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AIBU to be feeling a bit lost?

(75 Posts)
OldHag Tue 16-Feb-21 02:00:16

Hi everyone!

My DH is 60 and I am 61 and we seem to have hit a point where we feel that life really doesn’t have much left to offer us.

I have been disabled with a back problem for the last 20 years, and find it difficult to stand, sit or walk for more than a few minutes without suffering severe pain, which means that I have to spend a lot of time stuck in bed, but up until recently I felt that I had been able to handle life with my disability pretty well all in all. Always telling myself that there is someone worse off than me, and continuing to do a little bit of DIY, gardening, crafting etc, as and when I have a couple of hours where the pain isn’t so bad.

We did our big 'Escape to the Country' about 5 years ago, something which we had both dreamed of for many years, and moved about 200 miles from family, seeing it as a last big adventure before we got old, but sadly since then, my health problems have got worse, and my husband who was fit and well when we moved here, now needs a double hip replacement, and suffers with arthritis in his knees. When we moved here, we visualised lovely trips out in the countryside, maybe stopping for a drink and pub lunch while we were out, and nice strolls by the sea, which is not too far away by car (I have a mobility scooter), but in reality it hasn’t worked out this way. 1. because I’ve developed car sickness, and 2 due to my husbands leg and hip problems. However, we do love the area we live in and are very happy in each other’s company. We have no major money worries, but it seems our health has really put a halt to our enjoyment of life.

My family were very unhappy about our moving away at the time, and made things very difficult for the first 3 years, but have since come to terms with things, although they have made it clear that they would be very pleased if we were to move back, so that it’s not such a long journey if there were an emergency. We would quite like to move back now, as life hasn’t turned out the way we had hoped, and it would be nice to have family closer, but there is still quite a lot of work that needs doing to make the house saleable, and now that we’re both struggling, everything takes so long, that it seems like a massive mountain to climb, before we can even think about tackling another move. Plus with Covid, it doesn’t really matter where we are, as we’d still pretty much be living in isolation even if we were just a mile up the road.

We have therefore arrived at a point where neither of us can see a lot of point in life anymore, as it’s such a struggle just to get through every day. We feel we have nothing left to look forward to and yet in our early 60’s find it hard to accept that this is likely to be our life for the remaining time we have left. I know that in reality, compared to others we have very little to complain about, but wonder if anyone else has found themselves in the same situation, and if so, whether they’ve found a positive way to move forward in life, or whether we just have to accept that this is it.

Sorry this is such a long one, but I wanted to try and give as clear a picture as possible of the situation.

FannyCornforth Tue 16-Feb-21 02:30:02

Hello OH - I really don't want to use your username. I know that it's tongue in cheek, but it doesn't seem right!
Anyway. You definitely have my sympathy. There is much in your post that I relate to, in particular your second paragraph, I could have written it myself.
You are definitely not on your own, feeling as you do, I wish that I had some answers! I'll be following with interest. In the meantime, I do hope that you have a peaceful night - things always feel worse in the middle of the night brewflowers

Primrose73 Tue 16-Feb-21 03:13:37

You have all my sympathy,I live aloñe and like your self am disabled, unfortunately my health has really detereated over the past year. I don't know how to move forward or just accept this is my lot now. I will be following

nanna8 Tue 16-Feb-21 03:40:11

Thanks for reaching out here OH. That is what you need to do. There are many online groups around that don’t require you to physically be there. Some of them Zoom which makes it more personal. You are very brave and you have each other,too. Can you write stuff down ? Maybe some sort of diary . I bet many people would be interested to read it !

Daisymae Tue 16-Feb-21 08:13:22

With regards to moving, I would say that you bought the house with all its faults and no doubt someone else would too, if the price is right. You could ask the family to help if needed. Just saying that moving could be an option, if you choose. Personally I think that it's a question of finding some joy in the small things. Finding a good book, doing something creative or even exercise for the less abled. Concentrating on what you can do, rather than what you can't. This has been a difficult year for everyone, more so for those under almost total isolation. I wonder if you can speak to your GP? They may be able to point you in the right direction?

