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When I saw the consultant two wks ago and she informed me that I was still vit d defiecient, she informed that I need a holiday abroad in the sun. It's been playing on mind ever since especially as its my birthday easter sunday and we'll be on easter hols from school. I would love to go off for 4-5 days. We could leave the eldest in charge as he to will be on easter hols also. Perfect and a good reason to raid the savings and this may help with my depressive mood of late.

So why don't we do it??? Because now I am too ill to travel and I am not going abroad to spend the whole time in bed! so another reason to be fed up. I can't use my stick as my hands are to sore and hurt like mad.

I know there is a rainbow at the end of the tunnel, but I would settle for a pain free day - just one at the moment.

I know I am moaning & I am thinking of Shirly's lemon & lemonade. So with that,

Take care all

Joanne x

11 Replies

Hi Joanne sorry I don't know your medical problems but I have oa in knees and hips and inflammatory in hands but I went abroad for the first time 2 years ago and I felt great I also went last year and again was great in the sun,my friend who is a lot worse than me goes every year her hubby takes her out I. A wheel chair and they enjoy them selves really think about it it will make you feel loads better xxx


Its a difficult one as you say ,if you are too ill to travel, how about organising something for whit week abroad., you can pour over brochures and dream of were to spend the money. You are right you have to be welll enough to go and airports and flights are so demanding when not well or even when quite well! tip dont fly from gatwick It almost finished me off unless you get a buggy and full boarding assistance, Ihad none and leanrt the hard way!!.

.How about a nice break in uk in nice hotel with hydro spa. it will do you good, the Bath spa roof top pool is amazing but lots of hotels do their own spa/ hydro pool thing xx


Nice suggestion to have a holiday in the sun, but so many meds make you more sun sensitive, and I'm pretty sun sensitive at the best of times. I know what you mean though about when you really need a holiday, you are too tired or sore or sick to be able to enjoy it.

Summer - I always ask for assistance now - pretty much any international airport has far too long to walk these days, though I do use crutches, so its a fairly obvious that I need help.



Since diagnosis, I've not been abroad. I was diagnosed with RA August 2011,so I am apprehensive about going abroad, especially when not well.

I like Summer's idea of going to a hydrospa hotel. We could do that, I asked eldest, when he thinks he'll be coming home for Easter, this evening so it's a possibility still if we can coordinate dates.

I will keep you all posted.

Cheers Joanne

Ps I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors, as I've used kindle tablet to type response.


I Didnt go abroad from nov2009 diagnosis til oct 2012 . which I struggled with the walking at airport gatwick!!! aggh. smaller airport, bham, bristol. standted?, cardiff as easier!!.. my meds were starting to wear off/ unknown to me at this point until they stopped in thier tracks in December..I have a hol booked for mid may zante(flat) from bham with full boarding assitance,( will have started some new meds by then ??!!!), a steroid injection on standby? if needded, but the gold and the steroid use three lots in three and a half years!! have now afftected my blood pressure. not impressd. if I COULD have had the enbrel two years ago rather than the gold?( failed at on mtx and sulpha at this point but no das score done!) might not be in this mess now!!, wotk is precariuos over hours worked( well no meds in place so im tied more shrewd people would have just taken long term sick jan- april with full pay!!!im back part time , aprt pay, aprt annual leave!!!


Joanne i haven't been abroad for a few years as well. When i last went they put me in a wheelchair and we sailed through customs,so there are some advantage for us. Summers idea about going to a spa is a good one as you will be pampered for a few days and i hope that would do you good. Hugs to you joanne. Love sylvia.xx


Oh, the idea of sunshine - my bones are craving it. If you think you can possibly go, go for it. A little seaside break in Italy.... I once flew to Pescara, with Ryanair and it's one of the ones where the airport is close to the town, rather than 80 miles away. It's a beach resort on the Adriatic with a long sandy beach with hotels just over the road from the beach. Somewhere like that might be quite an easy place to be for a few days.

I'm geting quite tempted to book it for myself!

