It is the minor skirmishes of life that maintain the vitality of everyday existence; they are fought in preparation for the greater battles and campaigns. That is why a ‘strategy’ is important; otherwise, taking the same hill countless times in a day leads one to wonder what the greater plan is. For, futility and the sense of meaninglessness are what defeat any motivation to continue. Incentives for advancement; a sense of growth and an optimism for the future; these and other values are what one fights for, engages in skirmishes, and those little battles that are fought with a worthwhile sense of gaining something.
Medical conditions, especially of a chronic kind, tend to diminish the will to fight. They not only weaken and debilitate; they begin to eat away at any sense of accomplishment and striving for those valued goals. It is, in the end, a sense of hope for which we all fight the little battles fought; otherwise, the major wars would fail to be worthwhile.
Medical conditions are the “unfair” factor in any war, sort of like roadside bombs planted in this new war of hit-and-run attacks. They often come upon one slowly; and whether in a sudden, traumatic event or evidencing a slow progression of debilitation and subtle changes over a period of days and months, the insidiousness of not knowing how to battle it, of doctors telling of being patient, of medications themselves sometimes having worsening side effects that complicate, exacerbate and exponentially magnify in frequency, severity and other realms of wounds endured – these all cumulatively combine to create a sense of frustration like fighting an enemy you cannot see and will never be able to actually “fight” in the traditional sense.
That is why preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is an important step in those “little battles fought” – for, unless the little ones are taken care of, the large ones that loom ahead may not be properly engaged in.
Reorganizing priorities; focusing upon one’s health; determining the future course of relevancy; these are all part of the metaphorical battles to be fought, but for the individual who experiences the medical condition and specifically for the Federal or Postal employee who must consider filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, they are no less real than the sudden devastation of a roadside bomb exploding beneath one’s Humvee.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire