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Plodding on

(25 Posts)
grannyactivist Wed 18-Sep-19 15:14:57

Sorry, long post alert: you may need to grab a brew

I'm sixty six, not in the best of health and still working full time (on a voluntary basis) running a small homelessness charity alongside of my role as a Chaplain in a Care Home. As you can imagine, both jobs have the potential to be very stressful. My lovely supportive husband has been working away during the week for the past three months and will continue to do so until the end of December. I see my children and grandchildren regularly, often having them to stay at weekends and my older daughter and granddaughter have just returned to NZ after staying with me for a (hectic) month long visit. I also have a lodger who it's a pleasure to have living with us.

In the last year I've dealt with all sorts of health problems and for the past three weeks I've had a hacking cough that's waking me up at night.

Usually I'm full of enthusiasm and have lots of energy to tackle my busy lifestyle, but right now I feel my 'get up and go' has left the building and I feel permanently tired. I'm on medication for thyroid deficiency and had a blood test today to check that's still okay. I know that I'm run down and I'm going away on holiday for a week soon to see if a rest in a warm climate can help me to shift this cough, but I wonder if anyone has any tips that will help me to improve my motivation? Is this tiredness (as some people insist) because I have reached an age where my body is simply not able to keep up with the demands of such a busy schedule?

Loislovesstewie Wed 18-Sep-19 15:21:36

I'm a bit younger than you and honestly I just can't do as much as I could up until about 5 years ago. I've just cleaned, thoroughly, 2 bedrooms and I am having to sit with a cup of coffee . I know I am not ill because I have had my health MOT but I just can't keep on like I used to do. Sorry I can't be more help but I think I am probably knackers yard material now!

Alima Wed 18-Sep-19 15:32:19

You sound a darn site more active than me granny! ( See what I did there?). I am the same age as you and have been retired for 4 and a half years. Couldn’t work full time now, would get far too tired. Maybe part time, often wonder if anyone would take me on now! You mention your thyroid. I am presuming hypothyroidism? Things slow down, feel the cold and tired? I am the opposite, hyperthyroid but finding the meds worse than the problem. It sounds like your holiday will not come a minute too soon. I do hope your cough clears up very soon and you are able to enjoy your much needed rest. Take care.

HildaW Wed 18-Sep-19 15:33:39

Oh Granny, you are impressive! I have long since recognised that some folks just have a lot more vim and vigour than me - my Mum would run out of steam by late morning and both my sister and I have recognised that we are very similar. She's not quite 60...whilst I'm half way through them. I just know I could not match your stamina ever! So really I am probably the wrong person to tell you that you 'just need a break and will be fine'.
You say you have a couple of health problems that typical increase tiredness and you certainly have chosen a stressful professional area - so perhaps, just perhaps you do need to consider cutting down a bit. I know that will be hard for you, people who give so much forget that they do have limits. However my very first boss (an overworked dentist) used to mutter about cutting down as the graveyards were full of 'indispensable' people. Shame he did not listen to himself as he dropped dead at 60!

Anyway, I think you probably know the answer to this, you should perhaps start to make a list of what you really want to do and what you can drop - and make a plan to ease some of the responsibilities onto others.

Mind you not getting decent sleep and a nasty cough that will not go might just be something that needs checking out!

A weeks holiday sounds nice but I suspect that a mere week will actually cause you as much work as not and probably a proper sabbatical of a couple of months where you could concentrate on modifying your diet and including some gentle exercise would be of more benefit.

When we were carers (and you are a mega carer) we were constantly being reminded that we must look after ourselves need to do that for yourself. OK lecture over....take care and listen to your body.

Luckygirl Wed 18-Sep-19 15:39:21

Hello ga - I am sorry that life is so busy for you at the moment, and that your health is dragging you down a bit.

The first thing I would say is that for many years yours has been a wise voice here on Gransnet, and I wonder if it might help to take a step back and read your OP as if it was not you at all, but someone who you would like to help - what advice might you give them?

