Fun & Faff: Where have I been?

Me in my natural habitat. #coffeeshop #nordicbakery #yum #daytrip #london

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Apologies I got rather caught up in that thing they call life there and didn’t find the time to blog for a little while. What the heck have I been doing you ask? Well, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been…

Working really hard at the day job

I’m working on a massive, and very challenging, project at the moment. It’s all good, but hard work and sometimes very tiring. Some evenings the last thing I’ve wanted to do is look at a computer screen when I get home, hence the lack of blogs.

Building wardrobes

Well, Hubby did this in the most part, but I did help by deciding where shelves should be stacked and drawers should be hung. I’m loving how organised our apartment is just by the addition of this one piece of furniture. God bless you Ikea!

I ❤️cake! #Claridges #London #fabdaywiththefam #afternoontea

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Enjoying afternoon tea at Claridge’s

Oh my! When we first booked this I balked at the cost (£50 per head), but now having been and experienced the magic of Claridge’s, I have to say it’s worth every penny. I’ll do a separate blog post about this soon. But, for now, let’s just say: more cake than even I can eat AND there’s a lady in the toilets who turns the tap on for you and checks the temperature of the water before you wash your hands. Opulent, posh and amazing.

Oh hello Big Ben! #FabDayWithTheFam #London #LondonEye

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More London-y stuff

As well as afternoon tea, we also strolled around London. Took in Westiminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Covent Garden, Downing Street, Horseguard’s Parade and Buckingham Palace. We also took a spin on the London Eye.

Sigmund Freud had a very nice London home. #FreudianSlips #Hampstead #dayout #London #psychoanalysis #instacollage

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And yet more London-y stuff

Not content with a weekend in the big smoke. Hubby and I returned at the weekend to do a bit more of the touristy stuff. We visited the Freud Museum and the Imperial War Museum and walked for miles.

Catching up with friends and family

‘Cause that’s a nice thing to do y’know.

Watching Keeping up With the Kardashian’s and Made in Chelsea NYC

Because after a stressful day at work you can’t beat some trash TV.

Enjoying having a stay at home Hubby

Hubby took last week off work and it was very nice and indulgent having him look after after me when I got home from work.

Booking a holiday

More on this soon, but we’ll be going away again in a few weeks – whoop, and indeed, whoop!

Boring stuff

Because sometimes you’ve gotta cook, clean and sleep. That’s just life.

So, now we’re all caught up and I’ll be back with some more blog posts very soon.

What have you been doing? Let me know in the comments box.

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Faff: An Update on My Eyes

I tried to discharge you once, but you came back…

Ha, ha! Got to love my eye surgeon with his dead pan delivery.

Yup, I headed to my home from home last week for my post-surgery check-up and I’m pleased to report that the lasering (or welding as I’m now frequently referring to it as) has worked and closed up the small holes.

I also got the go ahead to continue with my yoga (I’d read conflicting reports on the t’interweb so was steering clear of any downward dog antics or other inversions), but was told I can’t box, sky dive or bungee jump – darn it ;-).

It was debatable as to whether I would be discharged, but as I’m still symptomatic (I still get flashes in my right eye) it was decided that I’d return for a check-up in four months to ensure everything was still behaving. Although I’m to present myself to eye casualty if the flashes get worse or if I get any other symptoms before then.

Because of the timing of my appointment, Hubby and I had booked the day off work, and spent the afternoon wandering around our local shopping centre. Me getting odd glances as I kept my shades on to protect my dilated pupils from the bright lights.

Next stop, getting some new specs. I really like these ones. Some new shades and trying out contact lenses again…

Faff: My Eye Surgery

Are you ready? It’s time to say…

My what big eyes you have!

Yup, I had my next round of eye surgery last week and as promised I vlogged, well some of it, there isn’t really the opportunity to vlog much when you’re inside the actual hospital but hopefully this video will give you a taster of what happened.

From my pre-op appointment the week before, through bag packing, pre-op and post-op recovery. It’s all here!

Take a look…

Faff: How to politely chase a hospital appointment

Double hurrah! Some drugs from the doctors to make me all better 🏥🔥🚒💊😳

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Having successfully secured an appointment for my next round of eye surgery, I thought I’d share with you my top tips for chasing up a hospital appointment.