Gingster Tue 16-Feb-21 08:29:21

I would definitely move back to nearer your family. We almost moved to our holiday home permanently. We were going sell up here with two of our families living close by. We decided to live for 3 months at our holiday home and gradually realised we needed family around us like a comfort blanket. My DH had a TIA . We were an hours drive from the nearest hospital, lockdown happened and we were quite isolated. We still have our holiday home and love going there for a few weeks at a time but we now know Home is where the heart is. ♥️

Kandinsky Tue 16-Feb-21 08:35:11

I’m very sorry you’re feeling so down at the moment.
One thing you must stop doing is comparing your problems to other people’s - of course there is always someone worse off, plus someone better off - it’s pointless comparing. What you have to do is concentrate on your life, and from what you’ve written it currently does sound very hard.
Being in pain for 20 years would grind the best of us down! Plus I think you’re amazing to have ‘escaped to the country’ with your back problems, you clearly have a lust for life attitude and I’m sure it’s still there. smile
I suggest having a chat with your GP and telling her everything you’ve told us.
You are young with years ahead of you.
I really hope you manage to feel more positive soon flowers

Oh, and I’d move back too if you think will make you happier. Don’t worry about doing the house up just sell it at a slightly lower price.

Jaxjacky Tue 16-Feb-21 08:42:16

I would echo Daisymae as your family are keen to have you return, could they help with the work that needs doing. They may also have a more objective view on what actually needs done, rather than your perception. You are allowed work inside from professionals with Covid, so if you can afford it, consider it, but get your families view on the necessity. If you could make this a project to return, it’s a great way to move forward and give you a target.

M0nica Tue 16-Feb-21 08:43:47

Like FannyCornforth I feel your name is one that says more about how you feel than who you are.

You have been able to express your current situation so well, that in a way, it suggests that you are working your way towards a solution.

I think all, but the most resolute of us are beginning to be dragged down by this long endless lockdown. Even the optimistic talk about the vaccine and relaxation makes me, at least, doubtful whether it is the light at the end of the tunnel or the lights from the oncoming train - and that must be affecting you as well.

The house that was right when you bought it, is not now and I think a move nearer to family may now be called for. How wonderful to have family that care so much about you that they want you close when you are in need. As Daisymae says; every house has its price and its marke, and the world is full of buyers who want to put their own mark on their home and are not bothered if the kitchen is old fashioned, or a bathroom needs replacing. I am sure your DC would help you with the move.

Just one point. If you need to stay in bed so much, does this mean retreating to the bedroom? If so, would getting one of those specialised chairs, designed for your disability and situated in the living room, help to incorporate you back into household life.

I do not mean one of the commercial adjustable chair people. Get your doctor to refer you to refer you to the NHS Special Disability Services unit in your area. I can remember being shown around the one in my trust and the equipment available and its adaptibility was amazing.

Nannarose Tue 16-Feb-21 08:44:04

I feel for you. I struggle with mobility problems - not as bad as yours, but I can imagine being in your position.

You say money is not an issue - does that apply to moving back near to family? And would they help with the small issues around the move?
I would begin by getting an estate agent to look at your house as it is. They are used to seeing houses in all sorts of conditions. I would use a good respected firm so that you know you are getting good advice. That will help you to decide what work is worthwhile and what isn't. Simply getting advice and a valuation costs you nothing.

I have been involved in moves with people with disabilities. Once you are able, I would ask your family to come and help with any clearing out of stuff that might involve them. If there is much left to do, the estate agent or a local agency might suggest help, or you might be able, with boxes in place, to pack up slowly yourselves.
Then I would suggest a good removal firm who will do a complete service, whilst you arrange an overnight stay somewhere. I'm sure by the time this happens you will be able to do that.

One of the hidden problems of physical disability is that it can seep into your mental state as well. I hope you can lift sufficiently to apply yourself to planning the sale and move. I would add that many of us try things in life that don't work out for whatever reason - you have sensibly decided it's time to change tack.