We all need more warmth and sunshine :-(

Dotty xx


where does ryan ar fly from with this lovely beach? I am interested as long as it is not gatwick x



Summer I feel it for ya. I think your health authority does not see the bigger picture and in the end it will probably cost them more.

Have you decided on enbrel?

I've decided on a hotel in England. It must have swimming/spa facilities and I've started looking already. Somewhere not to far in driving distance. I am to afraid to go abroad at this moment in time due to being sick.

The whole family, including Millie the dog are at center parcs in August for a week. I've already booked a spa day for 2 this week.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts & suggestions.

Ps Dotty I would like to cruise again next year, if health permits!

Joanne x


Any holiday will be lovely, and very good for you, Joanne.

Summer, you go from Stansted to Pescara - a very civilised airport experience. And to be honest I've never had a problem with Ryanair. You just need to remember that it's just a bus in the sky, nothing more, nothing less!

I'm just desperate for sunshine - another day of horsing around in the wretched mud today. :-(

Dotty xx


Hi all

All this talk of holidays is making me very envious but also prompted me to copy this article which the helpline have put together for our next NRAS members magazine. I hope you will find it interesting and helpful.

Dear Helpline

I’m off on my holidays shortly for the first time since being diagnosed with RA. What are the key things I need to consider when travelling abroad?


•It’s a good idea to pack a supply of your regular painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Consider the worst case scenario of needing the maximum dose every day of your holiday and then you definitely won’t run out!

•If you think you may need it, ask your rheumatologist or rheumatology nurse specialist about the possibility of getting a steroid injection before you go, to help to see you through the holiday period with minimum pain. You could also ask about getting a supply of oral steroids just in case you get a flare up during your holiday and cannot access medical help. Ask your team about dosage to take in this event.

•Remember to pack some comfortable footwear, particularly if you’ll be doing more walking than usual or the terrain of the area is rough.

•Don’t forget cold or hot pads to ease painful or stiff joints if you use these regularly at home.

Travelling with medications

•If you are flying, check in advance with your airline to see what preparations you need to make to bring your medications on board the plane. This will obviously vary depending on which RA meds you are taking. Some airlines may require a doctor’s note to take your medications on board, particularly if you are travelling with syringes.

•If medications need to be kept cool it would be worth contacting your home delivery company. A cool bag with an ice-block in a tea towel can be effective in keeping medication cool for short periods. However, if you are flying you will not be able to take an ice-block on board the plane so will need to pack it in your hold luggage before going through security. It is unlikely that you will be able to use the fridges on board the plane to keep drugs cool but some home delivery services are able to provide a cool bag device and should be able to advise on the best way to travel with your medications. Ensure that you refrigerate your drugs as soon as possible upon arrival at your destination.

•Makes sure you have a large enough supply of your drugs for the duration of the holiday and keep all medications in your hand luggage.


•Travelling around some airports can require walking very long distances. If you do struggle with mobility it would be worth contacting the airline you’re travelling with in advance to see if they can offer help with transportation around the airport. Your airline may also have a desk within the airport where you can request assistance.

•Once on board the plane remember to do the range of motion exercises with your legs that are usually recommended on board and try to get up and move around from time to time to prevent joints from stiffening up.

•Perhaps think about taking an extra pillow for your neck if you’re on a long haul flight and tend to find the airline pillows uncomfortable. This can usually be purchased at the airport.


•Some drugs can make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight so take precautions to protect yourself from harmful rays. This is good practice for everyone whether you have RA or not. It is recommended in Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign to regularly re-apply suncream (factor 15+ ideally) particularly after swimming, try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (usually 11am – 3pm), and to wear a wide-brimmed hat and some good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes. It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water and cool drinks when in the heat to prevent dehydration.


•Make sure you have a good holiday insurance policy and that your insurance company are aware of your medical conditions. Over the years NRAS members have made us aware of a number of insurance companies they have used to purchase travel insurance and while we do not endorse any companies in particular, please contact the helpline if you would like a copy of this list of companies (0800 2987650 or

Useful sources of information on travel can be found in the ‘Holidays and Transportation’ section of the NRAS website under ‘Links and Directories’:

Kind regards



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