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What do you do..I'm retired

Well had the final meeting at work this morning and am "dismissed due to ill heath" so ...retired....today. Always thought i would go out after waiting and telling everyone for a few months and everyone would have a do and it would be exciting but no such luck. Just a formal statement and bit of "niceness" and off you go thanks for the last 35 years of unpaid overtime, working on days off, 24 hour on call etc etc!!!

ye i know that sounds bitter, but i'm annoyed at RA, at being sick, at not running around like i used to, and what am I gonna do. I've had all the well, you can garden and bake and stuff, but i'd rather be in ITU saving lives and feeling valuable.

And i used to feel good when people would say what to do you and was always proud to say Theatre sister, Intensive care sister, health visitor, its gonna be so strange. Wish i had planned to do something today as i just feel as though i've been kicked in the gut.

I do know that its for all the right reasons but gonna miss it, and even though everyone tells me its horrid in the nhs at the moment I think its just the shock of going every day until last year and then BAM!!

Oh well thanks for letting me moan on. If anyone has any jokes to cheer me up , put them up pleeze!


20 Replies

Allanah,i got made redundant 21/2yrs ago and it felt like a hammer blow. What to do now that is the question. It hurts doesn't it finding out that as hard as you work,due to your health you no longer of any use.. Like you i hate ra as it has taken a lot away from me. My hubby is 12yrs older than me and i always expected to look after him not the other way round. If you want a laugh look at some of the replies i made to LL blog that she has just posted. I try to be upbeat but at the moment i'm struggling with that. Give yourself some time to get over the shock of having to retire and if there are a few tears let them shed and after you have got over the shock sit yourself down and do a list of things that you would like to do when you actually did retire. Then whittle them down to things that can be done with ra in situ and then work round the list like that.

love sylvi. xx


Thanks Sylvie, always helps when someone else has been through it. U do feel as though its only you. Axx


Yes you do allanah,I hardly see any of my work friends now. I am in a lucky position of having a good hubby. I wouldn't have managed without him. I think if i was on my own i would have started drinking again and then it would have finished me off. So i appreciate that man more than he ever knows.

We will all have to set up a to do list and see how it compares to each other.

Love sylvi.xx


Scouser,you can get a disabled bus pass, i know thats true as i have one. So go to your council and get one. They don't cost anything and they take your photo there and then.

Love sylvi.xx


on my way!!! Axx


Yes you totally get it! I know they will ask me for so long but then there's not a lot in common. I'm finding that with "friends" too, a lot of the acquaintances are drifting, cos i don't have much to talk about and not the party animal i was at one stage.

And yep would love to get the train and meet up!! Axx


I too am now retired, although I chose to do so as I hit the magical age of 60!

I could have gone on but to be honest I missed work and colleagues like mad for the first year,even thinking maybe I would go back to work again but I'm glad I didn't. It's so much easier not having to explain about how you're feeling and with my job as a castle tour guide and room steward it was getting very difficult managing spiral staircases as you can imagine!!

Now it's been a year and a bit and to be honest I'm loving my retirement. My daughter is expecting a baby in December so I'll have two grandchildren then to babysit and visit with, so look to the future and you might see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Carolyn x


thanks, yes I have three kids so maybe grandkids looming, hope they trust me now as I'm unfit though


This is a big shock to the system isn't it? It happened to me and it took me a while to come to terms with feelings of being unwanted, useless, etc. I went through the classic bereavement list. Anger, depression, denial, sadness, ...

I think you could use your NHS skills on yourself! Be the patient, if you see what I mean.You have actually had a bit of a trauma (seriously) so you need to plan to spend the first few weeks being very kind and patient with yourself. Have a 3 month Sabbatical! Spoil yourself somehow.

One of the things I did was to join a couple of classes doing Yoga and Tai Chi (to get out of the house.) I met some really nice people and occupied myself in slowly getting fitter. (I am much healthier now than I was while working.)

Another thing I did was I went to talk to the Disability Advisor at the job centre to tell them what had happened and what should I do next. They told me to claim Incapacity benefit (now ESA) so my National Insurance would be paid and my pension would not be affected.

Maybe there are lots of things you couldn't find time for when working. Like Sylvi says, make a list! By the way, there is nothing like being able to lie in in the mornings when you feel bad. Or putting your feet up in the afternoon to read a good book. Just because you can.

Good luck with this new chapter in your life.


OH has just come in with a retirment pressie! got an IPad!! ~~think I know what i'll be doing for the next couple of days, that was thoughful wasnt it/ Axx


Wow, things are looking up already!


Mmm read my mri result blog from yesterday!!!!Axx


Hi Allanah - so sorry it all went so brutally and finally for you - that must have been really distressing when you've given so much of yourself to a place - you have every reason to feel pretty hurt. So lick your wounds tonight and for as long as it takes but remember you are a bright woman with lots to offer the world still and things will come right for you when you pick up again I feel certain.

I don't really have anything I can say to make you laugh but I am feeling very joyous tonight for the first time in ages. I'm self employed and although I work with my OH it can be very lonely and as you know that last rejection from the NHS board was pretty devastating for me, having prepared so hard and really psyched myself up for it.

