Holiday in Italy and Rheumy appointment tomorrow - PMRGCAuk

11,230 members20,449 posts

Holiday in Italy and Rheumy appointment tomorrow


I had a wonderful holiday in Italy and was able to do far more than I expected, including a day trip to Florence, a 5 hour car journey from Tuscany to Sorrento and a trip to Pompeii! I'd hired a wheelchair for the holiday and I couldn't have done the Florence and Pompeii trips without it, and my trusty wheelchair pusher of course! There were the obligatory rest days in between of course. I have a feeling that the warm dry weather helped a lot. The highlight of the trip was a private boat trip from Sorrento to, and around, Capri. I was able to lie on the fore deck and combine a rest day with a day out! I even went in the sea on two occasions, something I haven't done for many years. I found I wasn't really able to swim though, my arms aren't strong enough, although, being the med floating was easy. I didn't stay in very long on either occasion but it was still an achievement.

Back home I've been reflecting on what, if anything I can learn from the holiday. On holiday there is no pressure to do anything - no 'I ought to be doing ....'. The other thing I've realised that just about everything I want to do, or think I should do, at home involves the use of my arms which are really weak. According to my Fitbit I can walk several miles in a day. This is slow walking with plenty of rests and stops for coffee and meals, not 'going for a walk' type walking. On holiday I did an average of about 4000 steps a day, including rest days, whereas at home I struggle to do 1000 if I'm at home all day. I love living in the country but there's no where to walk to and I'm not good at making myself do a short walk every day. I/we need to get better at making ourselves go out more, we live in a beautiful touristy area so may be we need to pretend to be tourists more often! It's so easy to get bogged down in everyday living.

I'm trying to decide what to do about the wheelchair. The hire company automatically debits my credit card every two weeks so I'm going to keep it a bit longer but then might look for a second hand one - I doubt I'd use it very often but it makes a lot of difference when I do.

On to my appointment tomorrow - I've read so many accounts, both good and bad, of rheumy appointments I'm a bit nervous! I hope the person I see is a good one and knowledgeable about PMR.

17 Replies

Love the photo!!! what a great holiday!


You obviously had a good time!

Strange isn't it - I live in the country here in Italy and it is really easy to find places to walk and cycle. But the UK is so different ...

There's plenty of good walks here to but they're all up or down hill and are along a rough lane or across fields, and of course the weather isnt always conducive to going out. I'm just not very good at making me do it. Now if there was a really good coffee shop about 15 to 20 minutes away it would be different! I'm not very good at exercise and really should make an effort to do more. I have a tendency to get enthusiastic and overdo things and then crash and not take it up again. I'm.not sure how easy it is to change the habits of a lifetime after 70+ years, or is that just another excuse?

in reply to Louisepenygraig

Exactly! I always say that it is a shame the little village at the far end of our daily walk doesn't have a cafe. We're nearly home by the time we get to one. Not that that stops us...

I think it is an excuse! Walking is ideal - now we have our annual Mobility card (150 euros to travel on all trains and buses and a few cable cars in the region) we can walk to the station - on the flat) and take the train into town for a different on the flat walk. Or 40min all the way up the valley for yet another on the flat walk with a superb restaurant at the other end to gather strength to get back to the station to come home. The biggest problem at present is the lack of shade!

I thought I'd use my bus pass more when I got one but it's a mile down hill to the bus stop or, perhaps more importantly a mile and 400 odd feet up hill to come home! We have vowed to make more effort to go out a couple of times a week. There is a lot we could do if we pretended to be tourists including Zip wires high up over a quarry or inland surfing 😀

in reply to Louisepenygraig

There's an awful lot to do here as tourists - think our zipwire is the longest in Europe, or it was. And no - I haven't tried it!

I know exactly what you mean about the uphill bit. When we bought this flat we had some fairly strict criteria - at the time it was for holidays but we did have retirement at the back of our minds too. It had to be an easy walk, not more than 10 mins and on the level, to a shop for essentials, a pharmacy and a doctor and preferably somewhere affordable for eating out. And there had to be a decent hospital not too far away! All boxes were ticked here - and we had rejected a few because there was too much hill to get home! Since we moved here the second doctor went elsewhere and we were transfered to one in a village 4 miles away but we drive and there is a bus. There is a new doctor here now so we could transfer back but we have the current GP fairly well trained! The hospital is even better than it was when we bought - we now have a station in the village and the train stops at a station at the back door of the hospital.

Your holiday sounds wonderful, lots of insights into your health and strength too. Good luck with your appointment tomorrow!

Thank you

wonderful picture! I'm going to Naples next month and will visit Pompeii.

How about getting a dog to help you take walks? Of course, not the solution for everybody but having one is hugely motivating. I live in the country and do a 40 minute walk every morning and several shorter walks throughout the day with our little poodle. Even in the winter rain/cold/storm/ snow: just need to dress appropriately.

We have a dog and my husband takes her for a walk everyday and goes further and faster than I can. To be honest I'm not really a dog person and I'd rather go for a walk by myself. Sometimes our cats join in with a walk - maybe I should train one of them to take me out!

We were going to go to Naples for a pizza after going to Pompeii but my son in law couldn't get the sat nav to work out a route to take us to the place we'd chosen so we gave up. It had already been quite a long day as it was. I'm sure you'll enjoy Pompeii. I felt I'd had enough after about an hour but now I'd like to go back! It took us a while to get our bearings and was complicated because I was in the wheelchair which restricted where we could go.

Enjoy your trip

My cat used to follow me to work. It was very annoying having to turn back - right through Northfield Park to Northfield High Street ( this is for Pepperdoggie). I’d be about to cross the busy Bristol Road and there she’d be trotting at a distance. Poor old Becky, she’d had a hard beginning.

I love the picture you paint. My cat just used to sit on the living room windowsill and look sadly at me as I left the house. I think he learned his lesson when we lived in Sweden where we had a porch which was so cold we kept frozen fruit in it. One day, cat tried to follow my husband and got shut in the porch. When I found him about five hour later he was a very sad little bundle of fur, curled up in the corner shivering. He did recover but never tried to slip out again.

My daughter had a cat that followed her and the children all the way to school once when he was a kitten. He got knocked down by a car when he was a bit older. Luckily the only damage was a broken leg which healed fine. He didn't follow them after that.


You can borrow wheelchairs from Red Cross Medical loans. I have one. A charitable donation is a nice gesture on return.

Other items I borrow are raised toilet seat, bedding support rails, and walker. Local unit can be found on line.

Your holiday sounds great!! Must have been a great source of encouragement to you that you achieved so many things!! Well done you!

for low-key exercise for 70+ ers (join the club!) you might like 'Tai-Chi for Beginners by Dr. Paul Lam' on YouTube. You don't even have to leave your house...

Thank you I'll have look at that.

You may also like...