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Holidaying with Parkinson’s

August saw us traveling to Portugal for a cruise along the River Douro with our Australian friends. It is a beautiful journey with steep terraces on either side planted with vines used for the making of port wine. Navigation of the River has been helped by the building of deep locks to smooth out the rapids. Earlier transportation of the wine to the cellars of Oporto was previously a journey fraught by danger and many lost their lives. The ship we stayed on was comfortable and, very importantly, air conditioned as temperatures soared to 40 degrees!

It is nearly six years since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and I wondered what I would find more difficult this time. In truth I think I managed quite well, although, like many sufferers, there is always the dread of falling and I am slower going up and down stairs. Life on board was sociable, lots of interesting people to meet. It is always good to have pockets in clothing for occasions when the left hand decides to have a noticeable tremor! I woke early as usual, not so easy to entertain yourself when away from home, but luckily I could listen to podcasts from the Desert Island Discs back number podcasts until it was a more acceptable time. I joined a stretching class in the mornings which was useful but decided I could make up my own programme probably just as well.

Morning exercise on board the ship.

River Douro at Oporto.

During the summer I have worn my Birkenstock sandals all the time as they seem to be the only foot ware that doesn’t aggravate the dystonia in my left foot. I am not sure that they will be any good in rain and snow so have begun a search to find something more suitable. I have found a neuro podiatrist so plan a trip to try and get some advice. Looking at Google I realise that finding comfortable (and reasonably smart) footwear is a big issue for many Parkinson’s people.
No more high heels for me!

5 thoughts on “Holidaying with Parkinson’s

  1. The river cruise sounds perfect despite the exceptional temperatures and you both looked really well and healthy when we saw you on Sunday. In relation to feet, it’s a shame that we have to resort to wearing less attractive but comfortable footwear for various reasons but having personally wasted a lot of money on specialist shoes which appear to be fine in the shop only to find they are very uncomfortable after a short while, I really do not enjoy buying shoes. I spend the majority of the summer wearing my Sketcher flip flops which are fine if it is dry but finding comfortable shoes for smart occasions or for the winter is a completely diffirent ball game! Hope you get some help from the neuro podiatrist.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon.


  2. 1) I was in lovely Portugal in May
    2) I have also downloaded the Desert island podcasts
    3) I wear comfy shoes – never have worn heels
    Love Sue x

  3. Go Girl,
    You really are an inspiration to us all not just people with Parkinson’s !! Good Luck with the shoes. Love, B&S

  4. Hi Elspeth
    Your comments must be very helpful to
    other Parkinson sufferers. 6 years. Time
    has flown. Good luck with finding the right shoes for Autumn/Winter.
    Love Sheila

  5. Hi Elspeth, I am really late in replying to this blog. Sorry – life overtakes us all at times. The Duoro sounds great and I feel more encouraged to try it some time. We are keen to visit Salamanca and also see more of Oporto. I know you have had challenges in the last 6 years, but my goodness you have addressed each one. You are truly an inspiration and I am sure your attitude will help others in your situation. I think most of us find it difficult finding comfortable and fashionable shoes now. Thankfully boots are always a good standby with trousers!!! Hope your specialist is of help. Keep smiling.

    John and Frances xx

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