back to work


I should have been going back to work tomorrow, but GP has decided that I am still not fit enough and as my work has not agreed just yet for me to work part time instead of full time he has signed me off until 10th of May. I am very grateful for this... also occupational health have agreed that I am not fit to work at the moment and need part time work. I have not been to work since 4th feb - I am a teacher and I am worried. I don't know if I will be able to cope with going back to work when it comes to it. My head had not been the most understanding and has piled the pressure on this year. I am also worried about how to explain to my class and the parents my lengthy abscencess. I know this is a bit premature to worry about this but at the moment I just can't help it. I also know that I am feeling better because I am worried about things other than breathing and I am getting bored at home!

34 Replies

  • hi Honey, can understand how you feel.I only work 1hr15 mins aday in a school and find that hard when my asthma is bad. Not to bad out side but hard to shout year groups in for dinner and when in the dinner hall its hard work and really hot and when asthma is bad and no air about i struggle.Been on steroids 60 days and 20 more to go and on reliever 10 -12 puffs 3-4 hours so dread to think what its like for you all day. Love glynis xxx

  • You need to build yourself up again, can you ask you doctor if you could go in once a week for a few minutes or 1 hour so ur not to weary of going back. Maybe you can work out what area of work will be less stressful. At least it gives u an idea of your strengths or weakness. I am sure they miss you but you don't want to over do it either. Worry won't help you get better i found. Just go slowly, step by step ok.


  • Hi Honey. It's always difficult going back to work after a long absence - I always seem to lose every bit of confidence in my ability to do my job properly. It might help if you can ease into it gradually, though.

    I also find it difficult to explain to people how asthma affects me. largely because I don't want to appear to be whining and asking for sympathy. Does your school fund raise for a cause, and is it possible to include Asthma UK as a beneficiary? That way you would have the right platform to explain to your puplis, their parents and the other staff exactly how debilitating asthma can be without making it too personal.

    Hope you feel better soon.


  • hi - great that you are thinking about work but your health has to come first. if your head is being a pain then could you speak to your union or ask for a meeting with him/her to explain how ill you have been and what has been advised re the hours? good luck but dont rush as it could make you more stressed and bring on an attack x

  • Hi Honey I know exactly how you feel, been off work since Christmas and hoping to go back to work in the next week or so. But I'm scared !! Live on my own so been bored stiff and not been able to do much at all and now I have to try and get back to work as my asthma is always an issue with my boss. Going to see corporate health tomorrow but feel I will be bullied to going back before I'm really ready :( I think alot of people still do not understand how asthma makes you feel physically but also mentally.

  • Thanks again for some words of wisdom. I am trying hard not to worry but am finding it hard, did manage to go for a walk today and a friend popped round so the boredom has been allieveated. I do want to work but not sure about working where I do fulltime! Any way it is soon tike for criminal minds!

  • Well things have certainly changed this week, I had an email from head saying they had recieved occupational health report, and that we would need to meet to discuss it. I thought fine okay can do that. Then late last night about 8pm, so late enough, I had an email with a formal letter attached saying that we were to have a meeting called a case review two, to discuss my future employment with the school and to discuss dissmissal due to ill health. I was shocked and upset to say the least, lungs didn't like the stress and I had a sleepless night. I will contact my union on monday but I am angry and sad at this situation.

  • Oh Honey, I'm so sorry this is happening to you :( It's horrible, I've had more than my fair share of work problems and have almost been dismissed on medical grounds.

    My union have been invaluable to me, they're amazing. Make sure you use yours!! And I know it's easier said than done; but try not to stress over this and upset your lungs even more, there is nothing you can do for now but wait *cyber hugs*

    Dawn xx

  • Been in that boat also.Do not go any meetings with out union or HR. I was worried but my union said the head and hr were looking in to it another job but i kept mine and had to ring in if back bad for that day to do lighter job but this was laughable. Basicaly i worked with a stick as OA in back and knees for them the last 7 years out of 13 at the time and then ruptured Achillese tendon and had to have a cast on and off 6 weeks so had go OH as thats their rules if off but then threw my OA and stick in with ankle prob. But because i was still under the hospital for ankle and got discharged before last meeting and put my stick away i kept my job.Could walk with out stick but 2 years of ankle prob and injections and physio didnt work and then ruptured and in cast. My union said be careful and told me that work only have to be seen to help you and then could take it further.Union said dont talk to work or friends about prob if work asked me and told me to say all conversations go to union rep.She was brill and took the stress off me.Im ok now but asthma started 4 years ago and MD 2 Years. 15 years and still their. Did have 6 weeks of with MD when first got it and went OH again and she had it also and said ok to work now and im under hospital and on meds.Good luck and dont give in and your union will talk to you and you can surgest to her how you could cope if they did this or that and she will fight your case and make sure that union and school include action plan if attack at work so they dont panic and have to follow your plan x.xxxx EDIT 15 years there now and only had 2 weeks off for both knee ops each instead of 6 each.6 weeks for ankle cast and 6 with MD. So Ten Weeks for 3 opps that had be done and 6 for ears now on meds for. 16 weeks off in total for 15 years not bad going .

