Like many Pennsylvania residents, especially those who once worked in the steel mills or coal factories in Pittsburgh, you may have been shocked and saddened when you learned that your employer knew you were at great risk for terminal illness but failed to fulfill the obligation to keep you safe. If you're suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, it may have been years before you found out the source of your symptoms.
Now that you're aware, your main priorities may include tapping into whatever support resources are available to help you enjoy life while you can and obtain the highest quality care possible. It may also help to talk to others who are also battling terminal illnesses. A strong support system is often key to quality of life in such situations.
Thoughts to consider to be proactive in your own care
Whether you recall exactly how you felt when your doctor informed you that there is no cure for your illness, or that day now seems hazy in your mind, you may not be able to change the past but can have a certain amount of control over your life at this time. The following ideas may be useful as you pursue life to its fullest:
- It's understandable that some people have great difficulty accepting the fact that they have contracted a terminal illness. If you are able to acknowledge and accept your circumstances, you may be able to make the most of your time and enjoy life with those closest to you.
- Some people blame themselves when faced with terminal illness, thinking they should have been able to do something to keep from getting sick.
- If your employer was negligent, it may be more conducive to your quality of life if you avoid self-blame and focus on doing what you can to recover your losses and spend your days doing things you enjoy.
- If there are particular issues you want to discuss or things you'd like to take care of while you are still able to do so, you can make a list of your priorities and seek help from those you love, or appropriate outside support systems to address the issues on your list, one at a time.
It's understandable that you'd feel a great sense of loss, knowing there is no cure for the illness you contracted, simply by going to work and carrying out your daily duties on the job. Employer negligence has led to and continues to lead to devastating situations when greed and desire for power take precedence over the well-being of workers and their families. This is why many situations like yours lead to litigation, when injured workers pursue justice against those responsible for their suffering.