Trouble with work

Ive been asthmatic since I was 6 (im now 22) [left][right]ive always had moderate and ive always controlled it well myself and never missed a day off school, collage or work because of it. In the last year its become alot worse ive been on mutiple courses of steroids and in September (2 days after going back to work from the summer holidays) I was admitted to hospital for the 1st time with a PF of 90 & my best is 580. Since then things gradually deteriorated after weeks of really struggling 2 breathe & being sent home from work I was admitted 2 hospital again between December 17th & the begining of March I was admitted to hospital 3 times 2 weeks each time. After a very long & hard recovery I have recently returned 2 work. I have been told by the consultant I need 2 b seen at the chest clinc every 8 weeks to prevent a relapse which was made clear to the headteacher my myself & the occupational health dr before I returned. I have recieved my 1st appointment since being back when I told my boss she asked me to change it to the school holidays because I was off such a long time school would be loosing out kif I took time offf to go to appointments. Does anyone else have problems with work?

23 Replies

  • Hi sarz, sorry you have to deal with all you are going through. Your headteacher has no right to ask you to go to your appointment in the holidays. dispite what she has said by law she has to allow you to go to your appointment. I take it you have a copy of the occup/health report stating your health needs and the agreement written down that it was agreed to you can go to your appointments, under the disability discrimation act you are protected, you have a long term health condition and your health can get worse if you don't go to your appointments as the consultant as stated, any changes made to his timetable of you beening seen can grossly effect your health. speak to your HR department or your union rep, if you are not being allowed to attend your appointments. hope this help

  • Thanks, yes I have the 1st letter saying I will need time off work to attend out patients appointments & in the follow up appointment I had yesterday with the occ health dr I meantioned it to him & I told him I already feel guilty enough because I was off so long, but there was no way I could have gone back any earlier infact he wanted me to have a few more weeks off but after 5 months off I needed 2 get back before my brain turned to mush lol. He said hes going to make it clear to her in this report (which I will also have a copy of) that I have severe asthma and I need to attend my out patients appointment every 8 weeks to minimise further episodes of relapse and its covered under the qulities act. I am in a union so if she continues to make it difficult I will have to get them involved as my last resort. What makes me angry is that people with physical disibilities are treated better than a person who has breathing difficulties. Isnt breathing more important than being able to walk properly?

    Sorry for the rant & thank you x

  • Hi sounds like you've had lots of fun. Work have to let you attend appointments, my wife works in a school and she always feels guilty about appointments for anything really. She always try's to get an appointment during ppa or early morn or late afternoon to help the school, and this has meant that they are quite easy with her now, so worth trying that for the future but always remember that you need these appointments for your safety and they can't stop you. But if they feel you are trying you may not get so much grief from them. Speak to your union rep at the school.

    Also future appointments can sometimes be made at the consultant office so you could arrange the time and day in the week making sure that you are nt disrupting your working day so much and therefore the school have even less reason to complain.

    Just the way the mrs's works with school and it's made it easy for the school, even to the point that they are really supportive offering lifts!

  • Yes ive had loads lol my nurse has had loads of fun too trying to find meds that actually work. Ive always had appointments around work, before xmas I rearranged my out paitents appointment because it didnt fit in with work but it ment I had to wait for another month for my appointment as a result things got worse and ended up with me being of for 5 months & being in & out of hospital which I dont want to go through again. It is also very difficult to an appointment with my consultant because she only runs the out patients clinic mon-wed mornings & even when I ring up to try and rearrange it I cant always get appointments to suit work, and because im a TA I dont get ppa. I have also spoken to the teachers I work with 3 of them are senior members of staff including the deputy head and they are very supportive because they know how bad ive been over the last few months they have also told me not to worry because my health is more important & my appointment is on the last day of term and it wont make a difference to the school or the childrens education if I go for my appointment or not.

  • In your case I would say never try and rearrange an appointment lol! At least you have a supportive team around you that agree that you should just go to the appointment, at least its the last day of term and I can defo bet that you are counting down; my other half is!!

  • Thats exactly what the occupational health Dr said funnily enough lol! Yeah they have been brilliant its actually thanks to one of them im probably here today because my chest got so much worse on my works xmas do & I went from having a bit of a tight chest to gasping for breath in a short space of time and because I had a few to drink I didnt realise how bad I actually was & she ended up dragging me to A&E against my will & stayed with me until 7am. Thats when this whole 5 month ordeal started. Im not counting down as much as I usually am because ive only been back in for 4 weeks (2 weeks phased) so its only my 3rd full week back next week & I havnt even been able to manage a full 1/2 term yet this year but im defo going to make it till July & it wont kill me lol!!

