Calcutta and the toy train
could be snakes. 47 Beniapukar Road is officially a transport police station now and we so nearly missed the house. Luckily we had the photo you see above and some of the officers pointed us in the right direction. It was a really special moment for mum, one that is hard to put into words. I guess there are no words. I was just happy to be a part of that moment.
The train was fabulous if not a little noisy with the horn blaring all of the time. The train runs right alongside normal village and town life - sometimes too close - so that horn has to be alerting people! It was a little different to the calm app Darjeeling train ride mum and I listened to the night before to get us in the mood. Again, another wonderful memory for mum to rekindle though.
Leading up to this trip, I've been convinced that until we actually land in Calcutta, I won't believe we are finally able to do this. Covid aside, it was already a mammoth trip to plan.. building in rest days, trying to get the time off work, making sure we visited the essential destinations to trace our family history and meet family we've never met before, but also to throw in some sightseeing as well. Logistics have been more complicated thanks to the pandemic and the shortage of flight options have meant more days travelling. It's been a mission, that's for sure! But here we are, finally!
Amidst the struggles trying to keep myself well without medication post my latest hospital admission and trying to advocate for myself and feeling very vulnerable and alone, I've been researching the Cresswell's in the book you see in the picture. This is my mum's father's family line and the one we are focusing on whilst on our trip. I've also been catching up with stuff I had to postpone due to hospital - dinner with friends, getting a quote to replace my porch door that was smashed to smitherines, getting my car MOTd, test driving a new SUV in preparation for being a mum (if that is ever going to happen - trying to keep the faith), pamper session with a haircut and colour, contacting a cat sitter, building a new bookcase for my bedroom, getting the back garden up to scratch, sorting out my typhoid booster which I've left to the last minute and filling out the numerous forms for our travels... you know, just a few things to keep me occupied.
Discharged from hospital
I've been out of hospital for a week and went back to work on Friday. Maybe it is all a little too soon, but I am keen to get on track again and determined to have a good holiday on this trip of a lifetime with mum.
I've fast tracked through the home treatment team and the community mental health team straight back to my GP. Time will tell if this was the right decision. I'm taking Aripiprazole now, having detoxed off of Quetiapine and Escitalopram in hospital. So far so good. I did lose my appetite and I couldn't sleep earlier on in the week, but both things seem to have settled down now.
I'm desperately fighting my corner with the pregnancy stuff. This is stressing me out a lot. It's a rollercoaster ride mentally and emotionally. I know I should take a breath, but until I have answers as to whether I can start treatment, I can't rest. I know this latest hospital admission does not help my situation and I know I need a good, solid period of stability, but what hurts the most is the way the clinic closes ranks as soon as they know you have mental health problems. It makes me feel like a sub standard human being.
I feel as if I'm in one long battle at the moment, even concentrating on this jigsaw puzzle was difficult. It's been a week of still not feeling 100% physically, going round and round with the pregnancy stuff, fighting to become an informal patient after being promised it would happen a week ago Monday, fighting to get time off the ward unescorted and fighting for some home leave unescorted. Everything is SO SLOW and a real struggle in hospital and I am trying to speed up my discharge. I just get immensely frustrated and when you have to pin down staff to take you to the gym so you can let off steam, well, I've only got so much energy and it tends to manifest quickly into a meltdown or a kicking off session.
Finally started new medication
Last night I finally started my new medication Aripiprazole. It is such a relief! It's been a week of frustration, not knowing what's going on, not feeling heard and not finding anyone to talk to about any of this. Last Tuesday I had my ward round and there were so many people in that room, it was completely overwhelming. Apparently I don't have bi-polar, I have internal anxieties. This does not make any sense to me, but whatever. It was great to talk to one of the Independent MH advocates on the ward and lay out my thoughts. The Dr said he would speak to me on Wednesday and never did so I appealed my section that evening. On Thursday I lay in bed all day feeling really defeated and then I planned to escape. Speaking to a solicitor that evening made me feel more in control again. I finally spoke to the Dr on Friday and we made a plan of action - but I have no faith in them. I've agreed to drop my appeal and work towards being an informal patient. I had one hours escorted leave on Saturday and Sunday to make use of and see how I did, but it was difficult enough trying to get someone to take me to the gym, let alone try for the escorted leave. And on top of all that, I've also got a stomach bug. Honestly, Katherine Ryan's funny Lockdown podcast is the only thing getting me through at the moment and the fact I need to get out of here in order to travel with my mum at the end of the month.
Time to try and relax and do an exercise on the CALM app...
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.