1. Make sure you have all your details available.

Make sure you’ve got the right phone number to call, your patient reference number and the details of your last appointment. All of these make it easier for whomever answers the phone to locate your records and assist you.

2. State the facts. 

No one in the NHS has time to listen to how your delayed appointment is making you feel. They need hard facts if they’re going to help you. When you last called, when your last appointment was, what they told you in that appointment. That kind of thing. Sure, you’re pi**ed off, but save that moan for over a cup of tea with your friends and family.

3. Be polite.

Sure, it’s annoying that you’re having to chase them up. But bear in mind it’s probably not the fault of the person you’re talking to on the phone. Don’t shout. Keep it civil. I’m a firm believer that people are more likely to help you if you’re nice.

4. But do stand your ground.

Being nice doesn’t mean being a pushover. I was repeatedly told that I would receive a call from the eye hospital. In the end I did, but not before me having to call them to chase up my appointment numerous times. I pointed this out in the politest way I knew how, a.k.a…

We spoke last Thursday, you were going to call me back, but I haven’t heard anything so I thought I’d give you a call to follow-up.

5. Get the name of who you need to speak to. 

Speaking to the right person not only saves time, but also makes them feel more accountable and more likely to do something about it.

6. Make sure you’re actually on the waiting list. 

The fact that I wasn’t was actually what delayed my appointment in the first place.

6. Make them remember you. 

I called once a week, every week. They knew who I was after a couple of calls. Although, do make them remember you for the right reasons (see point 3).

7. Appreciate there may be people more urgent than you on the waiting list. 

I know it’s annoying to be at the bottom of a waiting list. But in health-scare stakes it’s may be preferable to being pushed to the top. Weigh up how you are versus how urgent you think the treatment is and if you have any concerns let the hospital know.

8. Remember to say thank you. 

I made sure that once my appointment was sorted I gave proper grateful thanks for their help. Something along the lines of a genuine:

Thank you for your help, it’s really appreciated.

Should do the trick. Everyone likes to be thanked and I find it amazing how you can hear the person’s voice on the other end of the phone audibly change once you’ve given them genuine thanks.

What are your top tips for chasing up hospital appointments?

Faff: My Eye Surgery Appointment Came Through!

Hurrah! Hurrah! And a little bit of eek!

The date for my eye operation came through.

In fact, as you’re reading this I’m probably getting dilated up to my eyeballs (pun whole-heartedly intended) at my pre-op check-up.

I’m hoping to vlog a little of my trip to the eye hospital. So look out for that in the future (and prepare to say ‘my what big eyes you have’).

In the meantime, my faith in the NHS has been restored. Hurrah!

Faff: Some Progress With My Eye Operation

Dilated Pupil

A slightly more successful phone call with the Eye Hospital this time. Although, yup, you guessed it, I had to call them! #annoying.

Apparently I’m ‘eligible’ for surgery and, said surgery, is due to be scheduled for the start of June. I’ve just got to wait for a letter in the post.

Hurrah!

Faff: A Further Delay to My Next Round of Eye Surgery

Eye cartoon

I knew they wouldn’t call me back, but I didn’t expect them to be quite so short with me when I called back over a week later to chase up my appointment for my next round of lasering. You may recall, when I called previously,I mysteriously wasn’t on the waiting list.

Good news! I am now on the waiting list.

Bad news! When I asked how long it might take for the appointment to come through, the response I received was a sharp intake of breath. Similar to the one a builder does before he utters those terrifying words ‘it’s gonna cost ya’.

I only want an approximation, I said. 

Is it likely to be months or weeks? 

They couldn’t tell me, they transferred me to someone else, whose unhelpful response was.

The surgeon is reviewing your notes again at the moment, so we don’t know. We should have a better idea next week. 

My response…

OK, shall I call you, or are you going to call me? 

Another sharp intake of breath and their response.

We’ll call you. 

Looks like I’ll be calling them again on Friday.

Faff: A Slight Delay to my Next Round of Eye Surgery

Don't forget about your eye check

Called the eye hospital last Thursday to chase up the appointment for my next round of surgery (it’s now been two month’s since my consultation).

After being transferred across various departments and telling them my patient number about a squillion times I was told…

You’re not on the waiting list. I’ll have to dig out your file and give you a call back next week. 

I was too shocked/polite to react on the phone, but soon afterwards I was uttering expletives!