  • That's actually an amazing occy health people, and staying with you till the morning. It sounds like you had a really rough time, having a drink and asthma are never good for me too lol, once had a few drinks, had a bad asthma attack and while waiting for an ambulance my mum thought that whiskey and water would really help, it didn't lol she still swears by it.

    I'm out of work at the mo because of asthma it's not fun at all. How's phased return working for you? I'm sure that you'll make it to the end of term

  • Yeah, Its has been a very hard few months im glad im over the worst of it now. Before all this happened I was out every weekend and alcohol never affected me but I think I just kept picking up germs from the kids but still carried on going to work & eventually I had no immune system left. I kept telling the girls that I was f9, I even took my rescuse steroids with shots which wasnt the best idea lol because I was refusing 2 go 2 A&E my firend threatened me & said im going in a taxi or by ambulance so I did give in & was actually threatened with ICU.

    I know its not you miss out on so much of your life im 22 and instead of going out and having fun i was stuck in the house or in hospital. Its been hard because of cuts they phase us in over 2 weeks instead of 4 so I had to do 50% of my hours 1st week and 75% in the 2nd week. I still get really tired which brings on a cough if I over do it or get over tired but im just coping because I spend the evenings & weekends resting. I know Ill make it til July this is actually the healthiest ive been in a year!!

  • Those damn kids and their germs, you can't escape them lol. It's always nice to be threatened with A&E by all around you, I hate the hospital and am determined not to go there anymore, doesn't always work lol

    Being stuck in the house or in hospital is all I've got at the moment at its like hell on earth lol

    Your phased return sounds hard, if its difficult you should be able to get them to draw it out further, im looking at one day a week to start with and see how it goes, and thats only when they are happy.

  • I know it's all their fault lol when I went back to work I took in lots of antibaterial gel and lots of tissues lol. One of the girls I work with has Cystic fibrosis so I was getting told off lots that night because she could hear how bad I was lol but I was determined to 2 finish my night out lol Me 2 Ive not been to A&E for about 3 months now thanks to the chest clinic so im doing well so far.

    I know every1 prefers 2 b in their own home but I had more visitors wen I was in hospital & coz I was the only person on the ward who was mentally capable of holding a convosation so the student nurse & NAs kept me occupied & people think just because ur home ur fine. The phased return has been extreamly hard but its the councils new policy & I was the 1st 1 to be phased back in on these new rules so it was even better lol I am just about coping because I just rest on the weekends & the kids keep me awake ... just. Make sure u don't over do it & go back too soon, I made that mistake in September & I made myself so much worse

  • Its not good when just because you are at home they think that all is going well, not always true, i saw my respiratory nurse last week, who decided that she wanted to have me admitted there and then!! :-S but convinced her otherwise as have all the equipment at home (o2), which is really helpful! Plus being on a ward where you are the youngest by at least 50 years is really odd lol but you do get people willing to chat with you. well done for staying out 3 months.

    Tried going back to work in Feb, but got a bit worse, then tried physio and that's actually made it even worse for me, and got told to stop physio completely to see if I improve oops i was enjoying it lol

    What age range of kids do you work with? And is it a special needs school?

  • I know 1/2 the time the reason i was actually sent out wen did was because they didnt ave beds the once they sent me out on 60mg of pred an hour after i came off O2 & nebs even tho i dont have any of that at home because my pct dont do that 4 asthmatics so i was strugglin again straight away. I had 1 of those moments the consultant wanted me 2 go straight in after 1 appointment coz my resting pulse was 169 and my sats were down & she thought i might have had a clot in my lung but i refused 2 go straight away coz i had 2 go 2 a funeral she wasnt happy but she couldn't force me i did agree 2go in l8r. Its the worst bein so much younger than every1 else coz most of them have dimentia we had a man in the ward next 2 ours trying 2 climb in2 bed with us & try 2 escape all the time!! The NAs have been fab if im in with a load of oldies lol.

    Yeah its best 2 not go bk b4 ur ready no matter how bored ur i learnt that the hard way too!!

    I teach the special needs children in a main streem school basic english & maths & work on the targets they have they are 7-11 yr olds so yrs 3-6. I also run a catch up programme to give the middle ability yr1s a push it can be very challenging sometimes but i enjoy it & couldnt imagine doing anything else. Thats why i couldnt waiit to go backh :)

  • I can't believe that they sent you home just because they didn't have a bed, that's really putting you at risk!!

