Budapest and Vitmain C Infusion

[A ‘to be fair’ addition. The following friday after this post (i.e. today, when I’m writing this update), the infusion went far better. I think having my translator with me – Zsolt the human Hungarian-English dictionary – was really helpful. Plus, I was more prepared in the vein department. I looked like that kid in the Robert Munch story, Thomas’ Snowsuit. So, it has improved!]

Hey there, how you doing?

The man (Zsolt) and I are finally in Hungary for Christmas with his family. It was a pretty awesome to be invited over by his folks, but also an adventure that has presented itself with challenges. The biggest quetion being, how can we travel for long periods when I’m getting treatment? Mind you, it’s not “treatment” if you know what I mean – as in, it’s not the treatment-that-shall-not-be-named. There is no nausea as a result, or hair loss, or illness of any kind. Actually, infusions of vitmain c (IVC) kinda rock in that there are no heavy-handed side effects.

Anyhow, I had spoken with the naturopath in Ottawa about taking a month long break from IVC, and she said, “I’ve seen it be done before, but the results weren’t very good…”


So, how to travel and still get my infusions?

We were scrambling over this for a while, trying to find clinics that might offer the IVC service. I’d found many in Austria who offer IVC. Zsolt came up rather thin in Hungary, however he did find a clinic in Budapest that offers vitmain infusions. From there, he found a doctor who was willing to allow me to get my Vitamin C infusions, providing I bring along the vitamin C myself, which I have done. So, what follows is an email to my mother describing yesterday’s expereince. I’d like to say before diving into that little adventure, that I pray this won’t be the normal course of events. And it really is incredibly good of the doctor to allow me to have these treatments in her clinic. (It’s a fertility clinic by the way, the irony of that doesn’t allude me. Except of course, if there is no irony and I’ve just pulled an Alantis Morriset in making the suggestion. Whatever.) So despite all my winging, looking back I am of course grateful for this accomodation.

Here’s a little taste of what happens when travel and treatment meet. Plus, throw in a fever and a language barrier, just for some extra fun. πŸ™‚

Hi Mom,

The doctor’s was a mess. I mean, in the end we got there – but it was a crap day as a whole. The night before the doctor appointment, Zsolt got a fever. Then, the day of the appointment, his fever was waning but he had terrible heart burn. So in the end it was decided that he should not come along. Therefore, I took a taxi into Budapest and met his sis & bro-in-law [I have cut out their names for this post] at the doctor’s.

No one at the clinic spoke English.

We wait and wait,then go into for the appointment. So the doctor spoke to Zsolt’s sis & bro-in-law and hardly to me at all. I think I scare people with my total lack of Hungarian. Meanwhile, I’m just so knackered from Zsolt having been sick and all this travelling – I look like a total mess.

Anyhow. Finally that meeting is over, and it’s time for my vitamin C. This is where it gets really ridiculous. The doctor insists I drink water, go to the bathroom, and rince my arm in warm water. And she keeps saying this over and over, so Bro-in-law translates it to me over and over. And I’m like, “yeah, I’ve don’t this a million times already – okay, 15 times”.

So Zsolt’ sis & bro-in-law leave because this is all on their lunch break and they need to get back to work. It’s just me and the nurses who come along to give me the infusion. There are two nurses, who seem like lovely people but are utterly incapable at this infusion thing. They have me sit in a lounge chair with no arms on which I can rest my arm. And they try to get me to let them use my elbow vein. But i’m like, “no way, you need to use my hand” and that freaks them out even more. There are two of them, and they are doing everything together – checking my veins, going over to the heater and turning it on because it’s damn cold in the room, coming back, going off together to microwave my gel pack (which I bought the day before), coming back.

Eventually they try a vein in my hand. Unfortunately, they didn’t get it. But they don’t even try again. Instead they say, “We need to go and get the doctor.” They say it in Hungarian, but ‘doktor’ is easy to understand.

So – one poke, and they go get the doctor. Except the doctor is busy (not that they tell me that, they tell me nothing), and I’m sitting in that room alone for about 45 minutes. FINALLY the doctor comes in, but she doesn’t want to use my hand veins. She wants to use my elbow. I am SO fed up, that I say fine, use the elbow.

So she does. It eventually goes in, because it’s a really hard vein, and they start the drip.

Okay, so there are two bags. The nurse tells me about one hour, so I reckon I’ll be done in one hour. I call up Zsolt (his Dad drove back up from Pecs to drive us down to Pecs after the appointment since Zsolt was sick earlier) and tell him to get over to the place (since he is feeling better) because I’m alone in a room with no way of calling for help if it were needed.

About an hour later, the bag appears to be done, and Zsolt and his Dad arrive. I sit up, thinking this is all over and am ready to go. Except the nurse comes in and says there’s another bag. My sitting up has shifted the needle without my realization that it was out of the vein. The nurse hooks up the second bag, leaves, and I say to Zsolt, “This doesn’t feel right.”

And it wasn’t right, because the needle wasn’t in my vein at all, and the drip is just going into my arm. Soon I notice the damn bubble under my skin – tell Zsolt to turn off the drop and go get the nurse, which he does. The nurse comes in and removes the needed. Then, we collectively agree that this is enough for today, and I’m getting the hell out of there.

So, I did about 25 grams of Vitmain C. I guess that’s better than nothing. On Friday I hope to God it goes better. Zsolt says that this is a women’s clinic, and they hardly ever do infusions, which is why they are so nervous. Maybe it would have been better to get this done in Vienna. It was miserable, no joking. I am hoping that next Friday I can help them more with how to do the infusion with Zsolt’s translation.

Zsolt is much better now. He says his illness was much like what happened several years ago when we were living in England and he had a fever out of nowhere. We’re back in Pecs now, I slept in till 10 and had breakfast in bed. It has restored my sanity, though I am not looking forward to Friday when we drive back up for another infusion. BUT my life is important and I guess that means tolerating some nervous nurses and a whole lot of Hungarian I don’t understand.

;p So, I am doing my best over here. Though I do miss home πŸ™‚

And there is a very long answer toΒ  your question πŸ™‚


11 thoughts on “Budapest and Vitmain C Infusion

  1. How frustrating for you, Catherine! I can imagine how difficult it must be, trying to communicate in Hungarian. But it sounds like you’ve (sort of) got things sorted now – or will have on Friday. Good luck! And have a wonderful time in Hungary. x

  2. Yikes Catherine, I’m sorry you had that less than pleasant experience and that the doctors in Budapest couldn’t provide more reassurance. You’re very brave to be undertaking this transnational medical care (and it’s a testament to what a cool, adventurous woman you are, not letting anything stand in your way)! I know it’d be a bit of a hike, but my mother-in-law is a doc in Vienna and might have some advice if you find yourselves stuck. Feel free to drop me an email.

    For now though, I hope you have lots of time just to enjoy your holidays (and I want to see pictures)!. We’re off for an extended Christmas vacation to Austria/Germany later this week, and I really cannot wait.

  3. Just wondering if you still have the name of this clinic? My friend is thinking of doing the same thing for herself this summer. Much appreciated, hope you are well!

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