Medical retirement - inactive too soon

  1. I was so pleased to find a Retired/Inactive Nurses forum here.

    I reached a point with stage iv breast cancer that prevented my responsibly caring for patients, but was fortunate enough to work for a flexible agency and I was allowed to work with students and interns by meeting with them at my home and using secure VPN computer technology so I could sign off on their charts, etc.

    Inevitably, the disease reached a point where I was no longer reliable enough to do that. It feels so bad. I understand why the clinical director asked me to take medical retirement. It was the only reasonable and responsible decision, but it still just hurts.

    I am fortunate enough to have a second, non-nursing skill set so I can still support myself, but it just hurts.

    Aside from the hurt, I miss my practice. I loved working with people who have chronic psychiatric conditions, and I loved (most of!) my colleagues. I miss it so much.

    I'd love to hear from other retirees about how you deal with this, if you experience it, too. Thank you so much.
  2. Visit Retired APRN profile page

    About Retired APRN

    Joined: Oct '13; Posts: 217; Likes: 680
    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (ret.); from IL
    Specialty: 35 year(s) of experience in Psychiatry, Mental Health


  3. by   Esme12
    Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

    ((HUGS)) I am so sorry you are going through this!

    We float all around all the forums....I mentor the nursing students. Give point of view here and there.

    I am disabled from a rare neuro-muscular disorder....I miss working so much it hurts...a lot.
  4. by   Retired APRN
    Thanks for the quick and encouraging reply. What a good idea to look around the other forums and see if I can contribute. A way to be the I'm-so-useless doldrums.
  5. by   Esme12
    AN saves me. I would be stark raving MAD if I didn't have a place to go to stretch my mind. We have our APN forums with some lively debates!!!! and practice discussions....we have a student forum there as well.......look around...... Advanced Practice Nursing

    We also have the breakroom for off nursing topics and political debates. Nursing Network for Nurses and Nursing Students - Latest Articles you will probably have to re-log in with your user name and password.

    We have specialties....a disabled forum.....students.....academic research.....all kinds of interests and areas. I love the students ans care plans...pathophys.
  6. by   VickyRN
    A warm WELCOME to you, Retired APRN

    I look forward to your posts and interacting with you. I am sure you are a fount of valuable knowledge and expertise and have much to offer our wonderful nursing community
  7. by   Retired APRN
    Thank you, Vicky. This feels like a very warm and welcoming community.
  8. by   kcochrane
    Welcome and thanks for sharing. I have been on this site since I was waiting to hear whether or not I was accepted into LPN almost done with my BSN. You will be such a support on this site and hope we can support you back. Glad you joined up.
  9. by   tnbutterfly
    Welcome to the site! We are glad you found us.

    There are lots of places here where we would love to have your input. Just look around and be sure to let us know if you have any questions.
  10. by   cancermom
    Retired, your situation is very similar to my own. I was diagnosed with renal cancer in Dec. 2012, had a radical nephrectomy in Jan 2013. Initially things looked good and was readying to go back to work when scans showed mets to the lungs and sacrum. Started radiation in April 2014 and oral chemotherapy. Return to work was delayed while the treatments started. All the while I was very lucky to have saved over 450 hrs of time and had both short and long term disability. Recovery from radiation and side effects of chemo left me weak, fatigued and depressed. In August of 2013 I began with hip pain again and was pretty sure I had further bone mets (sometimes it really sucks to be a nurse and "know" things before the MD tells you. I am now on long term disability and had to "retire" since my medical leave finally finished. At 49 I feel too young to be retired, however this last round of chemo and radiation has really taken its toll. I am struggling right now with even getting out of bed and eating. The days are so long while my husband works and my 2 kids are at school. I have a tremendous support system but find it hard to ask for help when I am normally the caregiver. This weekend I vowed to turn this around. With the help of some meds, a chewing-out by my hubby and parents, I am determined to get strong enough to quit feeling like a burden. Perhaps your post was timed exactly for me today! I have been a long time lurker on this site and joined about a month ago. I think I will use my extra time as there is so much of it to share my experiences with others. Thanks for your post.
  11. by   AtomicWoman
    I remember back when I was doing my prerequisites for my accelerated BSN. Getting words of wisdom and encouragement from nurses who had been there, done that was so reassuring. I try to pay back that debt whenever I can.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Hello and welcome to Allnurses! I feel for you---my situation is different, but I can empathize with you all too easily even though I'm still in nursing, at least in a peripheral sense.

    I consider myself to be 'semi-retired' because I have a psychiatric condition that was out of control for quite some time, and by the time I finally got better my career was pretty much in ruins. Now, thanks to the resulting cognitive changes, about all I can handle is my weekend position doing admissions and QA work for a nursing facility in my area. I hate it that I'm not the nurse I once was---I can't even work the floor anymore, let alone hold a management position like I used to.

    Unfortunately, something crossed over in me this last spring when the severe stress led to a nasty mixed-manic episode that nearly landed me in the hospital, and after that I became anxious just THINKING about continuing in the same fashion. I still do. I couldn't go back to that if my life depended on it. It's a shame, because I'm still a decade away from retirement age, but it is what it is.

    Still, I try not to feel too sorry for myself, because the lower stress levels have helped me stabilize even more and done wonders for my blood pressure as well. Guess it helps to look on the bright side, yes?
  13. by   Vishwamitr
    Dear Retired APRN,
    Kudos to you for your tenacity, zeal, and positive attitude. Although I am not a member of Inactive or Medically Retired nurses, your post has inspired me to be mentally prepared if I were to be in your shoes. I'll keep you in my prayers.
    My best to you.
  14. by   Vishwamitr
    My dear VivaLasViejas,
    I vividly recall your detailed narration of your trials and tribulations living with a component of mental-health issue (I shun and avoid using the terminology "mental-illness" since mental-health is a continuum) in not-so-distant past.
    I quote you, I try not to feel too sorry for myself. That is the perfect attitude to have. You did not choose to have "severe stress led to a nasty mixed-manic episode that nearly landed me in the hospital". For whatever reasons (be it chemical imbalance, genetic predisposition, or some bizarre inexplicable reason), it just happened. Your elan to continue to be a nurse and contribute to nursing is commendable. I respectfully disagree with you when you say, "I'm not the same nurse I once was". Although I do not know you personally, trust me when I say that you are the same nurse that you used to be, except a little bruised and a little hurt. I am confident that you will bounce back and enjoy the same confidence, respect, and position that you once prided yourself on. Hang in there vieja.