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Cost of Stress
Old 06-17-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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Cost of Stress

Just wanted to share a sad story which made me look at things little differently.

There are lots of people in this forum (including DH) who are taking lots of stress to make good amount of money trying to run the last round or making X amount before reaching the ER target. Sometimes you don't make it.
One of our neighbors (some big shot AVP in a company, earning in $s living in India) had plans of retiring by year end b'caz he was travelling crazy and job was too stressful. He succumbed to Ketoacidosis due to Diabetes 2 days ago. He was 42 years old non-smoker, non-drinker, vegetarian, BMI 23 so Diabetes (2 month old diagnosis) was mostly result of stress.

It was such a gut punch , sometimes we don't realize how much stress is effecting us and our health. Where do we draw the line. Just something to think about.

-DesiGirl
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DesiGirl View Post
Just wanted to share a sad story which made me look at things little differently.

There are lots of people in this forum (including DH) who are taking lots of stress to make good amount of money trying to run the last round or making X amount before reaching the ER target. Sometimes you don't make it.
One of our neighbors (some big shot AVP in a company, earning in $s living in India) had plans of retiring by year end b'caz he was travelling crazy and job was too stressful. He succumbed to Ketoacidosis due to Diabetes 2 days ago. He was 42 years old non-smoker, non-drinker, vegetarian, BMI 23 so Diabetes (2 month old diagnosis) was mostly result of stress.

It was such a gut punch , sometimes we don't realize how much stress is effecting us and our health. Where do we draw the line. Just something to think about.

-DesiGirl
Thank you for posting this! It could not have come at a better time (see the thread I just started today, on a similar subject). I'm truly sorry about your neighbor.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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Yes, it really does affect our health. I was in a high profile expat role for nearly 14 years. The stress was taking its toll. Last summer, while I am just over the overweight/obese line and pretty healthy otherwise, my BP spiked due to continued chronic stress topped off by an acutely stressful incident. BP went from my average of 115/75 or so to averaging 168/110, with spikes up to 198/125, and stayed there for a few weeks until it came back down with the help of meds. If I had not already been watching my BP, and not recognized feeling a little off, I might have been gone by now. Fortunately, I was coming up on retirement anyway. In late sept or early oct, the decision to retire was finalized, and the ball was rolling, and I retired in December. By Feb, I had reduced my BP meds with no resulting increase in BP, and in March, I went off them altogether. Yesterday morning's BP? 108/68 with a resting HR of 49...No meds, but little if any stress either. I've been offered an opportunity to go back to the expat life, running another company...don't think I want to.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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If I had not already been watching my BP, and not recognized feeling a little off, I might have been gone by now.
R
It is definitely so much better to stop the madness before an actual health event occurs. After a health event, not only is there recovery time, but the employing organization looks differently at you also, as in you are less capable. In my case, I had a major heart attack at age 51 - my job then was an it project manager and I was travelling 2-3 weeks of every month and managing 3 support contractors on my development project. And not eating properly while travelling (why do salads cost twice as much a burgers?). At age 51 I was not in position to retire. And my boss at the time was getting upset that in the months after the heart attack because I wasn't keeping up the over-achiever pace I used to have. At first it was because I couldn't while I recovered, then it was by choice, as I realized I needed to do the work/life balance stuff to keep from having another heart attack. In fact he started paperwork that would have eventually led to my dismissal, but I was able to change to a different group of the organization that was more amenable to work/life balance practices.

BTW, when I was in cardio rehab, there were 10 of us, all men, and 3 were project managers (under 60), 2 were lawyers (over 60), and the rest were older retirees
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for posting, very relevant to many of us. In hindsight I wish I had a more "balanced" approach to life (stayed in a very high stress, extensive travel, high tech job because I was obsessed with RE). As others have posted I'm also dealing with the fallout of prolonged stress. Live and learn!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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What a sad story. I am so sorry to hear about your neighbor.

One of my most important tasks in retirement, even now in my 4th year, is shedding more and more stress. I have arranged my life so that it is pretty much stress free, and have shed an amazingly large amount of stress, but still there is a lot of residual stress left to shed. It's like peeling an onion.

Stress sneaks up on us during our working life, and often (or at least in my case) one does not even KNOW how stressed one really is during those years. Honestly, I think working another 5-10 years would have killed me.

Playing Animal Crossing (the video game) is a good way for me to reduce stress but that only works if you are the type of person who can tolerate a peaceful and noncompetitive environment, and who croons, "Oh, how adorable!" when a cute little animal talks to you in a game. Works for me.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear about the guy....


