Pain is a reminder that the physiological state of one’s body is in need of rest or repair; it is tantamount to an error message on the computer, with the analogy of our brain being the software component. Chronic pain thus constitutes a system shutdown; continued non-response and delay will either result in systematic error messages or progressive deterioration where the entire system will begin to be impacted with reverberating consequences.
It is well that the largest organ of our body is our skin; for, as a concealing covering, it contains the inner workings — and malfunctions — of our other organs and systems. But within the constellation of the composite of organs and systems functioning in coordinated fashion to keep us alive, the “software system” allows for error messages to be relayed to important information centers, of warnings meant to be heeded.
Pain is such an error message; chronic pain is the heightened alert system to keep us informed.
For the Federal or Postal worker who experiences such continuous and persistent relays of error messages, the failure to heed merely delays the necessity of responding to the system shutdown. Federal Disability Retirement is meant to be a compensatory system whereby a restorative period of recuperation is allowed for, with the possibility of engaging in employment in a different capacity without losing one’s base annuity. It is a long and involved administrative process. Such preparations must be submitted through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether you are under FERS or CSRS; further, if you are a separated Federal or Postal employee, you have only up until one (1) year to file from the date of separation.
Allowing the error message to be sent repetitively and ignored out of hand may constitute malpractice on the part of the recipient — the Federal or Postal Worker who does nothing but continue to be dedicated to one’s job, while ignoring the basic rule of life: self preservation.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire