From a distance, we can all handle stress. It is that time and removal from the moment that makes all of the difference, is it not? Afterwards — after the explosive anger, the sudden quietude or the paralyzing fear — we reflect and wonder as to what created such a stressful reaction. Or, years later, one may recall that it was a moment of “something”, but rarely remember the exact details as to what prompted or triggered it. It is often the combination of multitudes of factors: Too little sleep; overworked; a sense of isolation; a feeling that no one around you really cares, etc.
Then, when a medical condition enters upon the scene, all other factors tend to become exaggerated, magnified and exacerbated. One’s health and deteriorating medical condition always adds to the stress. It is like the old adage about a fish not realizing that it is swimming in water; when we have our health, we barely recognize it; when we lose it, it becomes the focal animus of our daily lives. Without our health, there is no “stress of the moment”; rather, every moment is a stressful experience.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is time to consider filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to reverse the course taken — that of going back to experiencing the stress of the moment, as opposed to living a life of unending, unendurable and eternal stresses throughout each and every waking moment.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire