Forced into early retirement w. disability

by David in Florida

I found this site by accident and hope it's still active. I've read a few of the stories posted and can understand where a lot of you are coming from.

Prior to being medically retired I was a Lt/FF/Paramedic with a large FD. It's been 10 months now and I can say it's not what I expected to say the least. I was retired following a Cervical Fusion from C-5 through C-7 which was not successful. The surgeon gave me permanent restrictions of no lifting over 10 pounds as well as a few other restrictions.

In 10 months, I've learned who my real friends are and found out I didn't have as many as I thought. Your Golf buddies stop calling since you can not play anymore. Your kayak fishing buddies quit calling as well. Social isolation becomes a way of life.

I'm only 57, married for 39 years and have a wife who's slowly losing patience. I have learned what the definition of depression is. The things I used to enjoy are no longer there!

It's easy for someone to say "let's take a walk". But when your in a rut , doesn't sound fun at all! I'm not complaining but just trying to share what I've learned!

1. Depression is very commen

2. Social isolation is commen ( especially when your spouse is still working)

3. Some of our lives become like the movie Ground Hog Day lol

4. No one will hire you with certain restrictions

I wish everyone Luck in their situations! Hopefully yours is going better then mine!

Comments for Forced into early retirement w. disability

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Forced retirement
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear David: I hope some people in this community who are in a similar situation - and I'm sure there are many- will read your letter.

If you could form a "connection" or group that could learn from each other it could be enlightening. Life is dull for anyone if we can't find ways to connect and be of aid to others in some way. Are you and your wife on Facebook?

I just posted on Facebook a piece about the man who climbed Mt. Everest a a few years ago and "he was blind" . He also climbed the other high peaks in that area. Time Mag. did the cover story about him.

His piece of advice to us is to wake up every morning and consider all the things we are lucky and grateful to have ..and not to waste a moment of our lives dwelling on what we don't have.

We have heroes among us and you can be one of them. Blessings,

Retirement -Change?
by: Sherry/Wilmington, NC

Hi, you are missing it Buddy. Find a support group, start looking on the internet for a "Meet-Up" group. Just go to google and in the bar type meet-up and the name of your town and state. There are all kinds of meet-ups.

Go to the Senior Center in your town or nearby town lots of friends there waiting for you. They have card games there and meet ups for retired military personnel. There are volunteer jobs to do and you can find some of those at the Senior Center too! The Senior Center also helps folks find part-time jobs!

Good luck and God is watching out for you!


Forced into early retirement
by: Louisewt

David, Sometimes you need to reach out too. If you can't play golf anymore, could you still join your buddies in a golf cart and just enjoy the outdoors and have a few laughs and maybe a beer afterwards? Same with your former work buddies. You could call them and meet for some chicken wings or hamburgers once in a while. As far as your wife goes, not sure why she is having issues. But are you helping out in the house while she is at work? Can you do some laundry, dusting, bed making? Can you prepare a nice dinner so she can relax when she comes home? I would suggest that you read articles and books so you can have interesting topics to talk to your wife about. Your wife doesn't want to hear how miserable you are staying home when she is at work all day. For some interesting topics, you could do some research on line and, for instance, you could look up Brooklyn Bridge:

The bridge is 134 years old! How fascinating is that? Very interesting details about how the bridge was built! Not just at this website but others too. History used to be the most BORING thing for me in school now I am an avid reader of it. Go to Internet Archive and look up subject matter. You will find books written long ago. So much stuff you couldn't read it all in a 100 years! If history doesn't interest you, go to the library and find a current topic of interest. Or buy a book! Can you plan some fun weekend outings with your wife? A picnic at a pretty park? Some delicious food either you make or buy at the deli and put together a picnic basket. A little bottle of wine or champagne! A rose, shrimp cocktail? Lunch and a matinee? Lunch and a museum. Go to a country fair and browse around and get some fun foods and snacks. Go to the beach and walk on the boardwalk. Take a bus trip out of town. Think back to when you were dating!
Here are more ideas:

Reach out! I used to have a boss who accused me of 'being in my comfort zone'. He was right. I tended to do what I was good at and didn't take a step into the unknown. Sometimes we have to do things out of our comfort zone to find that we are good at something new!

sounds rough
by: Anonymous

Sounds Rough. I would be situationally depressed, so I wish you well finding some way around these situations.

Recently Retired
by: Anonymous

Hi David,

Sorry to hear about your situation. My brother is a paramedic. I retired prematurely about 18 months ago at age 58. I had health issues amongst other things.

Some of the things that have helped so far are volunteering a few days per week (good for socializing), trying to get in a regular workout (if you can), creating a daily schedule to fall back on if there is nothing to do. You might want to check out Khan Academy (free online courses).

It will get better. I wish you well !

No money forced into early retirement with disability.
by: WHerring

I too am retired with a disability unable to continue working as a buy out glass coordinator. I retired with no money.

Against unbelievable odds I thank God, family and friends for sticking with me. This left sided weakness caused by my stroke sometimes require making steps like climbing stairs. I understand your dismay about many new changes you must make, however.

Try to renew your thinking not seeing yourself as an outcast. But an individual with a purpose driven life. I feel blessed to be apart of life's journey at this point in time.

Fortunately new medical breakthroughs and behavior analysis are helping many to keep stability and hope alive.

retired at 42 w. disability
by: Rich, Petaluma

I was a grocery clerk for 28 years and had to retired due to hip and back issues. I also had friends drop off, I think many of them are jealous think my life is better than it is...

Now at 55 and 13 years later I still struggle with my self worth and wonder why friends I have known for 40 years never even call.

My wife of 32 years is now on chemo pills for lymphoma and they still don't call.

Wanna meet real people that care, find a good church. Struggles will come to all of us and we will feel alone. Its not easy but trust in him.

I also struggle with isolation and depression at times. I just wanted to share my story so maybe we know we can struggle together and be made stronger in our thinking. Don't believe the lies of the enemy.

Thanks for letting me tell my story. We are all in this life together. Rich

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