From August 1973 to October 2013 I worked in a huge department store in Canada. I worked all over the place. Fashion, General Merchandise, Food - stocking shelves, ordering, hanging new fashion and all the other behind the scenes retail stuff that customers don't know or care about. For the last 17 years of that 40 year stint I worked overnight stocking shelves and counters all over the store. The last six years there I worked just in the Pharmacy stocking shelves. The Pharmacy is in a different division, so I didn't have to go to different departments to stock. I just worked in the pharmacy, and I loved it. I was still part of the night crew - peripherally, but I was more part of the Pharmacy family.
In any case, I had to deal with some serious health issues beginning in 2010. From the summer of 2010 to 2013 I endured five surgeries. One of them was life threatening, and it nearly ended me for good. I spent an entire week in the Intensive Care Unit hooked up to so many machines I couldn't move. They had to give me blood transfusions twice.
I missed so much time at work that I used up all my benefit health care options and had to use a couple of weeks of my vacation time to recover. If it weren't for my family and friends at work, I don't know if I would have survived it.
After I spent an entire month in the hospital in Jan-Feb. 2013, I realized that at some point I wouldn't be able to work full time anymore. One shift knocked me cold as soon as I got home, I was that tired and sore from work. I was either sleeping or working for almost the entire spring of 2013. By June I had to go to part time. That didn't help much. I was tired and in pain all the time, and I knew I had to have another surgery in November. Finally, I decided to retire. I didn't want to, I had to. I couldn't physically handle it any more, even at part time.