Asthma UK community forum

Hi all new to this site & asthma

Hi all, I'm new to this and waiting to see an athma nurse at my local hospital to confirm my diagnosis. I started working for the NHS 15 months ago on a resiratory ward!!! At first I thought I was just catching chest infections or conming out in sympathy with the patients. This year I have had 4 chest infections and dr said it was bronchitis was given antibiotics and started to feel better but I have had a persistant cough for over 6 months with phlegm and i'm a non-smoker. 2 weeks ago I had to go to a&e as I was struggling to breathe very wheezy & my chest was tight the dr thought it was pneumonia or a pe? I had 2 chest x-rays and they where both clear. I was sent away with a peak flow monitor a salbutamol inhaler and a course of prednisole steroids. I had to take time off work just over 2 weeks as i had no energy. My symptons since then have still been the hacking dry cough with phlegm, headaches and just so tired all the time. I went back to work 2 weeks ago and was put on a stage 1 as i have 2 episodes of sickness in the last 6 months. I am now worried about losing my job as today I woke up and feel awful i feel hot & shivery I have a tickling/irritation inside my nose my cough is worse and my chest is really tight just want to curl up in bed but can't due to family.

Thanks for reading and was just after some advice on where I stand with my employer and how you mange your own symptons.

6 Replies


Hopefully your gp sorts you out and can advice you accordingly. Sorry you have been unwell. Take care.



Hi, I'm quite new to this site too. I know how you feel with the coughing. I was chesty for years before ending up with pneumonia. Before that I just put up with my barking, putting it down to the fact that I worked in an office & was constantly talking on the phone. However, change of job had me working with young children and ended up with worst cough ever. Anti-biotics didn't budge it and ended up in hospital with pneumonia. Then diagnosed with asthma. That was about 12/13 years ago. Still get flare ups, even more now as I age, although I'm only 54. Have had various changes in inhalers over the years. I had recent spell of coughing but I've got it under control at last. I don't take prednisilone but did with pneumonia.

You sound like you are having a rough time of it just now. My employers got a bit fed up with me after a while as every chest cold for a while caused me to go off sick & I eventually decided to stop working for the sake of my health. But that's not an option for most folk.

Maybe see your GP again if you're not better tomorrow.



Im sorry to hear ur having such a rough time. You definatley sound like you have uncontrolled asthma

and it is frustrating when doctors are not helping.

I have stuggled for 20 years with mine and not able to give up work, I been a single parent family and found it very difficult when my daughters were young. I am an accountant and by bosses never understood how hard it was working when u can't breath. There have been thousands of time when i've crawled into work and had to sit at my desk with my neb on, i even collapsed at work when i got pneumonia cause the doc signed me off but my boss throw a fit and demanded i went into work or i would lose my job.

Eventually the only way I could get round this problem was to sign up with an agency and work as a long term temp. This has been a little easier as the clients cant keep sending me to HR for sickness meetings, I have to make sure i inform the clients that i am severe asthmatic but that i work hard.

It is discussing that when u have a real disabaling illness and genuinely cant get to work that u r treated so badly, when there are people that take sick days for just having a simple cold.

You really need to discuss all your concerns with your asthma nurse and hopefully they will find the right medication to stablise you quickly.

Please keep me updated with your progress, take care xxx


Hi Tweetypie

Like you I also started working in the NHS on respiratory ward. I was already asthmatic and kept picking up infections off the patients!! Was the redeployed to outpatients. Have since changed jobs and hosspitals and my asthma has taken a turn for the worse again!! I now work in theatres and we thin there is something in theatres which is triggering my asthma! Unfortunately I have now exceeded the time i can have off sick and really now stressing about losing my job which doesnt hel p the asthma.

Hope things get sorted for you get a good union rep to fight your corner!!!


I feel for you. I'm signed off at the moment for what will be at the end of this certificate 3 weeks, also hitting a trigger point in the review process. It's such a worry when you get put on the sickness review. I'm also a single mum who really doesn't want to give up work but I'm sure the stress of trying to keep under the HR radar doesn't help the asthma. I've been to a&e several times when breathing is bad at work, had nebs (sometimes backtoback) and then when straight back to work so it doesn't get counted as sick leave. Phoned in after seeing consultant to update them and I got told we'd talk about it when I got back - now even more worried. Can see them issuing a warning soon as last year was bad too. In the meantime at least the consultant is lovely and is looking at reviewing meds etc once I'm tailing off this course of steroids...


Thank you for the lovely replies it has helped me so much. I was shocked to read at how people have been treated, employers should not be allowed to get away with it. I got my appointment after I rang the hospital back and it's next Tuesday will let you know how I get on. It seems employers don't have much sympathy regarding asthma but at least I can show sympathy to the patients as I know how they feel.

Hope your all keeping well & breathing easy take care xx


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