    But being the youngest on the ward does let you see some funny moments, like the old fella trying to climb into bed lol I met a block who demanded that the nurse sit with him, and every time she got up he screamed at her, and then in the middle of breakfast took his orange juice and carefully placed it on the floor in the middle of the ward lol and he could barely stand up, really made me giggle!

    Sounds like you have a good job, my other half is a year 5/6 teacher and shes always roping me into stuff for the school lol she got me cutting out fabric squares for an Olympic flag.

  • I know my local hospital is rubbish they did the same 2 my friends sister too which makes us worse and it takes longer 2 recover. I was actually stuck sat in a chair for 24 hours 1ce when my dr sent me in. The women on my ward were out of if & just there I body. That man just kept trying to escape day & night. Every1 ropes their other 1/2s 2 help out by doing things like that lol its an unwritten rule I think. We had an opening ceromony 2day for the olympics & yr5 &6 are trying to practise for their end of year production, yr6 have to do a leavers mass & y6 BBQ & weve gotta find a dry free day 2 do sports day on all that in less than 4 weeks so that's going 2b fun!!

  • I think you are right about the unwrittten rule lol, i do seem to get roped into all sorts, last year i helped set up the library lol the mrs came home last night and said that the y6's for their leavers party wanted to theme it as either essex or gangsters lol and dress codes would be mini skirts :-S they've decided this year the kids don't get to decide. Not sure that you will find a dry day for sports day.

  • Lol it's even worse inspection time because there is soo much 2 do I dont think any1 had a life in the months running up 2 it because we had 2 lots of inspectors in at the same time. Omg really? Lol actually it's like a fashion parade when we have non uniform days the girls look older than some of us staff!! I hope we don't have 2 do it this year I couldn't handle going down the park & being down there all day because if it's not hay fever irritating my chest it's the changes in weather & we spend all day telling the parents off they r worse than the kids sometimes lol.

  • That sounds rough, inspection time is always tough and you had two! Yeah worked on the library, and am now sewing a giant patchwork quilt!! The hayfever hasn't hit me this year and i got away with it last year but the change of weather is always hard. the parents are always the worst lol

  • Lol people dont realise if their partners r teachers they will be roped in2 doing things too lol. I think its been tuff for lots of people this week I've been trying to keep on top of it because the weather has changed loads I've been coughing quite a bit & my chest has been tight bit I've been keeping a close eye on my PF but I made it to the weekend & it hasn't been too bad because I've rested but it's so frustrating. It's also annoying because people think just because I'm back in work I'm back to normal one of the teachers wanted me 2 go out in the rain with the kids last week luckily the head teacher was there & wouldn't let me go out because I already had a cough & I don't think she wants me off 4 another 5 months I don't think. Could handle it either!!

  • I think all people linked with schools should have a warning sign lol. I've been all over the place, gave up on pf's a while ago as had managed myy technique to well, and can blow a really good breath, but only one lol now just measure based on my general control, and breathing patterns.

    Well it looks like you have the head protecting you, even if its because she doesn't want away for 5 months lol

  • hamsterman i know exactly what you mean about giving up on pf - like you i can do a good pf even when every other breath is a hacking cough (probably comes from playing flute for the last 20 years!) And i'm also one of those linked with school who needs a warning sign LOL

    I was once observed teaching when i was in the middle of a bad flare up - i don't think she made any concession for the illness even though i couldn't string more than a couple of sentences together without coughing *sigh*

  • I can say that once upon a time I was good with pf's recorded them religiously, but then I realised that they were just not useful any more for me lol

    I will say it again warning signs are need lol

    jinglfairy it sounds like you had a rough observation, but i hope you did well in it. I barely have a voice at the moment, really difficult just to have a normal convo let alone teach a class!

  • DDA which became the equality in 2010 says resonable adjustments an apointment that will help keep you well and at work is a resonable adjustment. It is for there benefit also so i can not see the problem unless of course they like to discriminate against asthmatics ? Education is what is needed for all employers.

  • My occupational health report has made it clear that I will need to see my specialist every 8 weeks because I'm still on A considerable amount of medication to stabilise my condition & my condition is on the severe end of the spectrum & he keeps repeating I need 2 go 2 my appointments to try & keep my condition stable & has put its covered under that act. I think you are are right ALL employers need educating about asthma because in my 1 meeting with the head she said its good it wasn't something serious I might not have had cancer or something like that but I couldng breathe i was threatened with icu I was starting 2 go blue & had pins & needles in my hands & face because of the lack of oxygen but it's not just her who would think the same because asthma is so common & the majority of people who they know with asthma wouldn't have any problems I just wish she saw me when I was in hospital so she saw how ill I really was.

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