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When I was sent to Italy for 2.5 weeks to work, there was a lot of envy in the form of people offering to go as my assistant, etc. It really sounds romantic and adventurous. Those same people are a bit deflated when they ask me how the trip was and I comment that, while the business objectives went very well, it was a very hard trip.

And it was a hard trip in many ways. Just physically, for me, it was daunting. With my shoulder surgeries it’s difficult for me to wrangle luggage and I had two airplanes and two trains (coming AND going) to drag my bags onto. And every day, I had to lug my heavy briefcase filled with my laptop and notebooks to and from the office — often climbing three flights of stairs to our work room. And I could go on and on — the room wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t sleep well, I missed an Enbrel injection and ran out of folic acid before I could get home and refill the prescription (it was too early to refill before I left), etc., etc., etc.

The hardest part was the isolation because of the language barrier. While there were certainly some laughable moments and the Italians were wonderful to try to understand the poor American, it was tough to go back to an empty hotel room, night after night. I couldn’t even watch television because I couldn’t understand it. Thank goodness I had my MagicJack so I could call and talk to my husband a couple of times a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud that my company had the confidence in me to send me on this important assignment, and I believe I did well. I also got to spend more time in Florence than I ever imagined I would, and it is a beautiful, welcoming city filled with gracious, friendly people.

But I’m glad I’m home. I’ve had my Enbrel injection and refilled the folic acid, and just sleeping [well] in my own bed has had amazing restorative powers. (Although the bursitis that was aggravated by all the walking and the hard bed in Italy has yet to calm down.)

I’m glad I went. I’m glad the project went well, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to experience the city for more than just a day or two. I just wish I could have left my RA at home.

Hope whatever journey you’re on brings you happiness and health. Thanks for checking in.

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