  • Honey. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. The last thing you need is additional stress. I think Glynis has given you some very sound advice and I very much hope that you get the help and support you need from your union.

    Good luck.xx

  • Honey , just remember OH make sure your fit to work and can ask to get your medical info of doctor then tell you if ok to work and recomend changes at work and on your side. HR look in to job to see what the problem is and try help but at same time making sure you are or arnt fit for job and recomend changes to help if is any and keep info on file incase have to see you ever again.Union lovely and support you only and speak out for you. Dont go to any meetings with out Union as they beeing naughty and should not count.I did and right in to a meeting putting me down on what couldnt do and not what could do. union squashed that meeting and made other one.if my Achilles tendon had not ruptured my OA and stick would have not been a issue at all and naughty putting it in to the mix when went routenly to OH after 6 weeks off in plaster cast. One idea for you could be to work part time but only for a term or half term to give you time to see if thats better for you or to give you time to try knew treatments or ease you back in.Welcome pm me anytime .love glynis xxx

  • thank you all. OH were great the doctor understood asthma and has recommended p/t work, school not happy with this. My head is not all that understanding - has made it hard for last year or so. Will deffo speak to union on tuesday forgot monday was may day. Until then trying not to worry. We are having huge thunderstorm at the moment lungs responding in usual helpful way!

  • I can't get the stuff going on at school out of my head, I just feel so sad that although I have worked really hard to get where I am, and I have been successful in the past, I just can't carry on with my job. Not sure what to do...have been thinking about it constantly. I think I want to resign, then it will be over and done with and I can move on, get a different job, not teaching at least for a while. Then maybe when I feel stronger, I can possibly go back to it.

  • Honey, I understand that you feel that you can't face any more stress and uncertaintly about your job but I would urge you to take advice from your union before resigning. I really don't want to add to your worries, but I think that you need to protect yourself because the way you proceed now could affect your right to state benefits. I could very easily be wrong because I am no expert on unemployment benefits and only have a vague memory of a long ago conversation with a friend who found herself with no state benefits after resigning from her job.

    Remember the saying - don't let the B******* grind you down.

    Lots of hugs.


  • I spoke to my union today. We decided that I am not well enough to go back and need to see my own doctor. They are going to help me negotiate a way to end my contract so that in the future when I feel better I can go back to a job that I really love when I am well enough to do it properly.

  • I'm so pleased for you Honey, and I'm sure you'll feel much better once you're no longer stressed about the position at work and you can get well again at your own pace without feeling pressure to rush back to work before you're ready.

    keep us posted.


  • Hi Honey, sounds a good plan and must have been a hard choice to make. i only work 1 hour 15 mins aday at school so can cope with that with my probs but not well enough do long hours. Hope your asthma settles one day .Take care love glynis xxx

  • HI Honey

    I so know where you are coming from - whilst I'm merely a special needs assistant I have been signed off work since November as unfit due to pleurisy, acute asthma and now finally a diagnosis of severe allergic bronchial asthma. I have an appoint with OH next week and am really worried that they will force me back to work. I can't even go outside with experiencing asthmatic and allergic symptoms. I work in the foundation stage and we spend most of the day outside. Respiratory consultant told me avoidance of triggers was the key to control of symptoms. Um maybe Education Authority can produce a bubble for me and then I can return to work symptom free. And I'm allergic to the viruses that little cherubs insist on sharing - there is no hope!! lol My boss (the Head) phones me on a weekly basis fishing to find out when I'm likely to return and last week actually asked me how I felt about returning to work. Um think he wanted to give me enough rope to hang myself with.

    I hope that some of the stress and anxiety has gone now you've reached your decision regarding work and that you can focus on getting your lungs better.

    Big hugs


  • just thought i wud say good luck if you are well enough to go back to work tomorrow with occ health honey :)

    x x x

  • Ive been there and got the tee!

