It is what we never want to hear, and fear most: that statement from an “expert” who informs us that it is a “structural problem“. Not cosmetic; not superficial; not unessential; but that word, concept and image which goes to the very heart and foundation of the damage: the center of the universe. When the damage occurs there, and the rotting vein of progressive deterioration touches upon that central nervous system, then it becomes “structural”, and all of the rest may come falling down in a sudden dustheap of crumpled carcasses.
So long as it involves only the peripheral concerns, we keep telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter, that the foundation is still solid and they are mere extremities of lesser concern. We do that with pain and other irritants of life. And with medical conditions that don’t double us over or completely debilitate us. So long as there remains a semblance of structural integrity left, one can go on and continue without regard to the symptoms which become telltale signs of impending doom.
For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who has arrived at the point of finality where one can no longer just venture forward, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes the best remaining option.
We wait because it is in the very nature and essence of procrastination that the inevitability of ignorance, neglect, disregard and sidestepping can delay the confrontation with that which we fear to know, refuse to acknowledge, and take comfort in detracting from the encounter with the truth of established verifiability. As with science, the flat earth, and the view from a geocentric universe, no one wants to be told that there is a structural problem.
Too often, the Federal and Postal employee who finally comes to a point of needing to admit that preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is and has become a necessity because he or she has worked until the last straw was placed on the back of the proverbial camel.
Medical conditions announce harbingers of events to come, by symptoms calling for attention and attentiveness. While the news from the architect that the problem is a “structural” one may not be welcome, it was always an indicator that the inevitable was on the fast-track of necessity and predictability; we just turned our heads aside in hopes of another day.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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