It is merely from a perspective of combined incrementalism with an admixture of hope and self-delusion that people talk about a “relapse”. The plain fact is, most medical conditions follow a fairly predictable and linear path of progressive deterioration, with critical junctures of static chronicity, and marked by charted moments of quietude interrupted with a fury of vengeful prose. If a business graph were to depict the pathway of most medical conditions, the ups and downs of the jagged lines would mesmerize and confuse us with contemptuous puzzlement.
We assure ourselves that we are “getting better”, when all the while we continue to ignore, procrastinate, explain and justify all of the indicators and warning signs of downward decline. An increase in the medication regimen, explained by mere temporary need; greater pain, with reference to some minor activity recently engaged in; and so the self-justifying conundrums are thrown as explanatory deliberations, when the bodies suffer so despite the words offered as sacrificial animals to the gods of thunder.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, this phenomena of parsing words despite facts which fly in the face of reality, is often born of necessity and a false image of self, society and servitude to the “mission of the agency” or the Constitutionally-born importance of the U.S. Postal Service (circa Benjamin Franklin, thank you). But health has a funny way of defying self-justifications of ineffective prose, and poetry and thought never curtails the unending cycle of relapse, precisely because what we do to our minds, bodies and souls accounts for little when misuse and unintended abuse prevail.
For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who fails to make one’s health a priority first, then all other considerations of secondary import, the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, often becomes a victim of such unending cycle.
To suffer a “relapse” is merely an attempt to justify that which the body or mind was merely telling you all along. Yes, sometimes the quiet whispers in the deadened silence of night can be ignored and disregarded; but it is those haunting quietudes which perturb and disturb despite our best efforts to ignore, which roar back to engulf us when least we expect.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire