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At what point did you decide it is time to retire?

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have just had my sixth spine surgery. Four cervical and two lumbar. I am 2 weeks post op and am thinking about calling it quits on work. At this point I cannot imagine working. I have always had the attitude that my spine issues will not get the best of me. As much as I hate to admit it I think my spine issues are winning. At what point did you decide it is time?
I am 47 and a single mother so this decision will cause tremendous financial hardship but i am starting to think it is time to file for ssd. I have not discussed this with my doctors yet but I believe they will be supportive in my decision. I would like to hear from others and how they knew it was time,


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Susan, I understand where you are coming from. I have had 7 spinal surgeries starting back in 1978. I just recently retired after 34 1/2 years with IBM. During that span, between the surgeries and flare-ups it was difficult to continue to perform.
    Working with computers 8-12 hours a day is just not good for anyone. On top of that I was driving about 3 hours a day commuting.
    Finally, I could no longer do that and I went from working from home 1 day to full time at home. That helped but still I had to deal with working with the computer all day.
    All my therapists and my doctor saw that as long as I continued this, chances of any improvement would be impacted.
    I've been thinking about retiring for the past 3 years because of the toll the job was taking on my spine. This February they announced a Resource Action plan (fancy word for layoff). I jumped at this opportunity.
    I've been officially retired since June 1 2009 and I can already see some improvements in my spinal condition. I am also very fortunate in that my wife works full time and our medical benefits are with her.

    The decision to retire has two factors:

    1- Impact on your health
    2- Impact on your financial stability.

    The health impact should always come first because that can determine your quality of life. But you still have to deal with the financial end
    So, its not always an easy decision
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Thanks for your reply. I, like yourself sit in front of a computer 9-10 hrs per day. I am at the point where i do not think physically I am capable of doing this anymore. The one thing you said I believe that is going to be the deciding factor is the impact on health. I have made the decision that when the doc releases me I will try but once it begins to affect my quality of life I refuse to put myself through the misery again of just trying to complete the day. Yes, we all struggle. some more then others to get through the day but I refuse to go through my life going to work coming home and being in so much pain the only option I have is go to bed. That has been my life for the last year. Do not get me wrong I have wonderful doctors that have tried to make me comfortable as possible but as we all know medications or surgery does not always solve the problems. I am fortunate that I have a supportive large family. wonderful friends and a son that I could not be prouder of but lurking in my brain is a voice telling me I think it is time.
  • This is always a tough one! I am also 47 and have worked since I was 12. I enjoy the challenge of a job and find it very rewarding to handle the tough jobs. A little over a year ago I was on a forced break, while getting my SCS. I realized that being away from work had done so much for me and I felt so much better. I made up my mind at that moment, that if I started to suffer after going back to work, that I would quit the job. I went back and in 2 weeks I hung it up. It was the best thing I could have ever done! We don't have the benefit of the nice salary I was bringing in anymore, but we have adapted and are happier for it.

    Only you can make the decision. Just look inside yourself and listen to what you hear.

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