I learned today that a colleague, in a different specialty to me has been found dead. He was 53. I worked quite closely with him for some months several years ago, but have not seem much of him recently. 53. FFS. Another older, say early 60’s colleague has recently had a severe stroke, leaving him unable to talk or walk. Earlier this year a third contemporary of mine was diagnosed with early onset dementia and took ill health retirement.

What is this saying to me ?

When I think about retirement, and I do, frequently, I imagine myself able to travel – to so many places in the world I have never seen. I imagine myself healthy, curious and stimulated by fulfilling my hobbies that I have not have time to develop as a single working mother.

And then I wonder if I will make it to retirement, if all the stress I live with constantly will take is toll on my health. If I will be able to o all the things I want to in later life.

even more scary I see that I am more anxious when I’m not at work. That running the home with all the tedious tasks that have to be done routinely doesn’t really suit me. That I get self esteem and purpose from my job, and it provides structure and stability to me. What would I be if I was not a doctor any more? What would I do? What would provide me with an identity? How would I distract myself ?

The whole future seems baffling, uncertain and rather frightening today. It’s probably just pre birthday jitters, but it’s a rather weird feeling.


  1. gosh… I always sort of assume most people get to around 82 these days without too much bother, but reading your post makes me realise that I don’t know why I think that…. Sorry to hear of your colleague. I’m sure when you retire you will slip into it and carve out a new chapter, even better than the previous. xxx


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