retirement musings

Well, last October, I decided I would be retiring the end of 2018.  (totally arbitrary date.)  But I didn’t tell my boss/co-workers until 4/3 this year.  I have to admit, from almost the moment I told them, my attitude at work got (mostly silently) pretty crappy.  I know, ‘short-timer’s syndrome’ and all that.  I started talking to my hubby, did I HAVE to wait until December to retire?  I mean, it was an arbitrary date.  The thing is, very shortly after I retire, we move into the ‘sell the house move to AZ’ phase.  He has things he wants to do here to get it in better shape for selling, and intended to accomplish that all this summer.  He asked me to at least wait until the end of summer to retire.  That seemed more than fair.  I even said, “I’ll try to go to October, but not sure”….

So that’s where he and I stood before my gallbladder revolted last Sunday and got removed.

I had been diagnosed with ‘mild ulcerative colitis’ (UC) -is there such a thing, really?  I mean, sure, compared to serious UC, but no UC is really mild.  ANYHOW, here I am, on  post-surgery day 8 now, and my stomach (internal and external) pains are mostly gone from the surgery, but the D from the liver trying to figure out how to process bile without the gallbladder remains.  Mostly in the morning until about 9:30 am or so.  I might have 1-2 other ‘attack’s throughout the day, but the time varies.  From all that I read, this is common in 10-40% of the women who have their gallbladders removed.  It doesn’t surprise me that at my age with UC, I’m in that group.  For those that have this, it supposedly takes 4-6 weeks for the liver/rest of the body adjust and normalize.  But for some, that never happens.

I don’t know what group I will be in.  I don’t mind having D at work; anyone with UC is used to that.  It’s the fact that the amount of time between I realize it’s coming and when it HITS is less than a minute.  Not a problem at home.  But at work (let alone the 30 minute drive to and from work)…I’m down 2 long hallways from the bathroom.  I really don’t want to have to wear Depends at work, let alone have several D accidents at work in them.  (sorry for the graphic images/detail.)

I go see the surgical nurse on Thursday afternoon to get my staples removed and get my updated release for work.  I need to know the plan prior to that.  I need to contact my H/R department (I think since I’m on short term leave, it has to be through them rather than directly with my boss), and explain this and I have two options for them to choose from:

1.  Let me work from home 7:30 am-9:30 am, drive to work, take only a half hour lunch, and leave at my normal 4:30.  This keeps me at 8 hours per day, normal work hours, but gives me the chance to handle my morning ‘problems’ at home.

2.  Just work a shortened day, 10:00 am-4:30.  That cuts my work schedule down to 6 hours, because by law I’d have to take at least a 30 min. lunch break.  Still keeps me at home during the problem time.

Either works for me, but of course financially we’d prefer # 1 even though #2 would be easier on me.

I am going to let them know tomorrow, because they should have at least a day to talk it over and decide.

The thing is, I have no crystal ball.  I can’t tell my doctor or my employer how long this might be necessary.  It might be a week.  It might be 4 weeks.  It might be forever.

So of course, they have to decide if that is acceptable.  They might think it’s okay for a couple weeks, maybe even a month (as I fall further behind at work)…or they might not.  At which point, I have to decide if I can try it back to 100% normal, or just give up and retire.

I had that discussion with hubby yesterday.  I said it might be out of my hands (when I retire) at this point.  He of course still wants me to make it to early September, but said if either my body or my company won’t cooperate, we can’t control that.  The proverbial ‘it just is what it is.’

So I just don’t know.  Every month we stay here after I retire but before we move to AZ, it’s going to cost us about $1000 more than if we were in AZ.  So of course we don’t want that to go on too long.  But I’m in no condition to help prep for a sell and move to another state at the moment, anyhow.

Again, I just don’t know.  I’m trying to just be chill about it.  It really is out of my control.  C’est la vie.  But for a control freak, it isn’t exactly easy letting go and just letting fate win.

I’m already trying to come to terms with how behind I will be at work.  I’ll have over 500 emails to deal with upon my return, let alone the work itself. (they cut off our access to email when on leave to keep us from checking/doing work.)   It will take me a couple of days (at least) just to catch up on email.  But I can’t stress myself out over it. I can only do the best I can every day and just that’s it.  I get caught up whenever I do, or learn to come to terms that I might not ever be ‘caught up’ there again, and that’s okay too.

Anvilcloud had a great comment to me yesterday:  “Would you consider retiring a few months early and ending that ordeal and just enjoying life as much as possible?”

Little did he know I’d already been contemplating this.  I really need to try my best to get through August, but if my body or my company won’t let me, I’m prepared for that too.  I mean, this might just be a situation for another week or two, and then I’ll be fine the rest of the way until I choose my retirement day.  I’m only considering what happens IF I don’t fully recover digestively…

so, today, I just don’t know.  Tomorrow, I copy a great deal of this post and send it in an email to H/R….and see what happens from there.