For some reason this song has been in my head ever since…

Faff: You Have The Same Amount of Hours in a Day as Beyonce…Apparently!

You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce

 

You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.

This saying has been making women feel inadequate for a while now. Kind of ironic when you consider the sentiment was probably intended to be empowering.

I find the saying seems to pop into my mind from time-to-time, usually when I’m knee-deep in some domestic chore, like cleaning the loo, doing an online Tesco shop, or ironing.

See, I do have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé (24 last time I checked), but what I don’t have is her money, or for that matter, her staff.

Whoever said money can’t buy time, frankly, didn’t have enough money. Sure, it can’t buy extra years of your life, or an extra hour in an already packed day. But what money can do is pay for child care, cleaners, drivers, cooks – all those people who take care of the mundane everyday tasks so that you can get on with being fabulous – whether that be devoting time to your career, or things that make you happy.

Of course, Beyoncé should have help. There’s no way in the world she’d be able to do her day job without it and, my god, she’s worked hard enough to earn the money to pay for it. I don’t begrudge her at all. What I do begrudge is women being unhelpful to each other. I thought we were over ‘having it all’. I thought we’d realised that was an insurmountable and foolish ambition, but yet here we are saying ‘Beyoncé does it, you know. What’s your excuse?‘.

Sure, I get the sentiment. If you want to achieve something stop sitting around in your jogging bottoms watching re-runs of Made in Chelsea and do something about it. Use your time wisely. Do things that matter, do things that make a difference, don’t get bogged down in the mundane, but do do the dishes – no one likes a slob!

Yup, there are 24-hours in all of our days – use them wisely!

P.S. I personally prefer my own take on Beyoncé philosophy – take a look here.

 

 

 

Faff: Top Tips For Visiting The Eye Hospital

These are my favourite socks to wear through airport security when I have to take my shoes off. #justsayin #panda #socks

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Hopefully you’ll never have cause to need this information, but should you find yourself paying a visit to the eye hospital here’s some hints and tips from someone who knows…

Don’t drive – chances are you’re going to be administered dilating eye drops (in some cases, lots of dilating eye drops). These make your pupil enlarge so it’s easier for the Ophthalmologist to see what’s going on inside your eye. These eyedrops often distort your vision too, so no taking to the roads afterwards!

In the same vein – take someone with you. First up, it’s nice to have someone to chat to whilst you’re waiting for your name to be called. Secondly, if you receive any treatment (or have A LOT of dilating eye drops) you may be a bit disorientated. It’s always nice to have a trusty friend or family member to stop you walking into the life-sized guide dog collection box (or laugh at you when you do in my case!).

Now is not the time for tottering heels. Be sensible, wear flats! 

Wear a shirt or cardigan – something that does up at the front. If you do have to have some work done to your eyes, they’re likely to be tender for a while, so you don’t want to be squeezing out of a polo neck afterwards – ouch!

Tie your hair back and pin-up your fringe. It stops it getting in the way when you’re looking up, down, left, right on the slit lamp.

Don’t bother with eye make-up, or much make-up at all for that matter, those darn eye drops have a tendency to roll out of your eye and down your face, smudging any slap that they come into contact with.

For the same reason, don’t wear your best clothing either – those eye drops can go seriously rogue sometimes!

Take snacks and water with you, unless you’ve been told not to eat anything. Sometimes, if they think they’ll need to urgently operate you’ll be told not to eat or drink anything. Otherwise pack the snacks – the waiting time can be very lengthy.

Pack your shades. Another side-effect of those dilating eye drops is that they make you very sensitive to light. Emerging from the eye hospital looking like a celebrity who has just landed at the airport is perfectly acceptable.

Take some money – you’ll need change for the car park (or at least your driver will), or your taxi to and from the hospital and possibly some more snacks depending on how long you’re there for.

Don’t bother with reading material. Once they’ve popped those dilating eye drops in it becomes very difficult to read, not impossible, but difficult. I’d stick with making small talk with your chaperone instead.

Activate the accessibility options on your phone before you go if you can (or get someone to do it for you). The iPhone has some handy features to allow you to increase the font size of your text messages and text in other apps. Handy for when that ‘just can’t wait’ text comes through whilst you’re literally dilated up to your eyeballs.

What other tips would you add to the list?

You can find out why I ended up at the eye hospital here.