Retired and Sick

by Carol
(Surrey, BC Canada)

I retired one month ago. The first week off I started getting sick and have been sick ever since, one whole month. I have worked years and years without getting this sick and have never taken a sick day off. I waited and waited eagerly to retire and now I'm faced with this. Have no idea what is wrong, just in the middle of getting tests. Haven't been able to eat, have to sleep all the time.

I'm upset that I can't even enjoy my retirement. I know it's only a month but it's been too long to be sick. Thought it was just the flu bug but it's gone on too long now for that. My boss always told me, Carol don't retire, people retire, get sick and die.

Maybe I was stressed about retiring because I don't have money. My husband thinks that made me sick but I'm not sure about that. I wasn't that stressed, just a little worried about money, having to give up my car, etc.

My husband (common-law) helps me out financially, he's a good man that way. But I liked being independent and having my own money. And since I have no savings I kept working. All my savings went to the rehabilitation of my drug and alcohol addicted son. And to eczema, although I suffer bad from eczema, I've never had to take time off work for it and it's gone now. But I spent a lot of my saved money on trying to find a cure since regular doctors have no answers and it was getting worse and worse.

Just trying to live as simple as possible with not much money. So far it's fine, I'm not a high maintenance person, don't drink or smoke or shop. I just stay home, walk the dog, take lots of naps, garden, go to the gym and that's about it. Visit the grandchildren twice a month as well.

Don't need money for clothes, have enough now to last a lifetime, ha, ha. Not much else I need, my husband buys all the groceries, pays all the bills and I just help out with the mortgage. So nothing to complain about that way. I just want to get well again so I can enjoy my time off. Seems unfair if I have to spend my retirement sick.

I am a healthy active 69 year old, slim, fit and have no other age related illnesses. So hoping I can get to the bottom of this soon and the doctors figure out what it is.

Anyone else have this problem? Reitre and then get sick?

Comments for Retired and Sick

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Retired and sick
by: Jan/Idaho

Just as others have commented, give yourself time. I retired a year ago in January. I had health problems off and on all year. Just when one thing got better then something else happened.

I was depressed and a bit sorry for myself but things have finally turned around. I learned to just do whatever my body felt like it needed. I too napped a lot.

I thought that was a bad thing but my doctor explained that was my body talking to me and letting me know what was needed. Some days I just sat and watched TV but soon learned that the more I sat the worse I felt.

My advice is just do what you are doing. Walk the dog when you can, go to the gym when you can.

Things will get better.

Think outside the box.
by: Edward from Florida

A a counselor once told me this. He said that you have finally given yourself permission to get sick. This never happened before because you had 2 always work to get money. Marinate on this for a while and you may get some comfort.

Retired and sick
by: Anonymous

Since the doctor's have not found anything wrong, I am thinking it is a reaction you are having to the anxieties of retirement.

My son is a doctor and he told me to just take it easy for several months and just let myself adjust to all of the changes of retirement.

Do things that are enjoyable to you. For me its reading, playing the piano, making crafts, hiking, and catching up on all the movies and tv series that I have missed when I was too busy working.

It is normal to have fears and anxiety and some depression as you adjust. I think its important to stay busy, but stay busy with enjoyable things. There are usually community classes that you can take with a variety of options. Read and watch movies that make you laugh.

The tiredness may just be your body relaxing after all of those years of having to get up and go to work, and follow a schedule. One of the best things I did is join a gym that had yoga classes. I know that your funds are limited, but a yoga class would be a good place to start.

I think as you start allowing yourself to feel comfortable with relaxing and doing things that you enjoy, you will start feeling better. One day you will be at a class somewhere and you will realize, "hey, I am okay". But the most important thing you can do is not let yourself worry. Force your mind to think of pleasant things.

Later, after you are feeling better, you can choose if you would like a small part time job somewhere, but give yourself a break for now.

That's my thoughts on this. I think what you are going through right now is normal for your first adjustment to retirement.

Give yourself time by: Elisa in Chandler
by: Carol

Yes, been to the doctor and still waiting for some test results. And it showed that I am at an increased risk of diabetes Type 2. Not sure if that is making me sick or not, doctors are not very helpful here. And yes, I am still walking the dog even sick.

If I have a really bad day, my husband walks the dog. But it something I enjoy, me and dog on our walk. The dog only ever wants me to walk him, ha, ha.

I have some stomach or intestinal bug, that's the test they are still waiting for. I will be okay one day, then really super sick the next. It makes no sense.

I don't really miss work although I loved my job. I don't even miss the people there, there was no one I was that close to. My husband thinks I'm stressing about no job and no money and that I have no purpose. And he thinks that made me sick. I'm not sure about that.

My sister got a part time job at age 72, handing out samples of wine or alcohol in the liquor store. Four hours a day, a few times a month, sometimes not at all. Depends. Sounds like a good part time job for a senior. I might see if I can get something like that and see if that helps me.

First I am going to stay home for a year and give it time, see how it goes. All ready have one trip booked to go visit my daughter the other end of Canada.

Thanks for answering. I love this site and glad to know other people are feeling like me.

Give yourself time
by: Elisa in Chandler

I know how you feel. I got sick 14 days ago (I am NEVER sick) and at first it felt like I was NEVER going to recover or to resume the activities that I like to do. Then, just as I was starting to feel a tiny bit better, I threw out my back somehow (probably from the incessant hacking cough). So now I am sick and can't walk without a lot of pain.

My advice to you is to give yourself some more time to get well. Retirement didn't make you sick... a virus or flu bug did. If you feel like sleeping - sleep. It's the best thing for you. Yes a month is a long time to be sick, but we are older now and we may take a bit longer to get well. Drink water, take your vitamins, sleep, eat lightly and rest.

If you feel well enough to get outside a bit - take a short walk. Have you been to the doctor?

Please take care of yourself. I'm sure you'll be much better soon... Blessings.

by: Anonymous

Maybe you're allergic to something in your house. Now that you are there all the time there may be some mold or something there that you are sensitive to. Just a suggestion!

by: Anonymous

Retirement changes things. Harvard did a study on this very topic. According to the report, the body and mind go thru an adjustment period of about a year. During this time, they say that people who view retirement as a transition, rather than an event do much better in the long run.

So, give it time, and think positive..."this too shall pass".

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