I am new here. I have had asthma since the age of 7 but it has been (generally) well controlled since I hit 21 or so (I am now 29). While I have had 2-3 moderate attacks requiring nebs in a+e in the last 5 years, I hadn't had a hospital admission since the age of 16 until last week.
Here's some background to my work-related query:
Last Tues, I started with a pretty banging cold and found I wasn't sleeping. I knew that my asthma was likely to flare up so I went to an NHS walk-in-centre for a check up. The nurse examined my lungs and said they were clear enough, advised painkillers/fluids/rest etc.
Friday night I had my first serious attack. Managed to sit it out, but had second attack at 1.30 am and called ambulance who came and gave me double nebuliser. I calmed down and they left me at home. Saturday morning, I had attack no. 3: called out of hours doc and was advised to call ambulance. Ambulance brought me to A&E and I had 4 nebs, then sent home at 12pm. Felt very well all day but woke up again at 2am, struggling seriously and becoming exhausted. Called ambulance AGAIN and was admitted by 3.30 am. Had most serious attacks following am and spent 3 hours in resus while ventilation was debated. IV magnesium did the trick though I had a further two serious attacks the following day, so was put on iv aminophylline etc. Not able to sleep at ALL until the aminophylline taken off yesterday - serious palpitations etc.
Anyway, here's what advice I'm looking for (finally). When do I go back to work? I feel so exhausted and also very drained as I'd forgotten the impact of acute attacks. This is my first serious asthma attack at work but my manager is playing silly beggars and I am stressing about how much time to take out. What would others usually take in these sorts of circumstances?
The regular consultant advised all of next week but the doc who discharged me today said I could go back on Wednesday. I don't want to sound like a sap but I can't imagine I'll have had enough sleep by then, and I don't want to risk a repeat of this attack, which the consultant said was viral. I work with children and want to have my strength back up before I return and get potentially exposed to the same virus!
The reason I am stressing is that my manager has been funny about it. She advised my husband that as I had not submitted a sick note within seven days I would not be paid??? She mentioned something about her own son having an asthma attack and being 'right as rain' in 24 hours... I rang HR and they told me that 'there was some leeway' in cases like mine and not to worry but I feel so anxious and upset about her lack of support. I have missed very little time in my job and only one day in two years in my present post that was asthma related, so I can't understand why it's such a big deal? My poor husband was beside himself with worry and she kept going on and on about how it wasn't good enough that I hadn't submitted a sick note? I don't get it?
The worst thing is that I know in my heart that the level of work I have on at the moment will be too much for me for a little while. I am currently working two posts side by side and in the week or two before the attack I was beginning to fall behind. I think I was probably building up to the attack at that time but due to the stress at work I wasn't really vigilant enough about my symptoms, particularly sleepiness, finding it hard to get up in the morning etc. I don't want a repeat of this.
I keep telling myself that I only feel so anxious and stressed because I am still not sleeping with the steroids (I will be on oral steroids now until end of Oct) and sleep deprived from the aminophylline. Do you think I'll feel better in a few days? I remember when I was younger it seemed to take AGES to recover from acute attacks and I just want some reassurance that I am not mollycoddling myself by thinking I should take more time off than going back next Wednesday?