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Please help me know if I'm moving for the wrong reasons?

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I've been asking on this forum about moving to Charente or Charente Maritime as my hubby & I have both been medically retired.  The weather, fresh food & general change of  lifestyle have been appealing for a number of years now.

I suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease & find the weather in Northern Ireland to cold & wet (all year) and only during warm(ish) weather do I get any relief.  (I ended up in A&E on New Years Eve & have just been put on 20mg Diazepam a day, so if I am rambeling or making terrible spelling mistakes - please excuse me!! )

Does anyone have any similar back problems or health complaints that have been helped by their move or is warm/hot weather not a good idea?  I don't expect any doctors or professional medical advice - but would really appreciate any stories or suggestions of how your health problems may have changed.

The thought of not moving would break my heart as it's the only thing keeping me going at the moment - but I don't want to be making the biggest mistake of my life.  I know it's really cold over there at the moment - but the spring, summer & autumn, I believe, would work wonders for me.

Please reply with any suggestion, or let me know if you, or anyone you know, has a bad back & how they found their move.

Happy New Year to you all & I hope to be joing you all, over in France, very soon.

Luv, Ali.


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Hi Aliards

That is one heck of a question ..........how does one answer ........... no answer really, only my thoughts ........ firstly I do not live in France .........we  have a property there and hopefully will be moving this year ............ when we are there we absolutely love it and if you love it you feel BETTER and that in a nutshell is half the answer the other half is WHERE in Charente ....... where we are, Vienne .........it can be mighty cold, there are parts which I understand are warmer which I am sure other members will tell you about ....... do you REALLY want to be there is the question .......... might be an idea once you have found the area that suits .......... warmer ........ is to rent for a while, a month or two? .......others may be able to recommend an area with a place to stay.... well that's my bit, I'm sure others will have some interesting input.


Bonne Chance

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This is a difficult question. Is the pain eased by temperature, or low humidity.

In fact UK is surprisingly warm, but rather humid.

The French Atlantic coast has quite high humidity (and higher rainfall than most of UK), and is only truly warm June - September. It can be colder than UK November to February.

It may be worth reading this article : http://www.the-languedoc-page.com/articles/languedoc-articles42.htm

Bonne chance






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Hi Ali

I've got different back problems to you (two different ones), but my life is so different since I stopped aggravating those areas on a daily basis.

I was wondering how long you had been retired, whether your work was aggravating your condition and now that you are not things may improve as a result of that?

I think I stopped work about  a week before leaving for France, (Charente Maritime) but with hindsight it was a year after that before I realised that I wasn't constantly in pain, or fear of pain, which was so physically restricting and emotionally debilitating.  

I don't know how much the sun helps physiologically - I used to get some relief from hot water bottles etc - but there is a huge psychological lift in being able to do a bit in the garden, or go for a walk/bike ride on sunny days, (sometimes at temps as high as 17/18°C) over all the winter months.


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Not sure how badly your condition is effected by relative humidity but Acquitane is so named because it is wet. We have just move closer to Bordeaux from the Haute Vienne. Major improvements in Isabels hands. I would recommend a long let/visit over winter before burning your boats.  Relative to England and I believe Northern Ireland it costs a huge amount in France for agents fees and taxes to buy and sell if you make the wrong choice.
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Again, I cannot advise medically, all I can say is that I suffer from arthritis in hands, knees, hips etc.  I live in south of UK and in Loire Valley.

During the dry warm summer months in France I have little pain and am able to climb stairs etc. but during the damp and colder months both in the UK and France I suffer quite severe pain.

I agree with the other suggestions of staying for a while in an area during the time most likely to affect you, rather than burning your boats and finding that you are no better.

Good luck

Wendy G

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I would rent for at least a year too.  France can be very cold and humid and the area you fall in love with at first sight on a glorious summers day can be quite another kettle of fish in the winter. 

If you look at the temperatures on the meteo each day here there are some very cold spots and enormous variations over quite a small area so one side of a departement might be ok for you and the other not. 

You seem to have decided to move anyway, no matter what, as the climate in Ireland doesn't suit you, so if you rent for a year you can always move on further South or into Spain or Portugal..... your money from selling up keeping warm in the bank for when you find somewhere.

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I too suffer from back and joint problems. Have since the age of 18 and I am no where near retirement age! Sure the weather is better here, winter still sunny but very cold. If you do not speak French fluent consider the problems with the chiropractor, physio as well as the doctor! I had to travel to the Tarn (three hours drive) when my back gave up on me!

My last visit to the doctor (I had to see a relief) I explained my problems and she at first gave me paracetemol!!!! O.K. if you have a headache not really for bursitus, tendonitus, cervical sponylosis, sciatica ect.

And yes perhaps seeing the sun does make you feel good?

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Thank you all for your posts.  I know it was propably a very silly question as everyone is different - but your replies have comfirmed what I already thought!!

I guess what it boils down to is - where would I rather live, in pain.  Rainey, gloomy & totally depressing Northern Ireland or sunny, relaxed & beautiful France.  Somehow, I don't think it's going to be a very difficuly choice!!

I was retired in September from the Civil Service - spent most of my day crouched over a PC, filing & looking after a Library for training staff so I was pretty useless (more than usual, some would say!!) when in great pain.  I'm 39 (the big 40 in February - Agghhh!!) don't want to look back in 20 years & wish we had moved while we still had the chance.

It really does sound like a good idea to rent for as long as possible to see if the area suits & to make sure I'm near a hospital in case of emergencies.

My Husband, Mark, is also retired (43) as he has ME & thanks to him I know he will always be there for me, to help and support me when things are really bad. Don't know what I'd do without him  Sorry I'm rambelling again - these Diazepam are good stuff!! (Mark says I've been doing a damn good impression of Ozzy Osbourne for the last few days!!)

Thanks again & please let me know if you have any other thoughts.

Luv, Ali.

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After one year in France my back 'went' making the beds. I required a english speaking chiropractor as I had been visiting one on the Isle of Wight regularly for three years. I have tried physio's, oesteapaths's, acupuncture ect. I could find no chiros's in this area. I finally found an english man in Eymet. So my husband drove me down and I stayed for 5 days. Would have preferred to stay longer but it was August and our gites and b/b were full. On my return I found a french chiro in Parthenay...absolutely useless!

I have placed many postings over the last 5 years for Chiropractors especially McTimoney but to no avail. Where is your husband practise?

many thanks


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[quote user="Christine Animal"]

How funny, he worked at the Melle practice while the others were on holiday when we first arrived.  I'd give his number on here, but don't know if  I'm allowed to, so sending a PM (if I can find out how to do it!).



If possible could you send me his address & telephone number in case I need it as well.  It would be wonderful to have a contact in case of emergencies! I can send you my email address if necessary.

Hope you don't mind me being so forward?

Thanks Ali.

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