Asthma UK community forum

Back to work

I went back to work today in my new role, everyone was absolutely lovely, glad to see me back as last they saw of me was me in an ambulance!!

It was lovely to be back even if I only managed 2.5 hours and then had to go home and sleep!! Lol

The only hiccup was I had to take my pf amd use my inhaler a couple of times and I chickened out of using my spacer in front of everyone. Does anyone else get embarrassed by this? Silly I know :-S

11 Replies

yes get embarrased using inhaler in front of people. hate it, always try and go hide somewhere else. Hope all goes ok with your return to work.



I used to be the same, going somewhere quieter so I could use my spacer and inhaler without people looking, but I can honestly say that once you've done it a few times, people get used to it pretty quickly. People will look and ask what it is, and once you've explained what it is and it's purpose, the fascination wears off :) That was my experience anyway, so I'd advise you bite the bullet - the sooner you start to use your spacer, the sooner people will get used to it and you can start using it comfortably!!

P.S. From a practical point of view, it would be better for you if your colleagues got used to you using the spacer whilst you're relatively 'ok' and able to explain what it is, rather than you using it for the first time in front of them when you're struggling, and people will be looking and asking what it is.


bless you Angelica, so glad that you managed a half day in work. sorry to hear that you still felt symptomatic and had to use your inhaler.

yes i have been embarassed about taking my inhaler in work and still tend to take myself off to the ladies. this is mainly becuase of the attitude of one of my work colleagues who thinks that use of inhaler = attack/attention seeking. she doesnt and wont ever understand. ""you have daily asthma attacks anyway"" was the last comment when i was trying to explain things to her. i have tried to explain that use of inhaler does not mean attack, it means i dont want an attack!

anyway please carry on using your inhaler at work with the spacer if it improves your technique. i generally agree with others, the more they see you making sure that you are ""well"" the less they'll be worried, and the more they will know how you maintain your wellbeing so there are no more drastic actions like the last time with the ambulance.

Well done! please take it easy and continue to communicate with managers on how it's going. xx ><>


Well done on getting back to work Angelica :-)

Glitterdust that's a really good point about letting people get used to seeing you use your inhaler / spacer. I'm lucky in that i don't need a spacer but i used to try and wait / hide to use my inhaler but during one particularly bad patch (for me) i decided i didn't have the energy or inclination to wait or hide so just used it whenever and wherever and now it's not an issue. Hardly anyone even takes a second glance now unless i'm really obviously struggling and i just feel more comfortable with it.

Edit: cross-posted with spiritedstream


Woohoo Angelica well done! Hope you manage to build up to more soon - though not too soon.

I've got used to using mine in front of people now. Weirdly, I don't mind using it in front of total strangers eg at a bus stop, or in front of people who know me well and are used to it, but I don't like using it in a situation where I've just met people and might be talking to them, like a party. I guess I figure I'll never see the random strangers at the bus stop again but I don't want to talk about it.

Though the issue was forced this evening - I was out with some work people and the bar had shisha, grrrr. So couldn't stop coughing, was using inhaler and it turned out several others there were asthmatic or had been as kids (one guy said his brother was really bad, had a home neb and was in and out of hospital etc). So ok there though think I worried them a little!! They kept bringing me glasses of water.


Awww thanks everyone, nice to know I'm not the only one! :-)

That's a really good point about using it when I'm well, I hadn't thought of that, it makes a LOT of sense glitterdust so thanks for that perspective :-)

I'm on phased return so I'm definitely not rushing back and have the option to slow it down if I need to.

Philomela, showing my ignorance, what's shashi? Whatever it is it sounds like something asthmatics need to stay away from, I hope it didn't ruin your evening.

Thanks again everyone, its nice to know I'm not weird!!!! Lol x


It's great that your work are being so understanding and you have nice colleagues!

Shisha is basically flavoured/scented tobacco that people smoke through a long pipe thing. It's definitely not good for asthmatics - although it's not as smelly and people don't think of it like cigarettes it does apparently have a lot of the same health issues associated with it - and, of course, it's smoky, so not great for the atmosphere or sensitive lungs nearby! I have to say it did cut things short as my lungs got very very irritated and still are today. THough tbh I was a bit knackered as well so in a way glad of an excuse, but I hacked and puffed all the way home and was wondering if I needed to do anything! Somehow managed to calm things down with shedloads of reliever.


hahaha Angelica i was the same - i googled shisha


I didn't think of that jinglefairy! Lol

Thanks for the explanation philomela! I think I saw one of those cafes down brick lame a frw years ago, served aromatic tea and people smoking aromatic tobacco.

Poor u that its affected your lungs that much hope they've settled down a bit for you.



I kept popping to the loo to use my inhaler. I was so embarrassed to use it infront of my work colleagues. I've been a bit braver this last week and started using it at my desk. Still very conscious of people hearing the spray sound it makes and seeing me use it.


Hi je!

I used to sneak off to the loos too but the distance from my desk now means that by the time I walked there what was a little chest tightness would probably turn into a full blown attack :-(

I am going to have to bite the bullet and use my spacer at my desk.



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