Progressively deteriorating medical conditions comprise a category of tragedies which are especially insidious.
Automobile accidents; natural disasters; even airline catastrophes; such dramatic events, while shocking and tragically devastating, seem to encompass calamities of epic proportions equal to the turmoil of modern times. But the quiet tragedies which are unheard of — the insidious nature of chronic pain, debilitating migraine headaches, overwhelming Major Depression, anxiety, panic attacks which paralyze one’s ability to engage in employment in a minimally functional manner; progressively degenerative spinal diseases; diffuse pain through Fibromyalgia; and similarly such “quiet” calamities, are especially insidious because, more often than not, there is no proportional visual confirmation of the suffering and tragedy.
Such private calamities are what must be adequately conveyed to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management when preparing and formulating a Federal Disability Retirement application.
When a “public” catastrophic event occurs, people tend to search for the picture which matches and confirms the described disaster; but when no such visual confirmation is available, there is often a suspicion that the event itself never occurred. It is this visual-centered universe which makes for the insidious nature of chronic pain — for how can one confirm the latter? What picture would provide the wanted affirmation? It is always the quietude of a private catastrophe which is exponentially magnified in its tragic components — for lack of sympathy, devaluation of empathy, and a question as to the sincerity of the one who suffers.
That is precisely what must be overcome in preparing, formulating and filing for FERS or CSRS Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire