So, this weekend just gone was my first overnight Home Leave!
On Saturday, the staff and I stopped for breakfast at some services and had these little cute pancakes from Burger King. It was really nice because the NA was saying how she didn't feel as though she were out with a patient and at work and that it was just like we were three friends going away for the weekend. It felt like that for me too but it was nice to hear the staff were so relaxed. By the time we got to my Mum's the staff just came in long enough to explain my meds to my Mum and hand them over and then they left.
My Mum made my favourite meal (Salmon in Greek yoghurt with pasta) for lunch and then we went into the town centre. I bought some things for a friend and then my Mum gave me some money towards this lovely, cosy, knitted jumper in New Look. We went into the supermarket and I was really nervous because there was a Police van parked outside it and things used to be so bad that I think I pretty much met all the Police in my area and I thought there was a chance I'd recognise the Officer if I saw one of them! Luckily I didn't though and we went back home just in time for the staff coming over to check on me at 4pm! They stayed for a drink and we had a laugh about how shitty their B&B was and then they left. Mum and I ordered a Chinese and watched a film before I had a bath and then we laughed at the silly X Factor auditions. My headache was still there after a few cups of water so I texted the Nurse to ask her to bring me some paracetamol and she turned up with strawberry flavoured calpol! HAHA! She texted me later to say she hoped it had worked and it was strange texting staff but it was comforting and normalized things too. The calpol finally worked and we stayed up a bit late watching the first season of The Hills then I read in bed before falling asleep.
Sunday morning, I was woken up by the sound of my cat crying so I called her through to my room and she came up along the side of my bed and sniffed my face so I got up and fed her. It was nice doing something like that. The little things sometimes mean the most. I was sitting eating breakfast when the staff came for the 11am check. They didn't stay long though but they told us it was cold outside so I told my Mum I didn't want to do the original plan of going to the beach. After the staff left, we had Sunday Dinner and then did word searches and watched more The Hills for the rest of the afternoon. The staff came for me just after 5pm and as we were sorting out the sat nav in the car I looked to my front door and saw my mum standing to one side and pointing to my cat who had come and sat on one of the stairs, watching. I nearly cried then!
It was so difficult coming back; it was the first time that I genuinely thought about refusing to get in the car and then when I was travel sick at the Services in Durham I just got so upset. The whole day had felt pretty ruined by the fact I knew I was getting picked up to go back to Hospital. I ended up telling the NA driving to pull over off the motorway so we parked up on this grass verge and I got out and sat on the grass and cried. I told the staff I wasn't getting back in the car and got angry at the fact the staff were making it sound so easy to just sit in a car and go back to somewhere I didn't want to be and away from my home and my family. They managed to convince me to get in the car and when I agreed to the NA says 'give me some love' and she gave me a hug and then the Nurse said "GROUP HUG!" so we were all just sat on the side of the A1 hugging! The Nurse sat on the backseat and said to put my head on her lap so she could stroke my hair. I started to relax a bit and eventually stopped crying.
At least I know that how I felt coming back was how I used to feel coming back from day Home Leave and I'd tell myself over and over that I couldn't keep putting myself through this by going home but it got easier. And hopefully, so will overnights because I intend to do them again and again until they do!