You would hope that if you live a long, full life, you will get through it without ever getting very sick or hurting yourself severely. The problem is that the odds are against that.
Everyone wants to live a long time, but few people get to old age without sustaining some injuries or dealing with illnesses. If you injure yourself or happen to contract a disease that impacts you for the rest of your life, that’s never easy.
Let’s take a moment to go over how permanent injuries or lingering illnesses can change your life forever. Many people must deal with this at some point during their lives, so it’s not a bad idea to think about it, even if you’re currently young and healthy.
What Are Some Injuries or Illnesses that Will Impact You for the Rest of Your Life?
We’ll speak about things like pre-existing injuries and worker’s compensation benefits, but first, we’ll talk about some permanent injuries and illnesses that will be hard for you to shake. Concerning injuries, broken bones are high on the list. Sprains and strains, which doctors call soft tissue injuries, can also impact you for the rest of your life.
As for illnesses, you can survive some cancer forms, but you’re never quite the same afterward. If you develop Parkinson’s disease, you must deal with that for the rest of your life since medical science hasn’t found a cure yet. Diabetes can also slow you down, as can Lyme disease.
Obviously, there are many other injuries and illnesses that will change your life. These are just a few of the more common ones.
Your Work-Life and Your Illness or Injury History
If you’re relatively young when you hurt yourself or contract a permanent or semi-permanent illness, you will still probably want to work for some years afterward. The only exception would likely be if you’re independently wealthy, and most people can’t say that’s true for them.
If you hurt yourself or developed your illness while on the job, you might be able to collect worker’s compensation or go on disability, either long or short-term. You will need to locate a skilled doctor to look at you and determine whether you can continue with your job the same way you used to or whether you might be able to return to it after time off.
If you find out that you can’t do your old job anymore, no matter how much time passes, that might make you pretty sad. If you enjoyed your profession, you won’t like having injury or illness forcing you to retire early.
However, you might be able to continue working from home since you can do many jobs remotely now. You may also continue working for the same company, but in a different position, if they have something to offer you. That all depends on how severely you hurt yourself or what the illness has done to you, and what kind of work you once did.
Work and Pre-Existing Conditions
You might wonder if it’s worth it to try getting a job if you have a pre-existing medical condition. That’s a good question. The answer will likely depend on what the condition is.
Many companies will accommodate you even if you have a medical condition, as long as you can still do the work. They have to because of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you are living with an illness, or you severely injured yourself at one point, that should not necessarily disqualify you from working somewhere if you have the skills and aptitude for a certain job title. You will have to meet with some prospective employers to see if you can figure something out.
Your injuries or illnesses can also impact more than your work life. You will also need to adjust your other activities if you find yourself in this situation.
You might find that you’re not able to drive anymore like you once could. Maybe you can’t walk anymore, and you’ll need a wheelchair to get around. You might not be able to throw the ball around in the backyard with your kids, or perhaps you can’t engage in sexual activities anymore.
It’s all illness or injury-specific. You must let your disease or injury and how you feel afterward determine what you can and can’t do.
You can also talk to a doctor, and they can recommend ways to modify your behavior. They can tell you definitely whether you can ever do a particular activity again or whether you must relegate it to the past.
How to Cope with These Life Changes
It’s never easy if you were able to do particular things at one time in your life, and now, you cannot do them anymore. However, one thing that you should acknowledge is that humans are remarkably resilient when adversity rears up in front of them.
If you’re right-hand dominant, and you lose that hand in an accident, you will quickly learn to use your left hand as well as you ever could your right. The same is true for many of the other physical problems you may encounter after an injury occurs or after you contract an illness.
It’s easy in the times right after to let self-pity overwhelm you. You have to try to resist that, though. You must remain strong, not just for yourself, but for your family members who doubtless rely on you to provide an example for them.
You can regard injury or illness as adversity, and everyone is going to go through it at some point. When it happens, you might spend time thinking about how unfair it is, but that’s never productive.
Regardless of your belief system, you should try to maintain an irrepressible spirit. If you let the injury or illness win, and you allow depression to overwhelm you, you do yourself a disservice, not to mention everyone else in your life who cares about you.