Lessons from my cat almost killing me 

On 9 March 2023, my partner, Scott, and I completed on our first home. A cute two bed flat with a stunning balcony in a new build development in South West London.

It felt like a massive achievement, not only did Scott and I both grow up in London, we both come from working class backgrounds and were pretty certain neither of us would ever own property, not in London anyway. 

Add in that we’re both self-employed and we absolutely didn’t foresee this moment in our future. I’m not sure about Scott, but multiple friends have told me that if I want to do any of the proper adulting stuff like buying a flat, having a pension, or even just a nice life, then I need to stop fucking about prolonging my student days and come back to the ‘real world’ of PAYE and employment. 

Nah. Been there done that, not a fan, thanks though.

But regardless, they were wrong. In this shit show of an economy and in the financial nightmare that Liz Truss left her in wake, Scott and I secured a mortgage as two self employed individuals. 

That makes it sound easier than it was. But no one laughed in our faces for trying, and if we hadn’t succeeded, it would’ve been because of the economy and not because Scott and I have been playing at working and adulting. 

How does any of this relate to the title?

Where does my cat come in? And how did I almost die? 

I promise this is all relevant context. 

A few nights into the new flat, our eldest cat, Jellybean, JB if you’re on good terms, stopped peeing. This is really dangerous, there’s a risk of sepsis after just two hours, so I bundled JB into a box and off to the vets we went. 

Not a fan of being prodded and poked, JB gets a bit anxious at the vets and that comes out as aggression. Long story short, she got a needle jabbed in her butt, and I got her teeth deep into my right wrist. The one connected to my right hand that I use for everything. 

Fast forward 48 hours, and things are looking wobbly. 

Sepsis got into the joint, and to say I was very unwell doesn’t quite cover it. I was admitted into hospital to have emergency surgeries, and all in all, it was pretty shit. Plus, the only bed for me was opposite an elderly lady called Jill who spent hours on the phone to her sister complaining that I was getting all these different antibiotics and she wasn’t getting any.

0/10. Do not recommend. 

Anyway, this wouldn’t be a blog without a lesson would it?

So, what did I learn from my brush with death? 

  • I’ve been playing small, mainly in my business, but in some areas of my life too
  • I’ve been doubting myself and my ability when people with no experience are out here blagging it – my work has won awards and received international recognition, why am I hiding?! 
  • I’ve been afraid to show up as myself in case people thought I was weird or awkward
  • I’ve been making it too difficult for myself and not taking advantage of my 14 year background in digital marketing 
  • and possibly the saddest realisation that I’ve come to now I’ve had a bit of distance from the whole thing… I was so terrified of the financial repercussions of a few weeks off work that I was desperate to get back to earning money before I was really ready, and definitely before I’d really processed what I’d actually been through.
  • I was basically in the casino with Death and I was stressed about changing up the chips later (or some more concise money metaphor). Obvs this is also a big tick for a money safety net, which we normally have, but you know, we’d just ploughed all of our savings into buying our flat. 

Let’s turn this shit around 

Again, wouldn’t be a blog without me, the hero of this story, finding some solutions and navigating my way forward, would it? 

So here’s what I’m doing to combat the above:

  • I put my rates up for the first time in four years 
  • I’ve booked in some time with my coach to work on my goals for my biz and bringing out the ‘me’ in my biz 
  • I treated myself and my biz like a client, got crystal clear on what I want to offer, who I like working with, what my values and no go’s are, and why. 
  • I’ve decided Friday afternoons are my ‘CEO’ time, dedicated to working on my biz 
  • And finally, I’m just going to keep going with ‘doing the thing’. I started this before the move and the all-inclusive trip to hospital, but basically, I would think about all the embarrassing consequences I would imagine that could come from putting myself out there, and then I’d do it anyway. Send the email. Share the reel. Reach out to someone that inspires me. Do the thing. 

So, there you have it. JB almost killed me and I’ve turned it into a blog post with so much less drama than I could’ve packed this with. 

For example, I didn’t even tell you how Jill wouldn’t stop flashing me (and staring at me whilst she did). Or how the first consultant that admitted me to hospital found me silently crying on my hospital bed, you know, you’re not even crying, your eyes just won’t stop pouring, and took me to the ward kitchen and made me a jam sandwich at almost 1am. Or how the pain in my wrist was so intense that whilst a nurse was cleaning the wounds, I passed out. 

It’s an absolutely wild ride of a story that begins and ends with gratitude, because every single part of the rollercoaster could’ve been so much worse, I could’ve died and I didn’t, I got so lucky at multiple points. And I’m beyond grateful. 

I won’t forget so many moments of kindness and compassion during my stay at St George’s, the consultant that made me the sandwich, the nurses that tied up my hair, helped me get changed, take out my jewellery, the nurse that used her own mobile phone to try and call Scott once I was out of surgery. 

What’s next?

I’m about a month on from my hospital stay, and I’m slowly getting back to normal.

Combining my soon to be qualified coaching skills with my digital marketing background, I’m moving into my coaching and consultancy era, supporting you and your biz to live your best, happiest lives. Basically, I’m all about supporting your marketing efforts in a way that feels true to you and helping you to live your happiest life.

I know first-hand, that life is too short for it to feel anything but truly yours. So, I’m here to help you do that, both personally and professionally. Want to chat about how I could help? Drop me a message or slide into my DMs.

Published by Saloni Chamberlain

Turning words into stories with feeling.

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