First hospital experience!

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Monday, March 4, 2013

Hiya all!

How's everyone?

We’re all good here, especially as today hit a very sunny & balmy 16 degrees, wow! It was a beautiful day, no smog either. Temperatures hitting 19 on Thursday, so spring is definitely here.

I’m a lot better now but have had a tough week. After thinking last weekend that my back was a lot better, I went out walking over the weekend, but come Monday suffered big time & could barely move. Another couple of days in bed flat out, Tuesday I didn’t know what to do with myself, so Andy & Joy, the Chinese girl from work took me to the local hospital. We have medical insurance, but it doesn’t cover us for general doctors’ appointments. I’d heard a lot of negative things about the local hospitals, but I have to say – I was pleasantly surprised.

The Chinese culture is to push your way to the front of the queue, and all for oneself, so it was quite handy going with a local in such a situation!! You have to queue for a registration card, then queue to register for an appointment with a consultant which cost around 5. We got the the consultants room, Andy & I waited outside, Joy went straight in there – even though there were people in there with him, they were about to leave to be fair, but hey, it’s the done thing!! He prodded & asked questions which Joy translated, then sent me for xray, costing about 12. Straight into xray, which strangely at the grand old age of 41, I’m lucky to have never had to have an xray for anything, so it was quite an experience! Half an hour to wait, so we went across the road for a coffee, returning to collect them, then straight into the consultant again. Results – twisted spine, inflamed muscles, told to rest, no exercise, no massage (everyone has their own advice about backs, I didn’t want to do anything until I knew what I’d done, and didn’t want to risk further damage), no medication (I did cheat on this one though!!). All done in just over an hour, prescribed some 'well’ patches, acupuncture stickers really, and cost around 32. An appointment alone with a doctor at an international hospital would have cost me 100, let alone anything else….. it gave us confidence for the future should we need anything. Thanks to Joy, the whole experience was very smooth.

I spent the rest of the week in bed resting, sleeping on the floor, or the hard sofa to try & get better. A friend came round on Friday with coffee & cakes which was lovely, and a welcome gossip for a few hours!!

The weekend before we had the monthly bowling which was a record turn out & good fun. I didn’t bowl, I just watched & took photos so still had fun. Sunday we went to a friends for dinner again, the same place as Friday, a few more people, and a bit less alcohol!! Another nice evening though.

Monday Andy had a work appointment in the evening. Then he had his bowling league on Tuesday, where they are still top of the league, 8 points clear which is fantastic. Also he’s 3rd on the highest score chart, and 3rd on the average, and 3rd on the combined 3 game score (he just made me write all that & is saying ‘must do better & can do better’!!!!!).

Thursday night was quiz night, after the success of the month before with the charity quiz, we’ve been asked to host a monthly quiz, so this was the 2nd, I was still at home so Andy hosted it, with Joel our friend who writes all the questions for us, he’s the guy that broke his leg before Christmas that we visited, who is more mobile now so nice that he could take part & be the quiz master for the night. They had just over 40 participants, but raised as much money as last time where there were 62 people, by offering different challenges, and people could ‘buy’ questions to raise more money, which worked a treat!! Another fab evening raising money for the Migrant Children Foundation.

Friday Andy stayed in & kept me company, and we ordered in some food & watched a DVD which was nice.

Saturday I felt a bit better so we had a slow walk into town for coffee & some food, in the evening Andy went out for a friends Birthday celebration, cake & champagne. Sunday, again a little walk into town & met up with a few friends.

Andy did a presentation at a school today through Helen from the charity, it was a career day where the students who are due to leave this summer, could attend a series of talks by various professionals, Andy being one of them – and did 4 presentations to different groups, he met lots of people & got his face known which is always good for networking.  I popped into work just to have a walk really and see the boss who’s back today, and luckily very understanding  of my back troubles. Andy also had a late afternoon appointment, then we met for some food, now we’re back home & packing………

All very last minute & unexpected, but we are going to Hong Kong tomorrow. The visa rules change all the time, and things are very strict at the moment now the powers are changing hands at the moment, and the type of visa we’re on is harder to get, and we have to go out of the country now, rather than at the year stage as we were first told. So, we’re getting our visa’s via Hong Kong now, and making the most of it by spending a few days there whilst we wait for it all to be sorted. We fly tomorrow morning and come back Friday afternoon. Neither of us have been before, and are very excited, it’s been on my hit list for a long time!! We have a hotel in the central area on Hong Kong Island with city & harbour views, so it should be fab. The flight is around 3 hrs, and it’s really nice weather there at the moment, 21 degrees, reaching 24 degrees by the end of the week. It’s weird packing & getting the summer stuff back out, but very lovely!!

So, our next blog will be full of tales from Hong Kong!!!

Great speaking to Mum & Dad on Skype this week, and to Barbara too, and Sarah Hiney for 2 & a half hours….. wow!! Also to Lou G – thank you all, you’ve stopped me from going mad by being stuck between 4 walls for so long!!

Take care, and bye for now!!

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