I am so excited to be able to say that I am off to Italy tomorrow morning with mum! First trip of the year and, having spoken to lots of my clients who are also trying to get away for a short European break, we all agree that we can't remember a time when we haven't travelled for so long.
Venice has been on mine and mum's list for years, but we always said we'd go in the Springtime because it gets a bit smelly as the season progresses. However, if there's ever a time to visit in the Autumn, surely this must be it - right amidst a pandemic when tourists will be at their lowest numbers but all the sites will still be open for business.
Here is our itinerary which I've carefully planned to be relaxed and Fibro proof!
Tuesday - arrive and chill
Wednesday - lazy am / walking tour and gondola ride pm
Thursday - lazy am / fast track entry small group tour of St Marks basilica and Doge Palace pm
Friday - lazy am / boat tour to the islands - Murano, Torcello and Burano
We're flying with BA from Terminal 5, London Heathrow and staying at the beautiful Ca'sagredo Hotel on the Grand Canal.
Tell you all about it next time!
As you know, I love poetry, and here is one of the pieces that has really inspired me during my recovery. It's a beautiful, gentle reminder that being alive in this moment is a miracle and living a life well lived is truly a privilege.
✨A Brief Awakening by John Mark Green✨
Within the vast expanse of the cosmos
You are a tiny, warm, pulsing spark.
Your birth was a brief awakening
From silent eons spent sleeping in the dark
The reason your heart swells with wild wonder
At the dazzling diamond chandeliers of night,
Is that your body is built from ancient stardust.
The universe now sees itself through your eyes
So let the breath of sweet gratitude fill you
As the night of each new day begins.
For this moment itself is a miracle,
And to live it is your privilege, my friend.
Well, we can't moan about the weather this year as it's been glorious, although right now, this is a little too hot for me. I don't think it would be a problem if I was abroad on holiday, it's just the humidity here is wiping me out and making me feel extremely uncomfortable. I suppose it wasn't the best week to be changing medication where one of the side effects of the new stuff is extreme sweating... and sweating on sweating is yuck! Add to that extreme, agitated tiredness - and you get the picture.
Before Colin passed, I was a regular 10pm to 6am deep sleeper with minimal dreaming or nightmares and I always woke up feeling ready for a new day. Now my sleep is erratic. I will go through periods of semi decent sleep and then longer periods of terrible sleep. I track it all on my handy Fitbit. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the fatigue of Fibro gets me more than the pain. So this last week I went to my Dr with the aim of getting a medication for the long term to help with sleep. I wanted this to supplement the anti depressant I've been consistent with since coming out of hospital two years ago. In the past I have messed around with Zopiclone because I just wanted to knock myself out, but this time I was trying to approach the sleep issue seriously. I cannot function on limited sleep. Tiredness is probably my biggest trigger. I've been wanting to try Amitriptyline but, due to my medical history, I'm high risk. My Dr decided we should try one of the FDA approved medications for Fibro that treats all three issues - depression, fatigue and pain. So I've been four days so far switching from my tried and tested third choice SSRI to an SNRI - and you know how impatient I am! I also don't like feeling ill when I am trying desperately to feel better. Everybody reacts uniquely to anti depressants and my experience in the first few weeks is high anxiety coupled with extreme sweating and fast heart rate giving me the shakes and hyper agitation. This change has been no different. Fingers crossed it will start to get better soon and I can get some quality sleep every night.
Introducing... Gracie (but already nicknamed Tux because of her colouring).
They say pets are good for mental health so I decided to get another kitty, as Misty is 11 now and I dread to think of losing her. I thought about whether to have my new addition for a long time because living with Fibro influenecs everything - and I am looking to increase my hours at work again, which brings its own set of challenges working to a 12 week shift pattern!
With diminishing energy levels, even the simplest of decisions and easy yes's don't come so easy nowadays. I have to go through all the pros and cons in my head before taking the next step, if any. I definitely say NO a lot more. And I worry a lot more. In this instance: Will I be able to keep up with her? Will I be able to look after two pets? Will I have enough energy to enjoy her? Can I take care of the gradual introduction for the two of them and keep the little one from escaping through the cat flap?
One thing I have discovered is that the best laid plans (for example, setting up my big lifestyle overhaul routines) only work when I'm the only one I have to organise, consult and work with. Corona virus definitely hasn't helped with my intentions this year. And I get impatient. If I can't have the hands on treatment I desire and the face to face contact, I know I don't want to settle for second best. I have given it a good go. Hence looking to increase my workload again. I may as well attempt to do one job right!
Booking Venice for the first week of September has certainly helped to get some of my spark back again. I have really missed not travelling this year. Travel is a big leveller for me when depression comes knocking because it takes me out of my head.
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.