Playing catch-up

In my head I’ve written about two blog posts this week, keeping things nicely up-to-date and chronlicalized. Chronicalized doesn’t seem to be a word (according to spell check, which I trust in this case), but in my head it makes sense. And, in my head, this apartment has been packed, furniture sold, and we’re already soaking in the hot baths of Budapest.

Clearly I’m living in a dream land, but, as you may know, sometimes we all need to visit our ‘happy place’ in order to get through the day. So now I’m posting, and next week we’ll be packing, and eventually I’ll soak in those baths.

This weekend Zsolt and I had each ‘secretly booked’ ourselves a get-away night at a fancy hotel (Sunday is a very good day to book if you’re looking to get away). Upon discovery of this double booking, there was laughter and decision making. I cancelled the room at Chilworth Manor, and we went to Lymington instead ( has this £20 administration charge for cancellations, which is obvious garbage considering a cancellation means clicking ‘update’ on the computer, but there you go, we didn’t want to lose the £20). It was a lovely boutique hotel, and we had a nice time.

The one problem neither of us had considered when booking on the Sunday (Sunday savings!) was that I also had a hospital appointment the following morning. So, what can you do? We woke bright and early at the luxury ‘relax your ass off’ hotel, and headed over to the hospital. There is a fertility clinic within the hospital that offers privately funded care. For £50 (not bad) I can take a test to determine how many eggs are left in my ovaries. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll start ovulating again, but it will let me know my fertility options and give me a number to work with in the future.

Anyhow, we arrived at the clinic promptly and were struck by how it felt ‘spa-like’. When it comes to private health care offices, there is a significant hotel/holiday feel to the places. Last time I visited a private clinic was in Canada, and that was quite fancy, and before that it was with Zsolt in England (for his chest exam a la Canadian Residency Permit) and that felt like a proper hotel. Yesterday’s clinic had wood panelling everywhere, fancy seats, a nice smell – it was like an island oasis in the middle of a sterile hospital dessert.

The test (at least my contribution) was straight forward. A nurse took me into her treatment room, and had me roll up my sleeve. I was wearing my LuluLemon jumper (gorgeous) and rolled up the sleeve. Then I proceeded to tell her where it’s best to draw the blood, and maybe she should use a smaller needle because often people miss. However, she disagreed about the needle size: “let’s try this one, and if it doesn’t work I’ll get another” – to which I said, “alright” – but what I really thought was: Damn. Because no one likes to be a human pin cushion.

However, first try and this lady scored! “Sharp scratch” she says as the needle goes in. Meanwhile I’m looking away and clinging to the table with my free hand, waiting for this moment to be over and wondering whether she got it right. But then she says, “all done”, so she did  get it right. Happy days. The nurse had commented that the vein felt quite hard, which I really do think is a result of all the chemotherapy. However, it still worked.

The problem came after the needed. She passes me a bit of puff to press over the entry point, which I do, and then in a minute she tries to put on the bandage – but, nope! My blood rises up everytime I stop pushing. The damn thing won’t clot! Again and again we wait, check, and ‘Hello!’ there’s the blood again. At this point I was getting worried. What if I can’t clot? What if my blood keeps leaking? What if I had been in an accident, and the wound was bigger and they couldn’t get that to clot? What if, what if, what if?

The nurse leaves to get help.

I keep pushing the cotton into my arm.

Zsolt sits beside me, thumbs up.

And then the nurse returns with another lady. This second nurse checks out my arm, which I’ve been pressing super hard, and sees that the bleeding has stopped (for now), she then tapes another cotton thing onto my arm, wrapping my arm in tape (which resulted in a lot of ‘ow!’ later on as it waxed the circumference of my arm of any hair), and then, and then, we realized that my stupid LuluLemon sleeve was acting as a ‘strapy thing’ [not technical language] which they normally tie one when taking blood. Essentially, my fashion choice for the day was unfortunate because the cuffs of a LuluLemon shirt are very tight, and rolled up onto the top of my arm, it became extremely tight, which then caused me to bleed continuously with the pressure it caused.

Mystery solved! We rolled down my sleeve and there were no more problems.

That blood now goes to a lab in London, so we’ll see what they say. It’s possible I’ll receive my results on Friday, but if not, then the Friday following. Zsolt is optimistic, which makes me feel better.

And speaking of Zsolt and good vibes. Can I please have one more ‘proud wife’ moment for my husband? He received a written review of his viva, and it’s so great I just want to share it with everyone.  So, here it it:

“Zsolt Sámson performed well in the viva.  He was able to discuss his work in depth, was confident in his explanations and able to extend the discussion beyond the immediate issues raised in his thesis.  He was also good in understanding questions and ensuring appropriate answers.  We spent nearly all of the viva discussing science, and it was clear that he understood his topic well and could relate the experimental results with theory in a critical manner.  We were happy that he was of PhD level and, taking his viva and thesis together, are happy to recommend award of the degree subject to the minor changes which are detailed below.”


6 thoughts on “Playing catch-up

  1. Well done to Zsolt-lovely review! I love that you two both “secretly” booked a getaway-hysterical and shows how in tune you are with eachother-that’s lovely. Lululemon-yay but not yay on acting as a tourniquet or whatever. I was stoked when they got Lulu here in Oz. Good luck on the test Catherine-my fingers are crossed for you guys (or your ovaries!).

    • Thanks Sarah, I’ll try and shoot you an message soon about what to do in London. I’m no expert, but can say what I’ve enjoyed best. Thanks for the finger crossing!

  2. Ahhh! How scary (the bleeding part, not the boutique hotel). Now you make me very curious about private vs. public healthcare (living in the US it is all private, and many places, including the hospital I am being treated at definitely have a spa feel, even though I had never thought about it).

    • Interesting, Mandi – they all feel like spas? You can certainly tell when a place has money. Public healthcare facilities depend on the amount of cash intake. For instance, in Ontario there are some amazing cancer facilities, but then you walk to another part of the hospital and it feels like an old mall. Certainly not spa-like.

      • The cancer hospital I am at is very beautiful, glass, marble, wood, donated art. Plastic surgeons offices are definitely a bit nicer than your run of the mill family doctor. I can’t say they all look like them, I just had never thought about it. I am going to look at hospitals a bit more closely now!

  3. Congrats Zsolt! That’s great. And Catherine, it’s great to hear you say that you stop to smell the roses, they do smell beautiful. Keep enjoying the moment and stay grounded. That’s what it’s all about, being grounded 🙂

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