I don't often say this, but I'm feeling rather on top of some of my never ending To-Do list - largely thanks to furlough - of which I have more to look forward to before the scheme wraps up at the end of September...
I'm chomping at the bit to get the garden revamped, but I know I have to pace myself. I think I've got all of the materials I need now to lay a pathway from the patio to the shed, but I want to see the summer flowers finish first before I start that job. I did use my new chainsaw to get the rest of the buddlia root out around the pond.
Amongst working and doing the garden, I've binged all four seasons of A Handmaid's Tale. I remember studying this book in school and it sort of made an impact, but oh my god, what a brutal assault on the emotions the tv series gives!
On the travel front, very exciting news - I'm hoping to travel to Saudi Arabia now that the destination is finally opening up to tourism. We had some training on it this last week and I would be stoked to be one of the first UK tourists to see what the country has to offer. Slight hiccup though, my passport needs renewing. I'm kicking myself because I wrote a reminder in my diary back in May to get this sorted and I'm only now just getting to it. That may ruin my plan. Nothing like putting undue pressure on myself.
Also hoping to be discharged from the Community Mental Health team soon and I'm still trying to piece together what happens next with the fertility clinic. I've got a call scheduled for later today with one of the nurses.
So thumbs up, my fallopian tubes are healthy! And I've had all my bloods done now except for checking my progesterone, which has to be done on or around day 21 of my cycle. I am a little confused as to how the process of finding a sperm donor happens here at CARE, as I have been told a couple of different things. I'm anxious to get started so I hope I can clear this up soon. I'm not sure if it's because CARE have recently taken over Nuffield Health at my clinic and they are still setting up the new system, or whether it's because of the pandemic.
I did have my mandatory implications counselling. Like the chat with my doctor, it was a difficult but good hour of frank and open discussion. With CARE, I will have three more counselling sessions per treatment cycle.
Anyway, I've been distracting myself with finally buying a bookcase for my bedroom and arranging for the dresser to be given to charity. I got the bookcase all set up and it's lovely to have all of my books out of their boxes and on the shelves after many, many years! You know how much I love my books.
Furlough ended and it was back to work on Saturday. I quickly got up to speed with the traffic light countries that are good to go and it was like I'd never been away. We've also got colleagues and clients coming back from long awaited holidays now, so it's good to hear their experiences of travelling at the moment and how the testing procedures worked out for them. I'm looking forward to my trip with Mum to Lisbon and Madeira in two months and really hoping we will be able to go. I've held back with booking day trips even though I booked the hotels and flights back in May. It's great that we've both been double jabbed, but at the moment that doesn't really give us any benefit when it comes to the testing. I'm hoping this will improve by the time we travel.
I'm attempting to get some ducks in a row whilst I've got the time to think about and plan these matters. Last week after blogging, I wrote an advance statement and gave a copy to my CPN, therapist and GP. It's not legally binding, but it lays out how I would prefer to be treated and what would happen to the cats and my bills for example if I was to become unwell again. There are no set rules for this statement, but it's an opportunity to express what you want to happen whilst in a rational state of mind. It made me feel good, writing it all down, sort of more in control.
I started taking my folic acid and had a long consultation over the phone with my fertility consultant and nurse. They are fine with me staying on my medication, but asked for a letter from my psychiatrist and GP. I'm going to start with a natural cycle of IUI and see how that goes. I've got lots of tests now booked in with some of them having to be on set days within my cycle and I'm getting there with the organisation. It's a minefield and I can see myself quickly becoming overwhelmed and I'm glad the nurses at CARE are there to to answer my questions and talk me through next steps.
To take my mind off all of this, I've been in the garden digging out more wildflower roots and preparing the soil to put grass seed down for the lawn extension. It's slow going but the first patch of lawn looks really good.
I'm chuffed I've now had my boiler serviced using a local, independent company, after the absolute cafuffle with British Gas this last 10 months. That is one, giant headache sorted.
And I've finally installed a washing line and bought four new fish for the pond! The two red goldfish are Fred and Freda and the two shubunkins (great name!) are Henry and Henrietta. I must protect these little ones from the heron this time.
It's full speed ahead with my fertility journey - and thankfully I've got furlough again for the first two weeks of August! Perfect timing.
I jumped a big fertility / mental health hurdle last Tuesday when I went to see my psychiatrist and CPN to discuss medication. We came to the conclusion that unless my consultant disagrees, I can stay on my current medication at the same doses. This is a massive relief as I hate changing medication and I'm not a fan of being unwell either.
In between working and sleeping and to distract myself from my impatience, I watched Behind Her Eyes on Netflix. Astral Projection is fascinating.
I've never been more pleased to see my period as it needed to be at least Day 2 of my cycle yesterday in order to have my first (of many) ultra sound scans. I also had bloods taken to check my AM hormone levels. Prior to these appointments, my GP phoned and we had a frank discussion about pregnancy and mental health. It was difficult listening for me. No-one wants to be told they are high risk and could harm themselves and/or their baby, so safeguarding will need to be in place. I don't understand what this is and I'm trying not to dwell on it. My GP described it as an extra layer of support. My only concern is to keep myself as well as possible and keep the faith that I can be the best mum despite mental health struggles, fibro and being a single parent.
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.