After catching up with our friends last night, we were excited to to start our vacation, together in Rome. I was praying that my feet and and legs would co-operate with my ambitions, as they were a bit better in the morning, than they were the night before.
Since the Vatican City, and the Sistine Chapel were high on my priority list, and they had wheelchair options, we decided to truck up to the subway station and head into the city center. We had some breakfast/lunch on our way to the subway, to break up the walk; it was not nearly as good as our sandwiches in France, boo.
It was hot and humid, and my feet and legs were already starting to hurt a bit, but I really wanted to see the Sistine Chapel, so I just kept going; the metro ride was fairly quick, but the walk to Vatican City was long and hot. The line was forever long, but we were determined to find the handicap entrance and walked up the hill, past hundreds of people, if not thousands, standing in line. At the top of the hill, we somehow we found ourselves right in the middle of a group tour that was about to go into the Museum, so instead of asking and explaining myself, to the handicap authorities, we just followed the group into the building.
It wasn’t until they were going through the ticket line turnstiles, and we didn’t have a ticket, that we were stopped! Lol They told us we needed a ticket to enter, so the guys went and bought them; our total time to get into the Museum was maybe fifteen minutes; as opposed to three or four hours. A win, in my book, for sure! Feeling pretty good, I decided to forego the wheelchair, thus trying to avoid anyone having to push it through throngs of people; it just seemed like too big a deal, to try and maneuver through the museum, through all of those people.
We weren’t to far into the tour when I had realized that that had been a HUGE mistake; my legs were getting redder and my feet and legs were starting to throb, and I was now stuck in a sea of people all swimming upstream. I swear that all we did was trudge slowly forward looking at different artifacts, sculptors, and artwork, which in my opinion, were not nearly as impressive as all of the other churches and museums that we have seen, thus far.
Eventually, we arrived at the opening to the “famous” Sistine Chapel. With paintings that I remembered seeing since I was a child, in many religious and art books. There were workers bees standing at the entrance, just inside the doors, yelling loudly; Silence, no photos, no talking, no hats; Move to the center! Over and over again; which was really distracting and annoying, not to mention the fact that they seemed to create a scene that they were trying to prevent. There was no peaceful feeling or presence of God, that is for sure!
The paintings of course, were amazing and actually looked 3-D from many angles, but if I am to be honest with you, I was underwhelmed. I am sure that it did not help, that I was not feeling the greatest and it was hot and miserable, and I was really sorry that I had not just gone ahead and gotten the wheelchair, when I knew I should have. Hindsight!
We finally got to the end of the cattle call, and sat a bit and got a bite to eat; we talked about what we should do next, and wondered where St Peter’s Cathedral was, compared to where we currently were. By the time we reached the street, and realized how far it was, my heart still wanted to go with our friends, but my legs and my husband said otherwise. Joe and Joe, my friend Cindy’s husband, both said that my legs were considerably worse, and that I needed to get off my feet; like NOW!
Joe and I both knew we had quite the trek back to the apartment, so I relented and agreed to let them go on without us. It was not very long before I knew what a good decision that really was; I was so miserable and it literally took us nearly two hours to get “home”; it was not pretty, I was hobbling SO slowly. The last .8 mile from the Metro, to the apartment felt like ten miles.I was not having a good time in Rome, thus far.
On our way home, I thought that if we saw a Farmacia, aka pharmacy, that I would stop and get some Arnica; we found one and both the pharmacy tech and the pharmacist, nearly jumped out of their skin when they saw my legs. After determining that they were not ives, did not itch and were not a rash, therefore no need for cortisone, they agreed that arnica was a good choice.
Our friends got back around 8:00 and around 9:00, we were all starting to get hungry; you will be proud to know that I stayed home, on the couch; like a good girl; while they all walked to a great restaurant a few blocks away. My feet and legs had had it. It is so difficult for me to accept defeat, despite the fact of all of the wonderful things that I have already been able to do, I still really hate missing out; I hate slowing people down. I really hate cancer, and sometimes I have a really hard time accepting the fact that this “Old grey Mare, Just Ain’t What She Used to Be!”
They brought dinner and desert back to me a few hours later, for which I was totally grateful, and filled me in on all I had missed.
I am looking forward to getting on the cruise ship tomorrow and enjoying a sea day; I am vowing to use a wheelchair, until we get to Dubrovnik, in two days; let’s pray I can do it!