Not sure where to turn

Hi my friends, back at work today but feels like I should have taken another day off but hey ho. Had my 'back to work' talk with my team leader today who is lovely as he has previously had an auto immune disease so knows what being ill is like but he has a manager to answer to as well so has to follow company procedure. I now have a formal meeting sometime this month where my team leader will be the one asking me questions, and another team leader will be taken minutes, I also have the option to bring a witness or a buddy in with me. Nearly cried in my back to work with my team leader talking about always being ill. Of course I do not want to be off work ill I would rather live a normal life and go to work, wouldn't we all?! I also get penalised my team leader said as I'm good at taking 1 day off then trying to come back too early then taking maybe 2/3 more days off as this then goes down as 2 absences against my record.

To top it off as well I applied internally for a job in the floor below me on Friday which is more admin based and less call centre which is what I would like, to get told today all applications internally for it have been blocked as the call centre is short of staff, when aren't we! Sorry for the rant x

27 Replies

  • Rants are good its good to get it out of your system. Now comes to dealing with it. Is there none thing in law on discrimination against people with long term health conditions. You surely have rights. I would go to CAB to get support. My friend who had her disability allowance taken away from her to turned to them and then supported her through her appeal and it was re-instated.

    I hope and pray you can find the support you need. Amen

  • look at this for help

  • Thank you for your reply Elana, I will have a look on that website and see if there is anything that could help for dealing with this long term condition X

  • Companies frown at the number of individual absences rather than the amount of days off that you need to recover. You are much better taking the time that you need rather than cutting it short and having to go off again. Do take a witness in with you (if you are in a union then take the rep) only go at a time when you have a rep in place, refuse the time stated by them if you do not have a witness - this is your right. Make sure that you have something documented about your condition and ask them what they can do or what they recommend with regards to assisting you with any future illnesses. What adjustments if any would help you at work. Suggest them if there is anything. Do they have an occupational health department?

    I'm sure we are all worried about our working lives since we cannot guarantee when and how long we will be ill for. It's not an easy condition to live with to say the least, but the extra stress over work certainly doesn't help. Good luck.

  • What Jandm said 😊

  • Hi Jandm, thank you for your reply, how are you? Yes I have only learnt this recently though as I have the odd day off here and there and get more warning than people have been off for weeks/months! It's a weird procedure as I go back to try and show I want to keep my job but does me no favours! My team leader said we don't have a union but we had something else I cannot remember what he called it. Yes I will be taking someone in with me even if this is just a friend in the company. I do not think they do, but could ask my team leader.

    Yes I can imagine we are probably all in the same boat pretty much on here just wish I had taken more time off when I needed it rather than trying! X

  • I truly hope you can find a solution.

  • I would like to echo what @jandm says. Severe Asthma is classed as a Disability which is what you have. Under the Disability Equality Act work are required to look at what reasonable adjustments can be made to help keep you in work,which can mean going for an Occupational Health Assessment. I would agree that working downstairs would be better as it is probably cooler in the Summer, and also the admin maybe? less stressful for you. Any chance you could reduce your hours? Also, work are required to allow you a few more days sick leave than a person without a lung impairment.

    I too worked in a Call Centre, and was medically retired after 5years. I feel for you.

  • Hi Anne, I'm not sure my asthma is serve enough as some people's to be classed as a disability but that is good to know. Yes it would be less stressful for sure without picking up the phone to moaning people every minute! I would like to reduce my hours but am on a flexi 37 hour contract which means I do shifts from monday-saturday from 8-8pm so not sure if this will be an option but it is 100% something I am thinking of 1. so I can get better and 2. so I can apply for other jobs as I'm wanting to leave more every day. That is something I will add in to the meeting also thank you. Oh I'm glad you feel my pain Anne! Glad to hear you got out though! X

  • You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. The Equality Act 2010 doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland.

    That quote above is taken directly from the Equality Act 2010. I found it difficult at work because I was arriving feeling tired already from wheezing during the night. The heat and humidity at work made it difficult for me to breathe, and I ended up feeling stressed as we were under pressure all the time. I found it difficult to concentrate and steroids give me mood swings. You may also be experiencing some of these feelings.

    I really would recommend reading the Equality Act 2010.

    Thinking of you. Anne.

  • Anne you are a star! I'm reading that as we speak! Wow sounds like fun before you even got to work! Steroids are amazing but yes they do have some funny side effects. In your reply below, I saw my doc on tuesday and am on doxcycylcine 2 for the first day, and 1 a day till the course is finished. Thing is though on tuesday it did not feel like it had reached my chest but now it does! X

  • Antibiotics can take 3 or 4 days before it feels like they are working, and continue working for a few days after the course is finished. I am assuming the doc put you on a course of steroids as well?