It does sometimes help to take that sort of step back.

Your motivation is waning, because you are! Not just through age (you are quite young compared with some of us), but also through doing too much. And doing too much for others. My guess is that you are feeling uncomfortable because, instead of having to think of others, you are now being forced into a situation where you have to put yourself first - and that is absolutely allowed! You must do what is best for you at this point.

I was a SW and getting past that feeling that your life has no point unless you are doing something for others is a bit of a hurdle - take a run at it and jump!!!

Feelingmyage55 Wed 18-Sep-19 15:52:29

A cough for three weeks requires a visit to the doctor. Have you had your iron, folate and calcium levels checked while your thyroid levels are checked? Take care.

Fennel Wed 18-Sep-19 15:56:55

As others have said, you need to get that cough checked out.
I like your thread title - keep plodding on, or keep soldiering on , or keep b.......g on as Churchill said.

grannyqueenie Wed 18-Sep-19 16:27:44

GrannyA I’d missed you on gransnet lately now I can see why you’ve been absent! I know from what you’ve said today and in the past that you have a generous spirit and do a lot to help and support other people. But maybe it’s time to stand back and take a fresh look at your weekly commitments and think about caring for yourself as much as you care for others.

I do a fair amount of voluntary work myself, much of it people related and although I’m only 68, and in pretty good health, I realise I can’t keep going relentlessly day in day in and day out. I need time to be alone, time with my old boy, time to nurture relationships with friends and family and of course there are household jobs thrown in. Please be as kind to yourself as you are to others, not easy when you’re a “people person” at heart. At the end of the day you can’t give to others what you don’t have within yourself. x

grapefruitpip Wed 18-Sep-19 16:34:23

Could you pull back a bit grannya? Perhaps your body is telling you something.....could you take some time out and talk it through with somebody properly?

MiniMoon Wed 18-Sep-19 16:43:17

GrannyA, I have an intermittent cough, it's connected to acid reflux, my sister also has a cough, but hers is to do with a hiatus hernia.

I'm 67 and gave up my stressful job in a nursing home five years ago. I took a part time early morning cleaning job to help out my DH who is the supervisor. I stuck it out for 14 months, I've been happily retired ever since.
Take care of yourself, and have the cough checked out please.

kittylester Wed 18-Sep-19 17:34:54

Crumbs ga, I was only wondering a couple of days ago how things are with you and here you are.

I think you need to give yourself a bit of down time but that is easier said than done. We've been feeling a bit 'under the cosh' lately but it's hard to know what to let go, isnt it? We talked about getting the family adopted by some kindly person! grin

Take care and keep in touch!

Auntieflo Wed 18-Sep-19 17:48:04

Grannyactive, you're running on empty.
Your battery needs recharging, and the holiday that you have booked, sounds just the job.
There has been a lot of sound advice given to you here, so as Luckygirl says, take a step back, breathe, and listen to the sort advice that you would give to others.
Hope you are soon feeling a bit better.

GillS Wed 18-Sep-19 17:53:40

GrannyA you may have nasal congestion which causes a slow, constant drip down the back of your nose into your throat which, of course, makes you cough when laying down. This can be treated with a spray or drops. I do hope it clears up soon and that you have the holiday you so obviously deserve without this wretched cough.

Daisymae Wed 18-Sep-19 18:05:24

A cough for 3 weeks requires a visit to the GP, before your holiday. It does sound from your description of your life that something has to give. I would think about taking an extended break from one of your roles to give yourself some time to reflect. I am sure that you will come up with the solution that's right for you.

Gaunt47 Wed 18-Sep-19 18:56:59

Just saying goodbye to daughter and granddaughter would knock me sideways for a while, so perhaps the sadness of seeing them off is contributing?

Cherrytree59 Wed 18-Sep-19 18:57:08

ga Maybe a sunshine holiday with plenty of R and R will be enough to get your mojo up and running.

But I echo the advice given by other GNers, please get the cough checked out.

