I’m sure every one of us looks forward to a holiday or short break but can we enjoy it while in chronic pain? There are so many factors to think of which can help you to have a nice break but it takes a lot of planning and organising. Unfortunately, the accommodation at your Hotel or Cottage is something we know nothing about until we arrive at the destination.
My son and daughter in law bought us a two-night short break in the UK for Christmas which was booked for this week which we have just returned from.
We decided on Yorkshire so that we were only about 1.5 hours drive away in the hope my back would not be irritated too much but I have all the right equipment (heat pad, coccyx cushion) for my car journeys.
The weather was bitter cold but you can expect that in February and we researched before we went where we would visit the following day if the weather took a bad turn. We seemed to arrive quickly and timed it for me to have a rest before we went down for dinner.
The hotel we were staying in was an old manor house so it didn’t have any lifts and I was soon in a mess with the second set of stairs (spiral staircase)to our bedroom. The room was lovely and warm and the bed looked inviting and it wasn’t long before I was unpacked and had my electric heat pad plugged in and I was cosy under the quilt.
I find that my afternoon sleep can be better than my evening sleep as I just seem to go straight to sleep for about 1 – 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, the bed was too soft and extremely uncomfortable so it was a restless afternoon rest rather than a good one.
We ate in the Hotel on the first evening and I felt sure I would sleep well after such a busy day but my night was restless throughout and I felt awful the following morning.
We did think of asking to change the room but I was too tired to even think about packing up and unpacking again and had no idea if the bed would be the same as the one we already had.
I always take extra medication when I go away so I popped the pills and we went into Beverley after breakfast. Beverley is a beautiful village a bit like Harrogate with individual shops and lots of coffee and tea shops. The rain stayed away but it was very cold so we decided on our second option which was a visit to a big garden centre in Beverley as this was indoors. The best bit of the garden centre was that it had a Craft Corner where I could spend ages buying lots of card making bits and pieces.
We then went back to the Hotel for me to have my rest before we went out for dinner later. By this time I was feeling really rough and everything seemed to be hurting me and to be quite honest I would have been quite happy to have just come home. I fell asleep for an hour out of exhaustion more than anything else but had yet another awful night’s sleep on our last night.
To say I came home feeling ten times worse than when I went away is an understatement and the first thing I did on my return home was go to bed. I’m still suffering badly from the short break but I am sure it will settle down in a day or to but I do feel a bit frustrated that this lovely break left me in such pain.
While lying awake at the Hotel for what seemed to be the whole night I started thinking of how I could avoid this happening again. For all of us with joint and spine problems the pillows and mattress have to be right so as to not cause us extra pain but how can we find out what type of bed and pillows they all use. I have read that some five-star hotels and cruise ships give you a choice of pillows to choose from and some of them tell you the sort of mattress they have on their beds, but that’s the five-star service.
But why can’t this be done in all Hotels? I am sure like me other chronic pain sufferers would be delighted to know that they were going to stay in a Hotel with the right pillow and mattress to suit their condition. I also think Hotel’s like old Manor Houses should inform you that you could have a room up two flights of stairs in case you cannot manage the stairs.
I am now on a mission to find out what sort of mattresses and pillows hotel’s use and how I could go about getting this included in their details. I would love to have other tips or ideas from other chronic pain sufferers on how we can enjoy our breaks without suffering more pain.