    Keep drinking loads of water to help get those pesky sticky bugs off you chest. They will soon be on the run....and don't rush back to work or those other blighter bugs at work will get you as your immune system will not have recovered strength. As you can tell, I think of it as a battle and we will win!

  • No just antibiotics but I have steroids here if I need them. Haha yes we will win this battle!! X

  • I can see you need to rant - you are really stressed out about this! However, you need to take note of what your team leader says: "I'm good at taking 1 day off then trying to come back too early then taking maybe 2/3 more days off as this then goes down as 2 absences against my record."

    So stay at home until you are really well enough to work. There is no need to be a martyr to a call centre! If you don't look after yourself, no-one can look after you and things will only get worse, not better. Learn to relax - yoga/breathing/mindfulness or whatever, but get your stress levels down so you are not anxious about work. You know what to do about your asthma, but stress works against the medication, so you must de-stress somehow.

  • Hi Chrissie! Yes I'm really silly and do not stay at home long enough to be well again which is partly my fault and partly the pressure and guilt of ringing in sick for them to say back are you sure you can't come as were short of staff? Which then makes me feel so guilty that I end up going back! Those are kind words, thank you! I will try X

  • Oh Dear. Typical. Hope things get better for you. Take good care of yourself.


  • Thank you! Am regretting my choice of going back to work on wednesday as I'm still not well and am now coughing up the green stuff too but scared as anything to be off again now! Should have taken the whole week off! X

  • You need to get to the GP soonest to get that infection nipped in the bud.

  • I would like to help you here

    I have servere asthma and COPD not from smoking

    Your asthma seems moderate to severe which is a little promising. In a good way.

    I recommend vitamins magnesium vitamin d and selenium in large daily quantities. I also take cod liver oil.

    I have had no asthma attack which has hospitalised me. I still take daily drugs for asthma.

    This is the first stage. Vitamins and cod liver oil.

    Stay away from processed foods as they can affect asthma.

    The second stage is to get an allergy test dome again as it could be different to if you had it young.

    The third stage is to get a referal to a lung specialist hospital like the Brompton hospital.

    I would tell your boss that you are revisiting all your asthma conditions and can they be flexible in that you may need some extra days at hospital and GP to get to the bottom of the issues.

    When you have that meeting make sure HR are there and you get a written statement of the meeting which you can read and sign as truthful account. I run my own business and most companis are fair to employees but most don't want to be messed around but if they know the truth will assist

  • Remember Asthma can kill so tell them this in your meeting that you are going to get the best help

  • Hi Whoa, thank you for your reply! I take a centrum advance daily multivitamin but a lot of people have told me magnesium and cod liver oil are very good so think I may have to invest in these! An allergy test against what? Yeah I think I am going to have to reduce my working hours slightly. Yes I will have to get a written statement of the meeting, yeah my manager is nice and understands what I'm going through mostly just should not have taken the time off how I have in dribs and drabs X

  • There is a full allegrey test which hospital does and covers about 14 to 20 different things like eggs dust etc... get yourself tested. You need to rule out general problems first. Magnesium and cod liver oil work.

  • Thank you Whoa think I will see if I can get this test X

  • you are in control this is the nhs link to allegy clinics

  • Magnesium 500mg to 1000mg and cod liver oil 1000mg. High strength

  • Hi Helen, totally empathise with you. I was ill July/August after a cold & chest infection needing antibiotics and steroids. Tried to keep working. Ended up ambulanced to hospital, had attack at work needing nebuliser, then signed off for 2 weeks. Been ok in September now got another cold which is kicking the asthma off again 🙁 have started my rescue pack of prednisolone.

    Have got my formal sickness meeting next week too. We do have a union so my rep is coming with me. So worried I'm going to be off again though.

    You've been given some great advice so far....asthma does come under the Disability Discrimination Act and your employer has to offer reasonable adjustments to help you stay in work and more importantly.....well !!

    Good luck with it.

    Lisa x

  • Oh god Lisa that sounds awful! We really do try to please our work places too much when were ill sometimes! Aww no, I think everyone seems to have a cold at the moment as it's getting colder outside. Oh that's good, I'm going to have to talk to my team leader again about who I can bring in with me as he said we do not have a union.

    I hope your meeting goes well, most people have told me that the outcome of there meetings previously have been to not be sick for 3-6 months which is a very scary thought for me so if that is the outcome I think I may leave as I'm not sure if I can do that!

    Thank you, I think I will defiently bring that up in the meeting. I'm not sure if to go back tomorrow, had all weekend off resting and still feel awful as I'm now coughing it up as well as out of my nose, oh the joys!!

    Thank you Lisa, you too X

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