Thursday, 18 August 2022

Out of sorts

For the last 10 days or so I haven’t been well.  Nothing serious, at first I thought just an upset stomach but after extensive Dr Google consultation I think I’ve had for the first time irritable bowel syndrome.  The abdominal cramps have been horrible, worst during the night and keeping me awake for hours.  I’ve felt exhausted and had no appetite so I’ve taken a probiotic, bifidus yoghurt and a sports drink to keep me topped up.  I’d already stopped drinking alcohol a while before and I only have one coffee a day and one cup of tea so those weren’t the triggers.

I tried to speak to my Ilkley doctor, requested a call back and explained that we are in Italy.  The receptionist called back asking me to go into the surgery for a consultation.  I explained again we are away, what I thought I had and asked if the doctor might recommend some over the counter remedy, no was the simple answer.  I know I could go to our doctor here but after MrFF’s experience when he had a urinary tract infection for which he was prescribed anti biotics that made no difference, inhalers, a chest x ray and two other unrelated items which I cannot now remember, I preferred not to.

I’m feeling much better now, physically and mentally as things were starting to get me down.   Yesterday I went to bed in the afternoon, slept for a few hours then last night slept like a log with no pain at all.  I’ve done light dorissing today and a little gardening.

This IBS seems a strange illness, there are no tests for it and no cure.  There are various dietary recommendations to alleviate the symptoms as well as avoiding stress and anxiety, I’ve no idea how that’s possible in Italy.  I think my experience has been a result of many things, diet, months of extreme heat, another year living with major building work, huge disappointment with the garden, constant battles with bureaucracy, our water supply fiasco.

We are both 74 soon, certainly we don’t have the same enthusiasm or energy we had 20 years ago when we bought the house.  We’ve decided for various reasons to give up our residency which we took out during lockdown so we could stay indefinitely. As non residents we can be here 90 days in every 180 which we happily accept feeling that our usual 7 or more months per year here is too long. 

We submitted the required forms to the Comune and subsequently have asked 3 times by secure email if we need to do anything else.  We’ve heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement, we still have our permission to stay and health cards. We assume that after our residency ends we can stay 90 days but since we have no end date we cannot calculate when we need to leave.  As I said I need to avoid stress and anxiety so I’ll stop now.  Be interesting to see if my symptoms recur when I’m back in Ilkley, whenever that may be.


  1. Yes, avoid stress and anxiety! That will help.
    Feel well!

  2. I think stress and anxiety increase with age - we become much less able to cope with them. Hope you to manage to keep coping with them - I must say, reading about your recent months in Italy, you do seem to have had a lot.

  3. Look at Lofodmap foods they are useful to people with IBS .by avoiding some foods you can ease the problem 🤞

  4. I hope that you're feeling a bit better now and your stress levels have gone down.