    I was asthmatic when started job but thought move from living in brum to the country might help! Anyway when returned had 2 jobs and generally worked 3 days a week maybe more depending on overtime. Then started getting run down and getting ill at work. would have week off then come back to my 2 days a week and increase back up and get ill..... was a circle. Occy health were realy good understood my head in wanting to work as i am sever but set guidlines which were ok ish meant i had to turn down overtime. But then had a realy bad attack at work and they decided that i should take some time off for them to speak to consultants etc. The 4 weeks i was off I got so much better and returned to work for one day a week. I was doing realy well yes work took it out of me and didnt reduce systoms just held out for longer, went back to work quicker than I should. Finally another bad attack at work when was rushed off our feet and I hid it until was too unwell unfortunatly staff around didnt have a clue (had new ones started who hadnt had the whole I might die converstation!) they decided I was a risk and lost my job. I get the perks of what i had and wording that more than welcome to come back if suitable job comes up.

    My employer was very understanding, was big company so had the support network and staff there to help, my GP wanted me off but knew reasons why I worked so generally left it up to me. Consultant thinks I can physically work as I just have major blips which make it harder to hold down a job. In 2010 I had 1/3 of the year off sick so in the 18 months I was there they did try and had the patience.

    Now I dont have work to aim to find it hard to fight illness as got nothing to get better for and work is a chance to get out and the exercise is good for you!

    The main things I have said all this is that i beleive anyone can do some for m of work and yes might have to prove yourself but to be honest and communicate at all stages. I used to go see occupational health nurses after every consultants appointment and they always would check up on me if hadn't heard from me for a while or been in hospital and they supported me, they were there till the end saying yes can work, dont mind having me to look after as they know me, so know when im bad and when im ok!

    Thinking outload could use your experiences to teach children about asthma and first aid, long term conditions etc! but part time is way to go, rest on days off!

  • ahhhhhh

    So was supposed to be at work tommorrow, but weds night last week had nasty attack ended up on HDU til friday - readmitted saturday released today am so tired. To top it off school have 2 day ofsted inspection tommorrow and wednesday. Have been signed off again until half term so no chance of me working through ofsted. Specialist reg said if I tried to go to work she would book my bed in ITU right now and would expect me in, in the next 24 - 48 hours. She is lovely, but very honest. So basically I am not working, not doing ofsted and generally feeling very battered and bruised after yet another nasty scary admission.

  • Aww Honey,

    your having a really bad time xxx

    dont worry about work and rest up and try keep your chin up and treat your self when

    you can ,

    Take care love glynis xxx

  • Oh Honey

    Just rest, listen to advice of specialists and forget about work for the time being until you feel better. Ofsted can be very stressful so probably best you are missing it as the added stress won't help.

    Thinking of you. Keep your chin up


  • So sorry you're having such a bad time. Rest as much as you can and feel better soon.


  • rest lots hon


  • stuff work at the minute and put it to the back of your mind until you are feeling able to go in without stressing yourself out worrying that you will end up back in hospital. hope you are resting up now. take care xxxx

  • Thank you all you lovely peeps I am doing as instructed and resting up...I am using laptop in bed how decedant! It is my birthday on friday would like to feel a little more human by then. Thanks again for being so supportive.

  • Honey, I hope you have a wonderful birthday and are feeling well enough to enjoy it.


  • Honey,

    I hope you enjoy your birthday on Friday

  • I hope you have a good supply of DVDs and books Honey. iPlayer calling?

    Happy birthday in advance, I hope you have a good one and feel better for it.

  • I player is amazing - can't believe I have only just found out how to use it.

    School have ofsted this week, have felt very guilty about not being there, but I do understand that it wouldn't be possible for me to work right now.And how would it look to those inspectors if the school had to call for the green meanies whilst they were there! Specialist Reg at local costa said that if I even tried to go back to work she would book me a bed in HDU - as that is what it would do to me right now. Slightly brutal way of putting it but did get the message across. I quite like this new doctor. What to do today...I am going to knit a gnome.

  • Honey - knit a gnome???

  • yep gnome knitting - make little tiny gnomes to sell and raise some money for charity - they even have furry beards - takes me about an hour to do one! CUTE!

    Feeling a bit down in the dumps tonight.

  • Just a quick update - I saw my GP this morning he is fab...really fab. We talked about work and decided that we were bothe being a little optomistic about me returning to work just now. Not even part time. I am sad, but at the same time no where I stand and can move forward. Just need to let work know now, and see if that affects all that is going on there.

    He also put pred back up to 40mg - I had got down to 25mg just for 5 days just to give the naughty wheezes a kick up the backside. Apart from that I am having a good day.

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