Ten More Days

A Shout-out to my PCP

It’s been two years since I wrote a thank you note to my primary care physician for taking such good care of me. This week, I wrote another.

It turns out that my decision to retire has been harder on me than I anticipated.  My body let me know that this is not an easy transition by hitting me with a serious bout of insomnia. I reluctantly emailed my doctor who agreed to give me a prescription for sleeping pills. A couple of solid nights of sleep really helped.

Tuesday evening he called me at home to see how I was doing. He reminded me that I have worked ten years longer than most people, giving me more time to tie my identity to my career and make it harder to leave. He told me that most retirees spend a year adjusting, and that I needed to own up to needing some time.  He suggested that throwing myself into a demanding academic program at my advanced age might be too much. (We’ll see.) He accused me of being an overachiever. (He could be right.)

Our conversation was keeping him from his evening.  But he took the time to tell me what I needed to know.  And I have slept without the help of pills since.

That’s why this is a shout-out to my PCP.



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What a wonderful PCP you have. I too am still working, at nearly 71. I'm fortunate however, in that I can scale down or up whenever I want, because I work in private practice as a psychotherapist. Am also a writer. It must be much harder to retire when it's all or nothing, as it seems to be in your case. But staying engaged with life is so important, by whatever means.


I'm simply flabbergasted to read that you got a call from your PCP. I'd expect a visit from an extraterrestrial being before I'd expect a personal call from my physician.

Just the fact that you were able to send him an email asking for something really caught my attention. After reading that, I pulled three physicians' cards out of my desk (my PCP and two specialists), not one of them had an email address.

I don't know whether to say "lucky you" or "unlucky me."

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