We tend to take them for granted; yet, when an emergency arises, they are the first indicators we search for in determining whether and to what extent the concerns are justified or not.
Vital signs — whether of pulse, heartbeat, breathing or consciousness — are like left and right turn indicators that forewarn of an impending action, and when they weaken or disappear altogether, it becomes an event with traumatic consequences. For the most part, vital signs are overlooked and are forgotten about. We do not go through a normal day worrying about our pulse, or our heartbeat, leaving aside our consciousness; for, in the act of taking such things for granted, we assume that our capacity to live, work, eat and play in themselves are signs of conscious intent, and therefore can be ignored.
Vital signs are vital only in the instance of an emergency, when the question itself emerges as to whether that which we presume to be the case no longer is, or is doubtful as to its existence. But life is more than the aggregate measure of vital signs; its quality must be measured by the compendium of circumstances, what we do, how we see ourselves and what hopes for the future are collected and maintained. Vital signs are merely those “basics” that are taken for granted; but beyond, there is the question of one’s quality of life.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts upon one’s quality of life precisely because work is a constant struggle, one’s health is a persistent problem and where one’s personal life is overwhelmed with fatigue, pain and misery, consideration must be given to file for Federal Disability Retirement.
In the end, life is more than checking to see if those vital signs exist; in fact, it is vital to life to have a certain quality of life, and that is what Federal Employee Disability Retirement is all about.
Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law to see whether you may qualify for a benefit which is intended to return the vital signs back to a state of presumed existence.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Medical Disability Retirement Attorney