Reading the boards recently, it seems like the theme of troubles at work with asthma is a pretty recurrent and common one. Most of us with moderate or severe asthma seem to have come across problems of one sort or another at one time or another. Certainly, when I was working I can remember having significant problems at several stages.
It occurs to me that as a group we have a lot of shared information and experience on this topic that could be useful to others. I was wondering how people would feel as a group if I were to try to maintain a list of volunteers who would be willing to share their experiences on an individual basis with others who also have difficult asthma and are working in similar areas or professions.
The way I would envisage it working would be that people who were willing to be involved would e-mail or PM me with a few basic details describing the degree of their asthma, the sort of problems they have had, and the field that they are working in. The idea would be to try to get as many people as possible who are currently working (my knowledge, for example, would be a little out of date and not that helpful as I haven't worked for over 18 months). Then in future if I was approached by someone who was struggling with a particular work- and asthma-related issue, I would be able to match them with someone who was either working in a similar field or had had similar sorts of problems in the past.
All the personal details would of course be kept completely confidential by me and would not be published anywhere on-line. I would probably eventually envisage setting up a web-site to make people aware of the scheme and allow them to contact me, perhaps also including some information on employment rights, the Disability Discrimination Act and other useful info as well.
The idea is similar to the matching scheme run by Careers BMJ, the Careers journal of the British Medical Association, although that only caters for doctors (and never managed to match me with another doctor with brittle asthma - where were you all?!). I think it could be a really valuable source of advice and experience, if we can get enough people involved.
Just to reiterate, I would keep all personal details totally confidential and would not pass them along to anyone else - if I did have a 'match' who would benefit from talking to someone who had previously registered their details with me, I would pass their details to you, rather than vice versa, and it would be up to you at that time whether you did feel that you could help and wanted to get into contact.
What does everyone think?
Take care all