Info over attacks

Apologies in adavance for yet another essay!

Can anyone tell me if it is normal to feel absolutely exhausted for nearly 2 weeks after a bad attack?. I was kept in hospital overnight as a chest infection , emotions and environmental triggers gave me an atypical attack. Was very sick and two lots of salbutamol & atrovent at home didn't work. Started to feel better when put on high dose of pred & antibiotics.

Due to an unsymathetic company I've now been back at work a week, still on a reducing dose of pred in addition to normal asthma nebs & singulair. I'm having additional salbutamol/atrovent at lunchtime which helps but by the end of the day my back hurts at the top and I'm struggling to do more than one thing ie get breathless if I walk and talk. I come home crash out on the sofa until its time for my pulmicort neb. After this I feel so much better. and am able to carry on abeit at a reduced level. Peak flows are still a bit down but at about 380 most of the time when I'm normally at about 450.

Was wondering if this is just 'normal' recovery and I'm being inpatient or should I be going and getting further help? The first review I can get with a respiratory nurse at the clinic is on the 25th. Problems seeing the GP as I can rarely get an appointment with one of them who actually knows me. I end up seeing a locum or another training GP and they either don't believe how bad my asthma can be as I'm not wheezy when they listen to my chest (until its serious) or when they find out I'm under a consultant they just tell me to call the clinic for advice. I'm just worried I'll be thought of as a problem if I keep on calling but I did really expect to be feeling alot better by now. Thought the change in weather would have helped more but doesn't seem to have any effect yet.

I'm trying to learn and manage this condition to keep me out of hospital but i'm just feeling a bit frustrated at the moment and not sure what to do. I'm definately going to ask for an action plan on the 25th to try and give some control back. I'm scared of having aother attack as things don't seem normal and there is always the possibility of disciplinary action at work for being off sick again.

Any advice would be helpful, many thanks

Rabbit

4 Replies

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  • poor rabbit! I'm sure many of use have been where you are at the moment. Don't forget you've had a chest infection as well as a bad attack so maybe your immune system has plummeted, trying to fight off those bugs, and this is what's wiped you out too. From experience, I find when I get a bad infection+attack it can take weeks to feel really normal again, and during that time it's definitely two steps forward and one back, with some days no improvement at all. I don't know what antibiotics you've been on but some of them can make you feel washed out too, we all react in different ways.

    I would say, as long as you are generally improving, even if just little by little, stick with it and try to do a tiny bit more each day. It's a mistake (this is just my experience) to crash out too much on the sofa cos I find that self-perpetuating i.e. the more I crash the tireder I feel!

    don't tho feel pressured into going back to work too soon - there's a huge difference between pottering at home and putting in a day's work. If you're not up to it and your immune system is depleted anyway by infection/antibiotics and possibly lack of sleep from pred, you will just run a higher risk of getting something else. I'm sure they cannot put you on a disciplinary for being ill, not if you're covered by a medical certificate. Perhaps someone on the site with HR experience can comment on that but the recent Human RIghts legislation offers much more protection to us now.

    yes of course you will get better at managing it all rabbit, and will soon get in control of things - you haven't been well so are probably finding it all a bit much just now, but you will soon be back in top form i'm sure ;)

    chin up

    polly

  • ps sorry rabbit, forgot to say - can't you get a telephone consultation with your gp, explain how you're feeling and get a certificate for another week or so to tide you over this time and get your strength back? try it x

  • I almost always need another 2-4 weeks off after coming out of hospital, but I do tend to have pretty long stays In ICU before even making it to the ward.

    tends to be about 2 weeks if I was in for 1-2 weeks 4 weeks if I was in for 3 or more weeks. never been in for just a night or two so not sure how long that would be expected to take.

    Don't let anyone force you back. you need that time to recover and build your strength back,

    it will get better soon, honest.

  • Hi

    Just a thought. When you go back to work a phased return may be appropriate in these circumstances, e.g. half a day a week when you first go back. You could well be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and this would probably be considered a reasonable adjustment.

    I think disciplinary action over sickness is always wrong, if there is an issue it is one af capability, not conduct. You may need to look at whether your employers policies take disability into account. I have ongoing issues with my employer, but this is not one of them. We have eventually agreed that for general sickness I will be treated like anyone else, but for absence related to either of my main health conditions (epilepsy and asthma, both of which they have accepted are disabilities under the DDA) these are excluded from the calculation although they do reserve the right to monitor time off due to these conditions separately.

    Hope you are soon feeling better

    Regards

    Liz

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