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Haven't posted on here for a while. Today is my last official day of work as I'm retiring on ill health grounds from my job as a teaching assistant. It's sad because I have been at the same school for over 32 years, having been a PE teacher before becoming a TA. But having been off for a year as health problems became so bad, after having lupus and aps for over 20 years, I had to think of myself as I was continually picking up infections from school.

I've learnt to pace myself now and rest when I need to and this has made such a difference. It can be quite lonely at times when I'm on my own during the day but I make sure that I try and get out for a short walk even though it is a bit of a struggle on crutches! I've also just got a bus pass as I can't drive now so that helps too. Luckily I also have a very supportive family who help me.

So if any of you are thinking about early retirement, I would say definitely go for it if you can!

10 Replies

Hey Janekins, well done you for putting yourself first and taking care of you. I totally understand how being home during daytime is new for you, I've just been retired on ill health grounds for similar reasons, having been off for over a year etc... But I still had 21 years to go before I would have retired ordinarily.

It's good that you get out for a walk, I'm sorry you cant drive any longer but so glad to hear that you're positive and got a buspass.

Do you know whats weird for me is the fact that all my mates work full time, but i've just recently joined my local Lupus group and met some lovely people at coffee mornings. Maybe you could check out if there is a group near you, i'd advise it.

All the best and continue to enjoy your retirement as best you can.



Hi Jankins, I hope you have a very enjoyable retirement and your positivity oozes out and inspires me. I think you are right about getting used to not working. I have worked for 30 years in admin and then the last 12 years as a social worker so it still kind of feels odd on some days not to be working. Although on some days now I am finding I enjoy simple things that I have never had time to do in my previous healthy rush around life-style, such as baking a cake, swimming once a week (for physio reasons), coffee with a friend. Sometimes I am now thinking how did I have time to work lol. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it is about pacing yourself. I'm getting so much better at that but on a good day I still try to do too much and pay for it. I have days when I think I must get back to work but your line about constantly picking up infections is so true and I guess it's not worth it for us.

I hope you have many beautiful memories and great bus days out to have in your retirement,:) xx


Hi slowmo ( love the name!!)

Thanks for your reply. It's important to keep positive isn't it as things can easily drag you down. I like to be as independent as I can although I sometimes have to force myself to go out. A change of scenery even if it's a short walk just to the local shop is enough to lift my spirits and people I meet will often say hello or have a short chat.

We do have a lupus group down here in plymouth but unfortunately illness and being away when meetings have been on have meant I haven't been yet. But I will!!!

Enjoy your retirement too slowmo!!

Take care

Jane. X


Everything you said I so true . We do allway pick up infections

Because our pure health . Do enjoy your retarment . And have a peaceful and blessed Easter .


Hi Domineco.

Thanks I definitely hope to enjoy my retirement.

Sending easter wishes to you too.

Jane x


Hi janekins

Thank you for posting this, it made me think long & hard about when is the right time to finish work. You sound like you have come to terms with the idea. Being on crutches, as you are, I'm not surprised! Were you told you had to finish by your employers, or was it your own decision?

I love my job, as you obviously did too, being there all those years. I've managed to keep working by cutting my hours right down to 2 afternoons a week, & by coming home & going straight to bed for a rest. Often though, it will take me a day or 2 to recover from this, & I think is it really worth it?

I'm very, very fortunate that my husband's job covers our bills. However, the reality is that if I didn't work I would get very depressed & lonely. So I keep plodding on & hoping that the next medication I try will make things a little bit easier.

So many of us with lupus are stuck in a vicious circle with work, not being able to finish for financial reasons. Or being forced to leave due to ill health, & being faced with a whole new set of problems associated with this. If only there was more support for us from doctors & employers. Thank goodness Lupus UK are trying to redress the balance by raising awareness.

As slowmo says, I hope you have an active support group near you. So that you've got people to chat to who understand your situation.

Here's wishing you a very happy retirement, & a better & brighter lupus future along with it. I'll let you know if I bite the bullet & join you any time soon. X


Hi roobarb!

Having been off work since january last year, and then having stroke like symptoms in April, I did try and return in September on a phased return. I'd only been working 2 days a week for some years anyway, but I started back doing just an hour a day on my 2 days then 2 hours the following week with the plan of gradually building up to full days. I was exhausted just after an hour and things didn't improve.

I saw 2 occupational health docs who recommended increasing the time to return. I knew wasn't doing my job properly and it wasn't benefitting the children I was working with. Whatever happened in April to me left me unable to concentrate reading, I couldn't think properly and when the teacher told the children what they had to do I couldn't remember what they had said! It was awful and I felt that I was letting everyone down.

I had a cognition test in November which confirmed I had problems with information processing, concentration and attention. So I spoke to my line manager and she said the school would support me if I decided to go for ill health retirement. She couldn't have been more helpful. Luckily I had 2 small pensions and these will hopefully give me a similar amount of money to what I was earning doing my 2 days a week .

I thought I would get depressed and lonely but luckily I haven't really. I just wish I could physically do a bit more. But I will keep going and even if it is a struggle I will push myself a bit more cos I won't let my illnesses beat me yet!!! I have time to rest when I want now and choose what I want to do, when I want.

I hope that doesn't sound selfish, but as I said to someone this morning, today is the start of the rest of my life!!!

If you do think about retiring, I would definitely say go for it!!

Sending hugs

Jane x


Thanks so much Jane, for your openness & honesty. It must have been awful for you to go through all this, but you are so positive. You are such an inspiration, & I hope I can feel like this when the time comes to give up work.

No, it doesn't sound selfish to say you can do what you want, when you want to. But, in reality I imagine you mean when you are able!

I hope you are having a good bank holiday week end, & I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

Lots of hugs back, & many thanks again. X


Thanks for your lovely reply roobarb!

I have to say that I was inspired to go for early retirement by Sher78 !! On this site, everyone can help each other don't you think. If anyone is feeling unwell or low, then there is always someone here to chat to, who has experienced similar situations, or is there just to offer comfort. So everyone who replies to blogs and questions can make a huge difference to people's lives.

I haven't yet been to one of our lupus meetings in plymouth due to illness and being away but I do hope to get to the next one. I'm also going to meet up with Sher soon too! So it will be good to meet up with fellow lupies for a chat !!!

Take care Roobarb


Jane x


It is a wonderful site isn't it? I had felt so lonely & isolated by my illness for a long time, & then I found out about my local support group & this site, & it's helped me so much.

It seems to me that lupus is a journey with many twist & turns. Just when you think you have got the measure or it, something new crops up. So it's really important to have the support of people who understand that. Because no matter how good our family & friends our, they cannot truly understand the implications of what we live with from day to day.

Sher is great isn't she. I have some good advice from her too, & find all her posts informative & entertaining. I hope you both have a lovely time when you meet up.

Bye for now, Roobarb. X


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