Carenza123 Tue 16-Feb-21 08:46:22

Hi OH, sorry to hear you are both having health problems which of course have impacted on your enjoyment of life. These are very taxing times and hopefully we can all see a better future once covid fears have subsided with the vaccination programme. All I can say is that from me and my husbands view - we lived abroad for 18 years - made the move back to the UK near our family and we have no regrets. As you are finding, ill health can really turn your life around. We love being near our family and have the good fortune to live in a village that has amenities, good doctors surgery, good road links and found people very friendly. Don’t fret about making the house saleable - someone will want to buy it or if possible, employ some help to get your house ready for sale. All the best for the future.

sodapop Tue 16-Feb-21 08:50:52

First and foremost OldHag go to your Dr and see if you can get some help with your low mood. As others have said your user name indicates you are feeling sad. Have you had any recent investigations to see if there is a better way of treating your pain.
I too would consider moving back even if it means selling at a lower price, things haven't worked out as you hoped so cut your losses and go back.
I hope you can get some help soon.

BlueBelle Tue 16-Feb-21 09:09:35

Oh dear oldhag that’s sad Would the dreadful upheaval of moving be the answer would life be better if you were closer to your family would you be happier, you cannot rely on someone else to make you happy.
You are so young, have you both tried all avenues for your pain control
Let’s look at the pluses first have each other and obviously still love each other and like each others company, you have no major money worries and like the area you live in obviously CoviD has made a huge difference to most people lives and yourselves included Will Spring /Summer make a difference if you can’t drive to the sea do you have nice parks gardens near you, do you have friends and nice neighbours ?
Could you manage the upheaval of the move ? Would your family manage the move for you by finding a good house medical treatment in their area etc
Would it be better to see how life goes after we come out of lockdown and see if you can up things that you can manage together
I think a lot of us ask ‘what s it all about now’ as we get older or in pain but we have to find things that do entertain us even if we are limited Constant pain is so debilitating and depressing
Good luck whichever way you decide, Keep talking to us ?

Erica23 Tue 16-Feb-21 09:32:42

Oh no such a sad storyflowers Have you been referred to a pain clinic, I have a friend with chronic pain and they have been amazing. Your husband could improve greatly when he has hip replacements especially as he’s only early 60s. ?
I would move back near your family, you are going to need some help, especially with your DH operations. Accept outside help as much as possible so your not too reliant on family.
I wish you all the luck in the world, and hope everything improves for you both.

Redhead56 Tue 16-Feb-21 09:50:30

We planned to move to our second home on retirement a few years ago. Our prem twin granddaughters arrived and that took priority as I was involved in childcare. I have problems with my health so does my DH but we try to make the best of it.
I think moving away from your family was probably a mistake and the stress of it has affected your health. I would get the house on the market whatever the condition. Look for something smaller and manageable nearer your family.
Have a word with your Doctor about pain management. Any health or social situation is worse in the circumstances we have all been living in this last year.
I have had my weak moments especially after a Whatsapp with my family. I find it really distressing but put a brave face on for them. It's up to you now you have shared you worries and got some sound advice. Think positive and it will lift your spirits and keep us all informed of your decisions.

polomint Tue 16-Feb-21 11:32:13

My heart goes out to you oldhag but your text makes me think that you are a positive person in general and at 2am when you posted, it was one of your down times. Everything at that time in morning feels ten times worse.
There are plenty of good positive answers on here and I agree with them. Our lives never seem to go the way we hoped it would especially when ill health kicks in. No wonder when we wish someone health, wealth and happiness does happiness come first.
Please keep in touch as gransnetters are always here for advice and chat

cornishpatsy Tue 16-Feb-21 12:36:11

You can sell your house in any condition, maybe for less than it would have been or spend money to get someone in to do the work. Whichever way is easier for you.

As you know health is more important than any financial loss you have to take on the house.

Your quality of life is getting worse so it makes sense to be near the support of your family.

It is not helpful to compare yourselves to people that are worse off. it does not makes things better for you or them.

Life will be worth living, your husband can get hip replacements and you can get better pain management.

If you only spend time with each other it will bring you both down, mixing with younger fitter family that have a positive outlook will lift your mood.

I do hope this year that things will get better for you both.

Madgran77 Tue 16-Feb-21 13:03:52

I would move back. Use the lockdown to research options, consider a retirement complex, flat or whatever. At least something manageable within the realities of your situation and health now. Take time over to decide together your "non negotiables" for your next hhome. Alternatively you could do the same and move where you are. Good luck flowers

Luckygirl Tue 16-Feb-21 13:07:16

You definitely need to be out of the bedroom!

