- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Living with asbestos
Have you just been told you or your husband/wife or family member has asbestos on the lung ?
Our life was looking good , We had just got engaged one evening in Hyde Park, Sydney looking at the tower and Nev seemed to be really healthy.
Not very long afterwards we were walking home one day & suddenly the bags were to heavy for him & I had to take them of him as he had no strength in his arms
We carried on walking home , cooked a nice dinner & had a glass of wine & relaxed for the evening.
A few hours later he seemed a bit strange & after a few minutes I rang for the ambulance and they didn't take long to arrive .
When Neville showed him where the pain was they said it was just stomach problems ,I was relieved as all sorts of things go through your mind especially when the guy you love is on his knees not looking the best.
We had a market stall we were booked into as well so I thought we might make it back to still have the stall . As it was we wouldn't have another one for several months.
When we were at the hospital I paced up and down for what seemed like hours before I was allowed in to be with him on the ward.
Finally I walked in to what seemed like a scene in the movies -- he had wires all over him & I was told he had suffered a MAJOR Heart Attack .
What a shock it was & then because it was the weekend they were sending him by helicopter to Sydney Hospital.
Fortunately for me they had a spare seat in the helicopter so I was able to go with him to Sydney.
Not long after we arrived he was taken away for a stint to be put in while I again paced the floor.
That went well so I was then allowed to stay with him till the end of visiting hours.As I couldn't bear to leave him I slept on a lounge.
Just when we were getting used to the changes to be made from him having the heart attack a doctor walked in , grabbed a chair and sat down.
I knew Doctors don't sit down with a patient unless something is wrong ....
There was .. The Doctor told Neville that while doing the x rays for his heart they had discovered he has asbestos on the lung and would need tests .
It came as a big shock but at least we knew and could start seeing what treatment was available we thought.
We were told that all they could offer was gas & a wheelchair which wasn't what we wanted to hear.
We were really hoping it wasn't mesothelioma which is is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelioma . It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos, It doesn't always result in that but we weren't show until he had the tests.
Symptoms or signs of asbestos's or mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos.
It was about 40 years ago that Neville had first come into asbestos so the timing was right for it to be discovered.
Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space which is known as pleural effusion and these are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.
I started doing research on what is mesothelioma as we read that even tho Asbestos can be one of many causes of lung cancer ( smoking, another one ) however Asbestos is the only known cause for mesotheliama.
Neville went in for many tests & even tho he has damaged lungs so far it hasn't developed further.
We try stay away from dusty places , avoid being in the wind when cold or swimming if there will be a cool breeze afterwards .
There are support groups that will help you with a lot of advice.
Also you will most likely want to put in an asbestos claim and if yours have gone further you will be looking for a mesothelioma law firm to help you with your case if you are entitled to anything.
The diagnosis of an asbestos related disease can be devastating, especially if you are feeling well. You may feel disbelief, confusion or fear that you are suffering alone and can cause depression over the next year or so.
If you are in Australia we have The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia .If you are near support group and can join one, it will give you
- Knowledge that you are not alone with this disease.
- Non-judgemental acceptance
- Empathy and understanding by others suffering the same way.
- A sense of being cared for by someone who knows about it.
- A safe environment for expressing feelings and fears without needing to protect others;
- Knowledge asbestos related diseases are not a taboo subject;
- A positive atmosphere with others
However if you are to far away you can still receive a newsletter to keep you up to date.
If you have a bad case of Asbestos you might want to search for an asbestos lawyer to help you make a claim.