Do you ever feel lost? I do! I lost my identity when my health forced me to retire. The literature warns about retirement causing a loss of identity in physicians but there really was no way to prepare for it as my retirement was unplanned and sudden.
For years, I warned my patients about the losses of retirement and the need to plan for a life of retirement. I told them they have to retire to a second life structured to keep them active, happy and alive. It was good advice. Unfortunately, I did not follow my own teaching. I thought I would have more time to prepare.
I lost my identity at the same time I lost my health. I’ve preached “Living Wellthy” for 40 years. That, too, was good advice. Unfortunately, my genetic heritage piggy backed on my bad back precluded living a “Wellthy Life.”
Nonetheless, I have tried to stay positive, to concentrate on my blessings list and not my losses. Again, keeping a “Blessings List” is a great idea. Again, I’ve got good advice for others but find I can’t manage to heed my own advice. Covid 19 has really screwed with me, as it has for hundreds of thousands of people. Yes, I’m blessed that my family and friends have survived its initial attack, but I’m afraid it has cost me one of my most precious of blessings.
In medicine, there is a fascinating occurrence we refer to as a cascade. Typically, a severe illness causes damage that then progresses and causes further damage, all of which cascades into misery beyond compare and eventually death. Our society appears to be in a cascade of biblical proportions. Between the political turmoil of the past months and 400,000 deaths from Covid, it’s hard to maintain a good attitude.
I’m in a cascade. My physical abilities are diminishing rapidly. I venture to say that my readers wouldn’t recognize me as I’ve gained 40 pounds and move like an old man. Thank God for Renee. She now helps dress me and wash me. There was a time when that would have been fun. Unfortunately, it’s not.
I’m seeing a therapist. I’m trying to focus on my blessings. Some days are easier than others. Some days the losses just can’t be ignored. This is one of those days.