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Getting anxious

Apart from staying at home because of the virus I am virtually housebound anyway as the DVLA took my driving licence away last year, as a result I have not been anywhere apart from the village shop since January. As I live alone I rarely see anyone. Now that the British Legion gave me a folding electric wheelchair last week it opens up the opportunity for me to go further than a mile. My baby sister, who works in ASDA, has taken the day off on Friday to take me out for my birthday (62) to the garden centre which I have been looking forward to immensely, HOWEVER, now it is getting closer I am becoming increasingly anxious about going. Even though we have both sorted out face masks, hand sanitiser and so forth I am still worried that we may come across people who don't care about social distancing, the last thing I need to do is get a dose of the virus as I fear that it will be "night night" although that would be a cure for the constant pain of OA! The horror stories that my sister has mentioned about people's behaviour in the shop where she works does not fill me with much hope. So I have 2 days to make my mind up.


  • Hi, good luck with a difficult decision. I have been feeling very similar although luckily still able to get out for a walk each day. Busy shops make me feel nervous and I have avoided them so far.
    I don’t know if this will help but you could possibly ring ahead and ask about how they are enforcing social distancing and which times of day are quieter. Or maybe go to a nice park with plenty of space and take a picnic?
  • Hi , I do hope you manage to go for your visit to the garden centre,I'm sure your sister will look out for you in case anyone isn't behaving and steer you away from them. I too am nervous about going to our local garden centre as I haven't been anywhere ( but work) since the middle of March but my husband is planning on taking me next Wednesday and I'm going to try it to see how I feel about things. I was told about the Virustatic face shield so I googled it,then ordered one! Hope this helps,good luck 👍
  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 176 ✭✭
    I haven’t needed to shield or self isolate but I’ve only been going out about once a week, and my OH does most of the food shopping. I live somewhere semi rural, so the supermarkets haven’t been too crowded (actually very quiet). Did my first garden centre trip today, they had set out a very carefully planned queuing system, “one in one out” door control, sterilised trolleys, Ppl in the garden centre were all very careful and considerate. It’s mostly older ppl and couples, who probably (but not always!) tend to be equally worried and considerate as compared with say a big family supermarket. I took my face mask and sanitiser, and overall it was a fairly stress free trip. Very few bedding plants sadly (there’s a supply problem at our garden centre) so I had to improvise a bit, but my 91 ye old Mum was delighted to see a load of geraniums, violas, lavender etc turn up in her garden. If you’re careful with sanitisers etc and watch out for what others are doing, so long as you’re not shielding, it’s probably fairly low risk. But as someone else said, ring ahead first and ask them what their arrangements are to set your mind at rest. If in doubt, or if you just don’t feel you’re ready for it, then don’t go, as it would be pointless if it stressed you out so much you couldn’t enjoy it. Tbh now is prob a safe-ish time to go, before the dreaded “second wave” starts up.
  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 454 ✭✭✭

    Feeling a bit better about it now. Checked with the garden centre and they are not letting people inside, only in the outdoor areas where they have a one way system set up.

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 176 ✭✭

    Sounds good. Hope you enjoy it

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,550 ✭✭✭

    May I wish you a happy birthday for tomorrow and, should you decide to do it, I hope you enjoy your trip out. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • I understand how Mike feels - although I gather there's to be a relaxing of isolation as from Monday I'm still very anxious about mixing at the moment. I've been housebound now since last year as I don't drive and my 'carer' visits were mainly for jobs around the house or social. That of course stopped on 23 March. Haven't seen anyone since and my anxiety levels have increased enormously - as well as the pain. Today after a lot of thought - and thanks to reading about help on the Versus Arthritis website, I have contacted a CBT therapist locally and we will talk on the phone once a week for 50 minute sessions. It's expensive but for me anything is better than taking anxiety/depression medication when you are alone as some of the side effects make you wobbly, sleepy and at risk of silly things like leaving a gas ring going or boiling something dry. I've also been trying CBD oil - so far I haven't noticed a huge difference in pain relief but a slight improvement in my stress levels. Once again it's very expensive - just have to hope sometime effective arthritis treatment will surface. Helen.

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 176 ✭✭

    Hi Helen, on a few occasions in my life I’ve found the answer in “throwing money at the problem”, not in terms of retail therapy, but just grabbing what’s available in the hope that one of them, or all of them combined, will make a difference. The down side is that you can’t be sure which one(s) were most effective, but I’ve never done anything so stupid that way that I regretted it.

    I can understand how you might feel so anxious after effectively spending weeks indoors hiding from “the big bad wolf”, and now it’s time to go outside. I can’t comment on CBD oil, but I hope the CBT works for you. I’ve found it helpful in the past. During a recent difficult spell I found a book called “How to be Miserable” (by Randy Paterson) really useful, it’s quite a light read, and it shows by reverse psychology how some of the ways you approach life are guaranteed to make you unhappy. It’s not a ghastly “how to be brilliant and rule the world” type book, it just gently, and a little tongue-in-cheek, points out that a few small subtle changes can make quite a difference.

    If it helps, I’ve been going out once or twice a week on average, and the reality really isn't as scary as our anxieties want us to believe. Most people are being sensible and considerate, and the shops etc have set up some pretty safe systems, as they want to protect their staff and be seen to protect the public too. Hope it goes ok for you. It feels a bit odd at first, but everyone else is still getting the hang of it too, so there’s plenty of other anxious faces “all in it together” 🙂

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 176 ✭✭

    I hadn’t realised it’s your birthday tomorrow Mike, I hope you have a lovely day. Many happy returns. 🙂🎂🥂

  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 454 ✭✭✭

    Thanks DD and Lilymary. I am sort of looking forward to today now, fingers crossed all will be OK. There are a couple of plants I am after and the robins in the garden need some meal worms. I suppose I will have to get a treat for Vixen as well or she won't talk to me for a while, she gets really uppity if I go out. 😸

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 176 ✭✭

    Hope the garden centre has what you want, if not, improvise and call it “Covid gardening!”. 🐥🐝🌺🌸🌼😁

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,550 ✭✭✭

    Hello Mike, I hope you went out, enjoyed yourself and the new piece of kit came good. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 454 ✭✭✭

    Well, we went for it. My baby sister came over and we set off about 10:30, she wore a mask in the car and we kept the windows open. On arrival it was not too busy and I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone was keeping to the 2 metre distancing. Managed to get a few bits that I wanted including a nice Acer and a new pottery pot to put it in which looks good next to my pond. Got the meal worms for the birdies but couldn't find anything for my cat, luckily I had some Bernard Matthews cooked Turkey in the fridge (I only buy it for her) so gave her some of that when I got home. We were only out for about an hour and a half but as it was my first outing since January it was great. The new wheelchair was very comfy but it will not go over loose gravel and doesn't like slopes. Knackered when I got home though as getting in and out of a car hurts as does many other things, only had a couple of swigs of Morphine whilst out though. Back into isolation!

  • I'm so glad your trip went well 👍
  • dachshunddachshund Posts: 7,562

    Hello everyone my question is

    . when will the disabled toilets be open I have a key but I cannot go shopping till then ((()))

    Thank you

    take care
    joan xx
  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 454 ✭✭✭

    Everywhere is different, ask your Council or check out their website.

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