So I should be about to fly to Saudi, well, that was the plan, but my passport only just turned up on Saturday. I had made my peace with the fact I probably was going to have to postpone and decided instead that I would use the extra holiday I took off from yesterday, to finally redecorate the large front bedroom. I had all the big items of furniture picked up and dumped on Thursday, so now I have space to see what's what.
I am thrilled that my donor sperm has safely arrived from Denmark to CARE, but there are still some mental health hoops to jump through.
I am also thrilled that Gold Rush season 12 has begun.
I said to my counsellor on Wednesday last week that I felt "off". Not fibro off, but mentally off. A little in and out of reality, even though things are going great in my life at the moment. I don't know what this means, but I haven't had the best of weeks. I'm sat here trying to write it, yet I can't find the words. I've slept a lot and had a couple of days off work sandwiched between one day in, where I felt really spaced and struggled through the day. Hopefully things will be a bit clearer next week. I don't think I'm unwell again and I'm sure I've been taking the all important meds.
Still no new passport. I'm consoling myself with booking trips for Lisbon and Madeira, which I booked back in May for myself and Mum to have something to look forward to next month. I can't really complain, Saudi always was a bit of a last minute long shot, once I'd realised the situation with my passport! Can't believe it's been a year since I got on a plane to fly to Venice with Mum. Madness for us travellers!
Such a relief to have some positive, albeit slow going, travel news from the Government last Friday. Means one less test Mum and I will have to take before coming back to the UK and I have been booking some super trips for clients. Fab news when Canada opened up on the 6th. I love putting together Canada itineraries.
Another thing I'd let slip was the renewal of my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Because of Brexit, I thought it was no longer applicable, but there's a new version called Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Again, a quick Google search and I've applied for my new card and one for Mum.
I did check my immunisations too - and thankfully they are all up-to-date. Haven't had to think about these things for 18 months or so!
I had a week of furlough Wednesday to Wednesday last week, which was great because it meant I could finally spend some time with Mum and get some of the pressing jobs done for her. It was also good to be able to talk about my fertility journey so far and my worries and concerns about my mental health. Better to prepare for the worse, whilst hoping for the best as my Doctors have said.
And finally, I am very much looking forward to seeing Ricky Gervais in November with his 6th live stand up show "Supernature". This will be the first live event I've seen for about two years. I saw "Humanity" was on Netflix, so I devoured that Sunday evening. I can't believe I avoided Gervais all this time. I am such a massive fan now.
I'm still hopeful to get out to Saudi Arabia at the start of next month, although my passport is still not back from renewal. I might need to start making my peace with this adventure not happening this year..
After speaking with my care co-ordinator last week about this exciting travel possibility, we got onto the subject of the British nurse, Helen Smith, who died at an illegal party in Saudi back in the late 70s. She remembers it because she was training to be a nurse at the time. I immediately went onto Google and found this book, written by the Doctor whose party it was.
The British media hasn't changed one bit - back then they blew this story wide open with rumour, innuendo, whisperings of conspiracy and murder. Dr Arnot breaks his silence 30 years later after moving to the other side of the world to get away from the backlash. This book cuts to the very heart of the matter and feels genuine and honest with what really happened that night. I particularly enjoy his accounts of being in a Saudi jail and the way he was determined to make the most of it, despite the appalling conditions and treatment. Strangely this felt very akin to how I spent my time in a psychiatric hospital during my first stay back in 2018, minus the appalling conditions and treatment of course. It was largely very civil and, because I was voluntary, I had priviledges some other patients did not. Which was the same for Dr Arnot - being a doctor and British and able to converse sensibly. I think a lot of people in his situation would have simply gone mad with the confinement and the waiting - nothing happens quickly in a Saudi jail!
After speaking to the nurse last week, CARE uploaded a lot of information to read through on my patient portal. I skipped through this when maybe I should have taken a little more time with it. I eventually did and that's when stuff started to fall into place. Pre pandemic, I would have sat down with the Donations team at CARE and talked through my preferences and characteristics. Then that info would have been sent to the Embryology team and they would have sourced my donor from their own sperm bank. At the moment, their bank is depleted and there is a six month waiting list to go down this route. Parts of this had been explained to me but never the whole story. Piecing it together finally was also a huge relief. I like to know I have all of the information before making such a big, life changing / life affirming decision. Maybe it's part of the as yet undiagnosed ASD, but I have to have all of the blocks of understanding in place, lined up neatly. For me, this whole process is huge in every respect - cost of treatment, financing of donor sperm, I'm going to be a single parent with fibromyalgia and mental health struggles, whilst still trying to work...
And yes, my therapy session this past week was very busy! My head was exploding and when this happens, I can't talk, so I made this with the stones instead:
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.