Tag Archives: diarrhea

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.  🙂


…in case anyone is still reading.  Well, have been going through a health crisis, with symptoms that could’ve spelled colon or rectal cancer.  It took 5 weeks to get to see all the appropriate doctors and run the appropriate tests, but my colonoscopy was today, and not a single polyp, and only minor stuff causing my symptoms.

Being that I had never had a colonoscopy before (bad, bad Silver)…due to a history of many uric acid kidney stones often formed by bad diarrhea, that had been my excuse.  Let me tell you, when you are approaching 65 and 15 years overdue for that first colonoscopy, and getting 2-3 symptoms that all spell colon cancer or rectal cancer, and see what THAT can lead to, you get over your wussiness about a ‘mere’ kidney stone.  Again.   Add a very strong OCD tendency, and I was all about worst-case scenario for 5 weeks.  To the point I was creating ‘how to’ documents for my every task at work, fearing I would have to insta-retire.  Not a fun way to live through April and May.

But I’m good.  I have my life back.

Now, I have to decide if I want to return to blogging or not.  There are clearly benefits, but some negatives as well, at least for me.  I need to think a bit on it.

But I wanted to give you an update.  And to let you know sorry I retreated from everything, including your blogs.  I hope to start visiting again very soon, at the very least.  🙂

Thanks for still checking on me.  xo