Anvil, if it were up to me, I’d cash it in now.  Or one month from now.  But I’m not the only one in this picture, and what hubby is asking for isn’t unreasonable, if my body can handle it.  I don’t begrudge him his request at all; it makes perfect sense in a perfect world.  This isn’t a perfect world, but I’m only Day 8.  It might be a close to perfect world again very soon…

p.s.  I’ve removed my retirement counter on the sidebar.  Because I haven’t a clue when it will happen, except to know that 12/12/18 would be the very last day, at the longest.  🙂

38 thoughts on “retirement musings

  1. Sue

    I think you're struggling with the “not knowing”. Talk to your HR people, I should have thought they have an obligation to help you during your convalescent period, however long that might be.

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  2. Silver Willow

    I'm learning to live with 'not knowing' when it comes to our health plagues us all, and moreso the older we get.I am assuming that they will be willing to make reasonable accommodations for me. But they get to decide what is reasonable (for them) and what isn't. I hope I'll be cut some slack, for almost 11 years outstanding service, but since they know retirement is right around the corner, I might have lost that edge. One more reason I guess hubby was right and it was a mistake to tell them so far out I was retiring… oh wellz.

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  3. Jean R.

    You can only move forward, so don't waste any time looking back. Do the best with the cards you're holding and hopefully it will all work out in the end.What's in AZ waiting for you two? Do you have a second home there? Can your husband transfer his job/career?

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  4. Olga Hebert

    Your body is telling you something and it would be best to pay attention to it first and foremost. Quiet all the other voices nagging at you and listen to your body.

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  5. Silver Willow

    Hmmm, didn't think I was looking back….We want to live in Az for a variety of reasons. Hubby is 16 years younger than me but works from home 4 days a week. He says he really only needs to go in once a month and his company has a Scottsdale office and his clients are global. So it should be no problem. His company prefers peop!e working from home.We don't have another home there. We will sell this and buy there.

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  6. Jean R.

    Working from home and working globally sure has changed the job market. Love the fact that you can move any where you like. AZ is a good place to retire, I hear.

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  7. Silver Willow

    It's only a state away from my girls and grandsons, his Cubs do spring training there, my best friend lives in Scottsdale and housing is soooo much cheaper than Orange county California!

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  8. Ann Thompson

    I always hate being in a situation where I just have to wait to find out how things are going to go. I like immediate answers and to know a definite plan. Hope it all works out for you

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  9. Silver Willow

    I'm on short term; right now, for two weeks, that ends Sunday. So I have to prep for if it's extended partially due to my morning problems, or what. But thanks!

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  10. tammy j

    ditto dkzody.i hadn't planned to retire when i did either. a trip to the eye doctor discovered malignant hypertension… “a stroke at any moment.” suddenly it all just didn't matter. when released from ER i contacted my HR office the next morning and started the ball rolling. the odd thing… i made more money than when i was working! they didn't hold out for things. and truthfully i didn't care. if it was less it would be less. just making the decision was a HUGE step for me.sometimes it's between you and GOD. xoxo

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  11. Silver Willow

    I can almost guarantee that I’ll retire by October at the latest now. And that’s if I make a full recovery quickly from the surgery. Thanks, Christine!

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  12. Marie Smith

    It sounds like you need more recovery time from this surgery so you’ll have a better idea how your body will adjust sans gall bladder. Good luck SW.

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  13. Silver Willow

    I understand your choice completely Tammy, but malignant hypertension is MUCH different than being 8 days post op. Unless I take a turn for the worse, I think I will improve. At the very least, a little. I need to explore that first. Xo

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  14. Silver Willow

    I do. But I don’t think I need to be 100% off work by Monday. It’s what alternative works for me and that the company can accept, will be the question. Thanks Marie!

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  15. coffeeontheporchwithme

    Ahhh, the great unknown. Not easy for people who like to have all their ducks in a row. It is tough when you know retirement is on the horizon and you realize you only have to continue working for a few months more. I do hope things improve for you physically. You've been through enough! Take care of yourself. -Jenn

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  16. Silver Willow

    actually, I offered a new #1 (a third option), but indicated it was my 'favorite'/safest: work mornings at home and afternoons in the office. I think my boss is going for it, without reservation but H/R hasn't chimed in. Fingers crossed and thanks!

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  17. Silver Willow

    Actually, the surgeon offered 1 week or 2. I literally said, “I'm old. Gimme 2.” I think my recent UC history is making the situation worse. Just a hunch.

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  18. Jeanie

    Your body will tell you what happens. It may well mean that you make one choice in the next week or two and then have to modify it. I do like the idea of working from home part of the day. I worked from home when I couldn't drive for six weeks and found when I tracked my minute by minute, I got WAY more done because no one bothers you, no meetings and such. You might be able to whip through those emails in no time!

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