I've only ever been self employed since leaving art college in 1988 and at the end of the day I am just too unemployable now probably. I've applied to lots of "real" jobs over the years and none of them have come to anything - whenever I get interviewed my ambivalence comes over loud and clear I'm afraid - all I really wanted to do ever is be an artist and everything else feels like a terrible waste of my time when push comes to shove. But I do genuinely believe I could have been very useful on that health board in my own way and my self esteem got yet another big knock - especially as I was in the middle of a flare up at the time.

But tonight I walked all the way round my home town with the evening sun glowing on the hills and the sea and all the boats shimmering. I met a young couple I know a bit and the woman is heavily pregnant due early June with their first child and it took me back to when I was at same stage living just up the road from where they are. So many memories tied up in this place I can't imagine leaving it for a big city somewhere for any reason, even my health?

But we all enter new eras when a disease like this comes our way and it's important that we find a way to make lemonade out of the lemons we have landed. Easy for me to say on a beautiful night when my joints are all feeling well oiled and I could easily think that RA had just been a bad dream. But good days will come again for you soon too so hang in there and look forward to pastures new and perhaps exciting too - you never know what's round the bend?! Big hug, Tilda x


() back to you, thanks Tilda, think i'll have some lemonade. Axx


Hi Allanah, congratulations on getting to this new stage in your life. I hope by this stage it has sunk in a bit and you don't feel as bad as this morning. Employers don't appear to care too much and I think many employees feel confused and hurt when they are treated as robots especially as they have put an awful lot of themselves into their career.

You have still an awful lot of experience and knowledge to offer, I wonder if you could get part-time work or voluntary work in some of the health charities local to you where you would be such an asset.

All the best Allanah.


I was made redundant because the contract finished (I was 58) - I didn't have long to wait to get my pension but did look for work at first (it was obvious that I had RA so applying for jobs as a secretary or dealing with administration was always going to be a 'no go' but I really enjoyed the experience of meeting new people and going to interviews). Plus, it gave me something else to think about - basically weaning myself off of working.

I also de-cluttered the whole house and filled loads of charity bags!

Now, just can't understand how I managed to work full time (08.00 to 17.00) 5 days a week plus clean the house, wash and iron at weekends and do the food shopping (let alone cook the evening meal - not suprising I always felt kna.....rd').

Perhaps you could have a look on line for local volunteers wanted for charities & etc. (as advised by Mads). Often charity shops want volunteers and other organisations need someone to answer the phone etc. Don't the hospitals need people to go in and feed patients who can't feed themselves? Or, could you find a job within the NHS as a 'nurse lecturer', or something on more of an advisory capacity?

It was very thoughtful of your OH to get you an ipod. My family recently bought me a kindle. Now I'm obsessed with finding the free books!

We got a rescue dog a year ago. A Jack Russell terror .... (eh ....Terrior) and it's suprising just how much he has cheered me up. Husband walks him and I just feed him and play with him. Almost every day he makes me laugh (dog not husband!) I would recommend a dog to anyone who needs cheering up or just needs company.



So sorry to hear this . didnt they offer anything else to you employment wise?,

I am sure with such valuable skills if your health improves you could find other work ?.. in the meantime try and enjoy some time off and use that nice new ipod x


Hi Allanah, I can quite understand where you are coming from. The trouble with nursing its not just a job, its in your blood isnt it. I may be joining you too, feel like i'm clinging on with my finger tips at the moment. RA can make you feel so out of control cant it, either IT dictates or other people do. Ive started doing a bit of g.p. out of hours phone triage as a small back up plan, maybe this is something you could explore and with your experience you'd manage it fine, its not like my day job but i'm actually enjoying it.Now ive had my training and passed, its possible to get set up to do it from computer at home if i want to.The rule re working after retirement can be confusing but it doesn't have to mean no work again- the RCN have some good fact sheets with lots of info.

You are still 'valuble' you have family dont you, maybe by not working you will have less pain, more energy which you can enjoy family times more. I know that work takes up so much of my energy theres very little left for use at home.

So try to stay positive and hopefully you will be able to give me some words of wisdom, when its my time to blog that i've been given to boot too.x


Hi allanah,

I was retired too, nearly 2 years ago now. And at first I was quite at a loss as I'd been a manic workaholic for years, and most of my friends were work related as well as some of the work interests being part of my non work life. But to cut a long story short it was the best thing that ever happened to me, particularly in terms of health. And yes I also found quite a few friends drifted away, and the emails dwindled. But my life now is great, and have met new friends through new activities, and can do things I'd never thought would be possible as my health is so much better. I still do a bit of work from home, although not that well paid. And I've found it's easier to work round the RA - for example Ii tap away on HU in place of having a rest so it doesn't feel as if I'm just sitting down doing nothing.

The only thing I still have to work out is what to say when people ask me what I do.....



Hi Alannah,

Yes I understand quite a shock, but will take time i guess to get used to it. Maybe, you will find other interests, take some time.

All the best, look forward to the typos with the ipad lol.

xx Gina.


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