Asthma at work?

Hi, I'm new here and I kinda just really wanted some advice, I'm 23 & I've got severe asthma and have been in and out of hospital and taken weeks off work at doctors advice. Now I have worked as a call handler for over a year and since I started there I've had nothing but issues with my asthma, I'm currently sat at home on yet another day off as I had an asthma attack over the weekend which has left me breathless and quite dizzy so I've been staying with my parents just in case I have another attack. I set my alarm to wake up at 7am so I could get a last minute appointment with my doctor then phoned work 3 times with no answer (obviously I phoned as soon as I knew my manager would be in which was 8am) I told my manager that I had an asthma attack over the weekend and I wouldn't be coming in today an I would be seeing my doctor today. His reply wasn't what I was expecting, he seemed very stand offish and asked me again what happened and I think he was expecting me to say I had done something to exacerbate my condition which I had not, I was sat in the back of the car with my dad when it hit. He told yo me to phone him back later on when I had seen my doctor and he said ""We'll take it from there""

I have recently moved team's and this manager didn't seem to accept my condition as a real issue, when we had first meeting together he asked if anything was going on in my life and I explained my diagnosis of severe asthma to which he replied ""I don't hear you wheezing now"" as if because I'm asthmatic I have to be wheezing an unable to speak or walk without difficulty all the time.

I don't exactly feel bullied at work but mainly misunderstood as they don't seem to comprehend asthma as anything but fat/unfit people who use it as an excuse to not work. Has anyone else dealt with issues like this and how they've dealt with it?

My condition is starting to upset me because it seems no one understands.

2 Replies

  • I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard time getting people to understand as I have struggled with the same thing for my entire life. It seems that people cant grasp the fact that while they take breathing for granted we relish every second our lungs are functioning. As to your problem with your manager, have you tried to sit down and explain to him what you are going through and how it effects your day to day activities? I have had to pull several of my former bosses aside and practically educate them on asthma so that they understand why I may need to miss work from time to time. Of course you are most likely going to have some people who will never understand but as long as you are doing what is right to keep you alive, there is no need to feel like your doing anything wrong for staying home from work.

    I hope that helped, if not feel free to ask any questions as I've probably been through it all!

    Good Luck!

  • Hi Russtyy

    I no exactly how you feel. My asthma is very unstable and I was off work for 6'month's. When I returned to work that's when the trouble started my boss used to laugh when I had to take my inhaler. He also put me thru numerous disciplinary meetings because of my attendance to try and push me out. When he realized he couldn't sack me this way he.would.set me up to fail he would send me to do physically demanding jobs which he new I wasn't fit to do. My advice is to note everything down any snooty remarks are anything u find unacceptable. You are protected under the the disability discrimination act and do not have to tolerate this. I eventually had to leave as the stress was making my asthma even worse. I made a claim to the employment tribunal and won. so stand your ground and do not be put down by this imbesill.

    Just out of hospital 20mg of Ventlin I'm shaking like a leaf took me nearly 40 mins to write this lol

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