I’ve been back to our local Urgent Care twice so far in the last three weeks. My symptoms didn’t get better since my first visit nor from Christmas Day when I first felt the tinges of any illness. Whatever drugs the doc prescribed last time, didn’t work. And here I am. Back again!
I just rolled out of bed this morning and got to the clinic thinking I’d be the only one at the 8AM opening. Wrong. The place was packed AND filled with kids coughing, sneezing, running around and touching everything they could get their germy little hands on. Ugh.
I didn’t see a nurse till 11AM. Didn’t see a doctor till noon and even then I could have sworn he was out in the hallway eating his lunch! Anyway, I had to get an x-ray. Wait another 30 minutes for the results. I have bronchitis, well on my way yet once again to pneumonia. Finally, I got some antibiotics as well as cough medicine to help alleviate most of my hacking. To anyone who knows me, I get this way every.single.year. I know I’m getting really ill when I’ve lost my ability to think or reason. When I become confused, I have pneumonia.
I got my meds (finally) around 1:30PM. Gosh. Taking care of oneself is a lot of work! Thank goodness I have my hubby to drive me. I wouldn’t let him come with me into the waiting room, nor to the pharmacist. He’s got enough of his own problems. He’s flying out tonight to see his cardiologist back in New York later on midweek. I’m very thankful I don’t have to go back into those sub-tundra zeros at home. Not that the weather has been any much better here in Florida. If I had to choose, however, which I did, Florida is a hellava lot better than frozen upstate New York.
When you become ill in retirement (or over the age of 60) you get a good glimpse of how precious life is and how everything is just a dainty little balancing act. I don’t care what shape you are in, how much you eat well or exercise, what your BMI is or how many preventative vaccinations you get every year (flu, pneumonia and shingles) you are STILL going to get sick as you get older. This year’s flu shot only provided 10% of safety. Translated that means for every 100 people who came in contact with the flu virus, 90 people will get the flu. Only 10 people will not. Terrible, terrible odds, those are.
While you’re ill in retirement, you really don’t care about anything (except getting better). You don’t care about how much money you have in the bank, how well you saved for your retirement, your investments, how late you are paying your bills, what the neighbors think of you, what kind of car you drive, where you live, what you wear or how you act. Everything gets put into perspective. I just want to get well enough again so that I can continue to walk my dog 2 miles a day or jump in the pool when I feel like it. All that matters to me is getting out there and doing something! Anything! Rather than lie in bed or the couch and channel surf.
When you’re sick in retirement, it’s as if the whole world is passing you by. The only thing of value you have is your time. I’ve missed so many activities these past three weeks, I could cry! I think that everyone is out having fun except me. I could easily tell myself I can do the same things next year BUT I know one day, there may not be a next year for me.
And that, my friend, is the truth about retirement. Your retirement is only as good as your health. Do your very best to take care of yourself, but know, just like me, you’re all eventually going to get sick and fall ill.
Till then, enjoy every second that you can.