But just because he was diagnosed with diabetes two months ago does not mean he did not have it for a long time...

I was diagnosed last year... but reading up on it I bet that I have had it for 30 years... my blood sugar is almost always great when I fast and it had only been measured when I had fasted... I was lucky that my current doc tested me without fasting and got a reading of 140... I ignored him for almost 6 months, but finally started to test... was real surprised with my results...


Are they sure that diabetes caused his problem There are other possibilities...
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #8
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The effects of stress on my health are why I am pulling the plug at age 40 and going to ESR. I can see what it is doing to me now. I can only imagine what it would be like after another 10 years.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #9
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It is indeed sad, he has 2 young ones 6 & 10. I'm not sure about other possibilities.

Even if it doesn't really kill you I have seen fast aging in case of people working in very stressful jobs. Closest to home DH and BIL have greyed & lost hair so quickly in last few years. They always look tired even after 8 hour sleep. (catch up after few late nights). On the other side some of the people with lighter work loads or less stress look lot brighter and sunnier. (Off course similar diet & exercise)

-Desigirl
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #10
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While stress can indeed shorten life span and/or reduce quality of life, it's good to know it's still very unlikely most of us will suffer the sad fate described by the OP.

The odds of a 42 yr lifespan (OP's example) are:
  • only 1 in 21 for males (4.7% of US population deceased by age 42) and
  • only 1 in 39 for females (2.6%).
The odds of a 65 yrs lifespan are:
  • only 1 in 5 for males (19.7% deceased) and
  • only 1 in 8 for females (12.2% deceased).
And the average lifespan was 80 for men and 84 for women, with lifespans continuing to improved in the US.

Though unfortunately there are always exceptions, it would be a mistake to plan on being one...

Interestingly, excessive inactivity has also been shown to reduce lifespan.

Actuarial Life Table
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File Type: png Death.png (10.3 KB, 19 views)
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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So sorry 'bout your neighbor. Indeed a cautionary tale.

But IMHO out there's "bad stress" (w#rk's pressure cooker) vs "good stress" (i.e. voluntarily active at sometime you love- inc occupation for some). I know a few very active folks who find it stressful to sit on the back porch watching a beautiful sunset. Everyone must find their own balance between healthy activity & unhealthy boredom.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #12
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So sorry 'bout your neighbor. Indeed a cautionary tale.

But IMHO out there's "bad stress" (w#rk's pressure cooker) vs "good stress" (i.e. voluntarily active at sometime you love- inc occupation for some). I know a few very active folks who find it stressful to sit on the back porch watching a beautiful sunset. Everyone must find their own balance between healthy activity & unhealthy boredom.
Healthy activity is a good stress reducer. I think that is one of several reasons why a lot of us go to the gym.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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I have always "known" that stress is a killer. There have been a couple of times in my life that I changed jobs - one because I was "running" all the time, and the other because I sat all day as my blood simply pooled. Both were stressful, and I felt that I could become very ill if things didn't change.

I like the idea of healthy stress - or, eustress. I walk every morning, and take a nap in the afternoon; sheer bliss.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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Perhaps a bit OT, but anyone think that the stress of OMY (beyond FI ) can be lessened by remembering the luxuries one will buy with that day's toils? Assuming, of course, that one actually BUYS those luxuries
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:42 AM   #15
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Sorry to hear about your neighbor...hopefully, this will help him to make some needed changes in his work/lifestyle.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #16
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Sorry to hear about your neighbor...hopefully, this will help him to make some needed changes in his work/lifestyle.
I hate to tell you this, citrine, but I think he died. DesiGirl used the word "succumbed". DesiGirl, can you clarify?
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #17
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I was lucky that my current doc tested me without fasting and got a reading of 140...
Isn't that within the normal band for a random blood glucose test ( assume that is what you meant by non fasting)

Criteria for diagnosing diabetes
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #18
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Perhaps a bit OT, but anyone think that the stress of OMY (beyond FI ) can be lessened by remembering the luxuries one will buy with that day's toils? Assuming, of course, that one actually BUYS those luxuries
For me, crossing off each day on a calendar worked better. If I had thought about what I would buy with the extra money, I would have come to the logical conclusion that I would most like to buy a little more time in retirement.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #19
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For me, crossing off each day on a calendar worked better. ....
Screaming "Serenity now!" At one's boss and coworkers also helps reduce stress.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #20
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Yikes! I went back and read it again...that is awful!
I still remember the corporate stress I left behind 4 years ago...UGH!
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