And moving back to be with your family sounds as though it might be the right thing for you to do.

NellG Tue 16-Feb-21 13:13:59

So many of us are teetering on the edge of "Is this it? All there is?" - this situation we are in currently with Covid has prevented many of us from using the every day little distraction that keep us ticking along in more normal times. Just this small things hat break the day.

Sometimes it's the small things that make the biggest difference. You've had lots of great advice about the long term aims, but for now, just focus on what can be done this morning, then this afternoon, then this evening that will make the day seem a little more pleasant and bearable. Bitesize chunks - just as you were doing with your hobbies and gardening etc.

Looking at the whole thing can be overwhelming and can make people feel entirely stuck with no way out. Sometimes breaking things down into what will get you through the next half hour is the only way. That way, the time passes anyway but you get to the end of it and realise it was worth it after all.

I hope that makes sense and that today is a better day. x

V3ra Tue 16-Feb-21 14:07:05

First of all, well done for following your countryside dream five years ago. Plenty of us never get round to doing that! Now things have changed it sounds like another move would improve your circumstances.

Think about your ideal property going forward: do you need it to be wheelchair accessible, if not now then in the future?
Do you want a bungalow?
Maybe an assisted-living apartment? My Dad owns one of these, he has carers on-call if he needs them and any other services eg cleaning, laundry, meals are available if required. Currently he just has a hot dinner brought every day but the set-up is there for the future. He says he feels safe living there and we are nearby.

Start by doing some research on Rightmove on the sort of suitable properties available in the area you are thinking of. Good luck x

Spidergran3 Tue 16-Feb-21 14:15:07

Hello OH - I can’t add much to the lovely advice you’ve already had. I would strongly urge you both to see your GP regarding your low mood and level of pain, it sounds like you may be exacerbating each other. It is so hard to think straight when you feel like this and everything seems like a huge mountain to climb. Your family sound really supportive and lovely in wanting you to be closer to them. That is something very precious so I would grab it with both hands! Where we live there are people offering services for all sorts of things so I’m sure you could find people to help getting the house ready for a move, from helping you sort through what you want to keep and what to get rid of, a deep clean and removal people will do your packing for you. Do you belong to a local Facebook group? They can be very supportive if you need help with anything, particularly at this time. (So much for not having much to add!) Best wishes to you both ?

Tangerine Tue 16-Feb-21 14:18:14

Could you sell the house as it it? Yes, you will have to price it accordingly but, if you make improvements, this will cost money too.

Judy54 Tue 16-Feb-21 14:24:17

Dear OldHag there is always a point to life but often difficult to see this when you both have health problems. You need to think seriously about why you want to move back when you love living in the area that you do. Life unfortunately does not always turn out as we hope especially when ill health comes along. Not long after we relocated my Partner was diagnosed with cancer and has other unrelated health problems. He had a major operation 2 years ago and now needs a further one once hospitals are able to deal with non covid patients. It is amazing how as human beings we adapt, if I and my Partner had not we would have gone under by now. We are extremely lucky that he has a marvelous GP and a great medical team looking after him. So I would say that it is wonderful that you enjoy each other's company and can help and support each other. Stay strong and positive and look at the positives in your lives flowers

GillT57 Tue 16-Feb-21 14:56:52

Welcome to GN, and I hope that all the lovely support and advice you have had so far has helped you. Remember though, everything feels awful at 2am on a damp dark, February morning! A lot of us are feeling a bit 'is this all there is?' at the moment, this lockdown has seemed interminable, and despite the vague hints of another type of life, it still looms ahead through the dark months. For what it is worth, my advice would be; put the house on the market, don't worry about the condition, it will attract people at the right price; remember, it attracted you! You obviously have family who want you closer, who worry about you, so why not look for an easier property, close to them? A bungalow or a flat so that you are not cut off when you have to take to bed, and which will certainly make things a lot easier for your husband. You did what many of us dream about, to move on is not to admit defeat, it is to say that you are glad you did it, you enjoyed it, and now the next adventure beckons. Good luck, and keep us posted!