Bronchiectasis and Working - Lung Conditions C...

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Bronchiectasis and Working

Kai21 profile image
18 Replies

I have had bronchiectasis most my life. I’ve been teaching about 23 years (Reception teacher). For the past year in particular I’ve had to have so much time off because of chest infections, Ive been so tired and had little motivation. It’s getting me down because I just don’t have the energy anymore and am trying to work through bouts of illness which is no fun. My consultant said many years ago that I’m in the wrong job! I just don’t know what else to do. Has anyone else been in this situation?

18 Replies
B0xermad profile image

Hello kai21,yes me too the Same situation as in as far being a learning support teachers assistant in a special needs school and suffered numerous chest infections over 8yrs, which eventually after having time off for sickness was sent to health governing body for a review ,to which result was less hours spent in the job and eventually not fit to continue I had to retire from my job due to illness on the doctors advice. Sorry It wasn't a positive response for you but I was 54 at the time and 9yrs later my health is much better for it.

helenlw7 profile image

I too was an infant teacher. Rheumatoid arthritis, Bronchiecstasis and severe asthma diagnosed when I was 50. I was put on lots of meds but managed to keep working even though I was constantly coughing and had frequent chest infections. The staff and children in my school were very tolerant of my coughing and absences. Life was slightly better when my RA pain was sort of controlled. On one consultant appointment I mentioned that my chest infections were making my job difficult and I was put on an antibiotic as a prophylactic, Azithromycin. Since then I have only had one chest infection. It was like miracle drug!

teddyd profile image

My whole working life was with children. Until I started on azithromycin I had lots of infections awful cough etc.I managed to work to my retirement age. Unfortunately after retiring I have had had more flare ups than ever probably because I am no spring chicken.

Everyone has to do what is best for them everyone is so different.

Wishing you well

winterwalker01 profile image

one of my employers came to see me as they had to let me go because of illness, I could do my job and then I woukd hit a wall for a week, I was upset, I went to doc and to cut a long story short i had copd and had no idea and no history of anything like this, I just thought I was unfit. I was glad to know why I was ill but I’m still trying to get well and it’s been just over a year. I hate letting people down and this was happening a lot.

Littlepom profile image

Well first of all congratulations on working with the little germ spreaders for all of those years in a frankly exhausting job whilst living with this complex and debilitating condition whose nemesis is GERMS.Two things come to mind.

Maybe your bronch is not being controlled well at the moment as regards the right antibiotics in a high enough dose for at least two weeks when you have an exacerbation, long term azithromycin, or other delivery systems ( nebuliser or IV) to keep bugs down or at bay. Do you have a bronch specialist consultant? If not. You need to get one. GPs know nothing about bronch and general respiratory consultants very little more. It is when we are in trouble that their deficiencies show up. Hopefully more effective management could stabilise you, reduce the exacerbations considerably and give you more energy. In any case you need your bronch looked at by an expert to see what is going on.

Maybe it is just time to give up face to face work with children. Believe me, I stay as far away from the little darlings as possible, even my own grandchildren, when they are donating pathogens.

Is it time to do something less physically demanding which uses your skills and experience?

Be kind to yourself. You are an incredible person to have done this job for so long but sometimes our bodies tell us enough is enough.

GintyFerguson profile image

Yup...similar situation and was medically retired from job after many years. Too many people and bugs in the office where I worked and I was forever ill. Tried IV abs . Now I'm much better living a modest but healthier lifestyle! Small kids carry bacteria in their respiratory tracts that don't bother them but do bother us bronchs . Wearing a very good mask might help?

Bunski profile image
Bunski in reply to GintyFerguson

Unlikely senior management will allow masks now. They say children should be able to see your face and expressions. Also some lip read.

GintyFerguson profile image
GintyFerguson in reply to Bunski

I guess it's also hard to keep your distance . Make sure plenty ventilation and tissues n hand!

Mooka profile image

Most of my infections I could trace back to a cough/cold that one of my young grandchildren had had until I had the dreaded pseudomonas which kept coming back because it wasn’t diagnosed very quickly. It could be that you’re not getting the right antibiotic. My consultant told me that there’s a lot of virulent infections out there that are putting young and fit people in hospital. Probably as a result of the crazy last few years we’ve had. If you want to stay as a teacher could you move on to older children that you won’t have such close contact with? It’s a tough decision for you but you must put your health first.

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Mooka

I was also going to suggest teaching older kids,they get less infections x

Karenanne61 profile image

A demanding but rewarding job. If you want to continue working could you explore other options? I know a teacher is always a teacher but so many roles would make use of your skills. I worked in a college library, other ex teacher friends have moved into leading museum worshops, National Trust guides, organising and teaching adults to be school volunteers. Or teaching adults?

Verbena_67 profile image

Hello. Can you tell me how you know when you have a chest infection? This may sound odd, but some ppl always feel fatigue so I'm just wondering how they would tell the difference. Thank you.

winterwalker01 profile image
winterwalker01 in reply to Verbena_67

I go to the doctors

watergazer profile image

Hi and yes. I was a primary school teacher for around 38 years. I worked with juniors and infants. I too struggled during the winter months with bronchitis as it was diagnosed till one year I had pneumonia and was off work from before Christmas till Easter This was when my pre existing condition- bronchiectasis and asthma was finally diagnosed - and I was put on appropriate meds. I eventually retired at the age of 59 as I found teaching had become lots of paper work on top of actual teaching and marking. I was also a mentor for trainees.

I do wonder if you’re on the correct medication to help control your bronchiectasis.

As regards is this the right job only you can answer this. I think a lot of people are instinctively teachers I did some tutoring on my retirement but am now too busy with grandchildren so I’m immersed with more germ spreaders

Take care. Many chat with your consultant if you have one if not ask to be referred to a bronch specialist. Xx

PW_R profile image

I agreee with GintyFerguson - a mask is a must. I am now wearing a mask just to see my nephews (3&5) for the winter months, as well as general mask wearing in crowded areas. Perhaps a word with the principal to explain that you have a chronic lung disease & that you would like to protect yourself as much as possible.

Poppins23 profile image

Hi, I’m in a very similar situation. I’ve been teaching over 20 years and love my job. However, this last year has been hell with repeated infections, covid twice and ending up in hospital shortly before Christmas. Financially I’m not in a position to retire but I’m considering requesting reduced hours for a time to see if that helps. I’ve just started a 3 month course of doxy in the hope of preventing future infections. I feel exhausted all the time, partly I suspect because I’ve never really allowed myself the time to recuperate after an infection. It is a very demanding job and not one that is easy to switch off from.

Ellieoak profile image

My Pulmonologist put me on Bactrim DS. which I take daily. It has kept me out of the hospital.

Patk1 profile image

There are nose and throat sprays u can buy that protect u more,frm viruses( which often turn to chest infections in wee bronchs).one is " coldeze".takke a look online .they cld b useful4u. Could u also wear a clear " shield for a little protection.perhaps if catch less bugs+ infections,u will feel better

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