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To the woman who said my medical retirement "worked out all for the best"

I recently bumped into an old work colleague of mine. She is around 30 years my senior, and was close to retirement when we worked together around 5 years ago. We got along well, I wouldn't go as far to say we were friends, but we always worked together well. I got promoted, moved to a new team, and only saw her around the office a few times after that. It was only a year after I got promoted that I got pregnant and my health troubles started. She had heard “through the grapevine” what had happened to me. She had heard I had hurt my back. In reality, I had suffered a herniated disc during pregnancy, lived with a compressed sciatic nerve and in excruciating pain for 7 months until neurosurgeons could operate, and was then left with nerve damage and a severely degraded disc resulting in constant sciatic nerve and back pain. This all happened nearly 4 years ago, so it had been quite a while since I had seen her.
When I saw her a few weeks ago, we were at a mutual friends birthday pa…

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