Wishing both you and your DH a lovely holiday

Fiachna50 Wed 18-Sep-19 20:40:18

I would go with the advice given by feeling my age. Get your thyroid level checked but also ask about a check for Vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and diabetes. Underactive thyroid (in particular autoimmune) can throw up those issues along with it. The other culprit could be Vitamin D deficiency which can happen alongside underactive thyroid too.

LondonGranny Wed 18-Sep-19 20:46:19

It's already been said on this thread, but go to your GP. My youngest daughter had a persistent cough that turned out to be pneumonia. If she can get it as a young woman without a massively stressful life and eating healthily (are you or are you just grabbing snacks when you have a moment?) so can you. Not saying it's something as serious as that but I don't even know you and I'm fretting about your health & wellbeing.

annodomini Wed 18-Sep-19 21:42:43

It's chicken and egg, GA. Which came first, the fatigue or the cough? I suspect the two are connected. You have given so much of yourself for so long that it's now time to put yourself first and recharge. I think we are all agreed, but just let me say that I had noticed that we hadn't seen so much of you lately and I had missed you. We go back a long way!

M0nica Wed 18-Sep-19 22:41:39

GA like you I used to be a durocell bunny. Non stop go, lots of commitments, but in my mid-60s (I am now mid 70s) I did suddenly notice that my famed stamina, was giving out. I had a winter bug, wnt down with post-viral syndrome for 6 months and never got back to where I had beem.

Since then I find that although I can still do a lot, more than many people my age, I am having to ration myself. Today I started with a Pilates, had to shift stock for our next antiques fair one end of the garden to another to load the van, did some gardening, cleaning and the ironing, but decided against my usual daily walk. If I had done that I would have been dead tired tomorrow.

The sensible thing is to realise that you will need to slow down as you get older but take it under your control so that you can fit as much as possible in without getting exhausted.

petra Wed 18-Sep-19 22:53:09

It's a very true saying: Don't rescue to the point where you have to be rescued. flowers

Urmstongran Wed 18-Sep-19 23:03:23

What a wise saying petra one to remember. It’s good.

grannyactivist Thu 19-Sep-19 03:06:34

Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to comment. I have read and am inwardly digesting all of your comments. flowers

I did actually have a fairly thorough MOT with the senior prescribing nurse at my GP’s surgery today and have taken her advice with regard to seeing a doctor at the end of next week if I still have this cough. She’s checking my thyroid levels (and everything else)! I am taking some vitamin supplements, but will add some B vitamins.

I do know that I’m not indispensable and have already informed my management team that I shall be aiming to wind down my contribution over the next few years and retire from casework completely at seventy. I’ve just remembered we also have some newly trained Chaplains about to be let loose on the town so perhaps one of them will discover an affinity for working alongside me at the Care Home. Ooh - that’s quite an exciting possibility. I feel quite bad for my lovely residents as I dare not visit at the moment - I’m afraid of passing on this virus.

I suppose I will just have to learn to be more rigorous about taking a day off and relaxing more. And learn to accept I can’t keep going at this pace without getting tired.

Katyj Thu 19-Sep-19 07:52:32

I've got the cough too Granny, feel throughly run down with it.I'm only a couple of years younger than you, but I'm in awe at how much your doing, I know I couldn't. I've started going for increasing longer walks to build muscle strength,I'm also taking a over 50s vitamin, yakult drink, and sambucol everyday to build immunity only started this regime this week, so fingers crossed it helps.Your holiday will do you good, but I think you need to cut down as well.Be kind to yourself.Have a lovely holiday.

Grammaretto Thu 19-Sep-19 08:20:23

I often look longingly at my bed as I make it after breakfast!

We all have good and bad days. I think a general lethargy is fairly normal for what you describe.

You have a stressful job which comes into sharp focus when the family you rarely see are visiting.

I don't think you need vitamins but happy company, appreciative friends and something to look forward to.
I always get depressed when my AC return to NZ.