what next?


I am 33 year old ""brittle"" asthmatic my asthma by definition is not under control despite lots of treatment including daily oral seroids, theophylline and lots of other stuff. The last 12 months has been really hard I have had several ITU admissions including one in the summer that lasted over a week and one in february where I was ventilated for 24 hours and kept on HDU for 3 days before 7 days on the resp ward - So all of this has affected me at work. I love my job. I am a teacher I work with 5 and 6 year olds, at the moment I have a fulltime contract which I really can't do. I have been of work since my last attack at the end of february and I really want to go back, but I am not sure if I can physically do it. My GP has recommended that I work part time, I have a occupational health apppointment in April. I am worried about it. I am worried firstly that they will say there is nothing wrong with me and that I have to go back to work full time and the other situation I am worried about is the complete opposite to this, that they will say I can't work again. In either situation i don't know what I will do. I know it seems silly to be worried like this but I just cant help it. I have to say my employer has not been the most sympathetic to my situation but I really love my job!

13 Replies

  • Hi Honey :)

    It doesn't seem silly to be worried at all! Have you spoken to your hospital consultant or nurse about how you feel about working full time? The occupational health dr I see always liases with my GP, consultant and sometimes respiratory nurse before making decisions. If your GP is already recommending part time hours then they'll have to at least consider it. If things don't go how you'd like, are you part of a union? My union have been amazing and saved my job when my employer/occ health decided I couldn't return to work.

    I hope it works out well for you xx

  • Hi Honey,Try not to worry as OH are on your side and will make sure your school will do everything for you to make your job better for you with reasonable adjustments. Make sure you get your union on side from day one they will help sort it with OH and HR and lift any stress you may have. I went through it twice with back problem and 7 years walking with a crutch at work and when needed a cast on. All went brilliant each time and my union and OH and HR sorted it for me and no stress and doing my job I Love in a school also.Not had go with asthma yet but only work 1hr 15 mins a day. love glynis xxx

  • Thank you for your replies. I belong to a union and they have been involved so far and have been supportive, I had not thought of telling them about occupational health...but that is my next step. My GP has suggested working 3 days a week, on a flexible basis not sure what that means but sounds good to me. Thank you again. I am having a rough day. Have spoken to my GP who is also incredibly supportive - if no improvement by 11am I have to take myself off to a&e yet again. Hoping that I improve over the next hour!

  • hi honey

    sorry ur having so much goin on.

    u defo need ur gp asthnma cons + asthma nurse to work with each other with OH so that they can come up with suitable hours for u, or a job on a flexible basis so that ur happy and that they are happy that ur still being managed from asthma point of view.

    glad the union on board as they will help a lot.

    OH are great with me at the mo, i have been off 7 weeks today so far (brittle also) hoping to go back next week but after coming out of hdu this morning, hmmm... doubtful!!!

    anyways, in your post u say ur having bad day, hope u stay out of costa :S

    x x x

  • well I didn't manage to stay out, just a short stay, IV magnesium and lots of nebs and I am home after 24 hours. Am very tired and need to sleep but don't think I can.

  • glad it was only a short stay in costa, doesnt matter if cant sleep so much, just take it easy - rest up!!


  • well so much for a short stay, I was whizzed back in about an hour after posting and have had an eventful stay, I am home now, came home yesterday had a very rough sunday and monday but things seem to have finally come under control. I feel so much better at the moment. I have occupation al health on Tuesday. Thank you for your support. Has anyone been told they have chronically low magnesium levels and that this could effect their asthma control? Also sorry to keep asking questions but has anyone had a pnuemotorax? What is it? How do they happen? Thanks again

  • Honey,

    sorry you got captured again x glad your out now.

    Rest up love glynis xxx

  • Honey don't trust management and make sure ur union fights for ur interests. Push for part time and flexy time. Employers can wiggle out of things under the clause ""reasonable adjustment"" to ur role. They must b seen as being pro active in maintaining ur employment before it can be terminated. Y contract finally got terminated but to be honest it's worked out better fore no more stress about being off sick

  • hi honey

    i had pneumothorax bout 4 weeks ago... its an area of collapsed lung, apparently its common in asthmatics...


  • When I was working my occupational health doctor advised me to work part-time and step up my days. If it didn't pan out I could step down. But if I choose to go back full time and not be able to carry out my duties I could give them recourse to retire me. I found his method to be flexible and manageable.


  • well I went to the OH doctor who I have to say was very good, she agreed that it would be so much better and more productive if I worked part time, and has recommended this to my head. It is now up to her to agree this. I am also going to speak to my union tomorrow.

  • good luck with the union honey

    they were very supportive and helpful with me :)

    hope they the same for you


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