is an achievement for him. He works as a caretaker at the local community hall and clearly takes immense pride in his job. You could see through the film that taking the Tourettes away and he is a very caring lovely man.

Greg, the 15 year old, spoke of one day some summers back where he had hardly any “tics” and that it was this perfect summer day and he holds on to the hope he’ll have another day like that in the future. I reflected on the fact that Greg was much more integrated within his school and his friends more accepting of his condition than teenagers had been when John was that age in the original programme in the 1980s. All the time the media seem to portray an image of the youth of the country being disrespectful or trouble makers – the “hoodies” etc. You know what I think that this showed that in fact this current generation of teenagers are much better at tolerance, acceptance and care than generations of old. It gave me some real hope for a better future.

We're all off to a family BBQ at the weekend for my nieces birthday, she is in her mid 20s and suffers with ME which she finds very debilitating and frustrating. She had to give up a career in the caring profession where she'd studied hard because she simply couldn't cope and now can only work part time. Sunday Mrs F and Daughter-of-Furtheron are running in the Race for Life which they have done for a few years now in memory of family members we've lost to cancer. so as I say we have much to be happy and grateful for this weekend.


  1. Wonderfully written.

    I went to undergrad with a guy that had Tourette's. He was a handsome and sweet southerner who would, of course make us laugh daily. Because he was from the south, he had a certian politically incorrect opinion about black people and he would shout the N word as one of his ticks, whenever in the company of a dark skinned person,to which he would then profusely apologize. Not funny when you are a bunch of college kids being pulled over by a black police officer.

    Try using Tourettes as a defense.

  2. Damn I wish I had in the past... :-)

    That's made me think about the face that I was at college with a lad (Rick) who had really bad celebral palsy, very slurred and difficult speach and he had violent shakes as well. I thought he was a great laugh but many on my course stayed away from him. Sadly I lost contact with him after college, I've never been good at staying in touch really.

  3. I think there's a greater awareness these days and I'd like to say understanding but i'm not sure. I think integrated classes at school should help as children will take things for granted then. But there will inevitably be bullies.

    Good running to Mrs F and Daughter!

  4. Tourettes is something I get after slamming my hand in a door accidentally. Must be hard on the people who constantly suffer from it - but why is it still funny at times? How PC is it not to laugh at a sufferer?
    Enjoy the BBQ.

  5. All counting our blessings today! Thanks for your comments at mine.

  6. Ive worked with kids with physical /mental/emotional issues..
    one had tourettes, and he was hilarious..although we never laughed while dealing with him ..( behavior issues )
    but man when we were doing paperwork we'd laugh..he was lightly afflicted and darn adorable..
    ( aside from him trying to kill the staff)

  7. now me being me you know exactly what I want to say so, just this once, I'll behave. As it's you ;-)