Had non stop problems since November, bronchitus, astma, humid work conditions

Hey,

I've always had asthma but it now feels out of control.

In November, I became ill. It started with a temperature and I developed a chesty cough. I thought it would go and saw a doctor after two weeks. I also lost my voice. He told me I had laryngitis, he prescribed amoxicillin and a medical mouthwash.

I began to notice that I felt worse at work and especially when I was in a busy reception area where I take people to and from rooms all day. It feels humid, the ventilation is bad and I always end up having a headache and even when I was at full health, I always ended up with a headache.

The cough still wouldn't go and my phlegm was yellow, so in December, I saw another Doctor. He said I had a chest infection and prescribed Doxycycline. He sent me for a chest X-Ray, the results came back fine.

After my chest X-Ray results, I saw another Doctor in January, she said the infection had gone but the cough may be caused by post nasal drip. She prescribed Beconase nasal spray.

In late January/early February, I saw another doctor. This one is my main GP and he is very good. He said my airways were inflamed and my chest was very tight. He said it was my asthma, he increased my inhaler from Seritide 100mg to Seritide 500. He also prescribed prednisolone for my inflamed airways and montelukast. I began the prednisolone.

He advised me to stay away from crowded areas and ill people, avoid exertion and avoid dry areas. I asked work if I could stay in the main office rather than the reception area as I felt it was making my condition worse and I needed to stay away from ill people (it's full of people in poverty thus people with illnesses). They ignored this request and put me on it more! After a few days of this, my phlegm turned yellow.

I saw another doctor, she said I had an infection which was deep in my lungs and she could hear a lot of crackling. She prescribed amoxicillin. I had to stop the prednisolone.

Once the infection had cleared, I re-started prednisolone for the cough. I took three days annual leave off work (plus a weekend) to recover because they don't care about me. I felt brilliant on Sunday, almost back to my old self. My throat felt back to normal.

Then I came into work, on Monday, I felt worse. Today (Tuesday), I was back in the reception where I find it is hot, humid and has terrible ventilation. I now feel worse than I have for months. My throat feels sore, I am coughing (not too much though) and I feel exhausted. I feel like my breathing is obstructed.

Any idea what is going on with me? I had double pneumonia when I was 16 but I've never felt ill for such a long prolonged period of time.

I'm seeing a doctor again on Thursday. What are the next steps?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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3 Replies

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  • I'd suggest you might want to a) reacquaint yourself with your responsibilities under the Equalities Act and then remind your employers about theirs under both the Equalities Act and the DDA. They have to make reasonable adjustments to your role unless their business model and the role you accepted states that you must carry out reception duties as required.

    I have to be honest the role sounds like it can be adjusted, but I haven't seen your contract.

    If they dismiss you or you feel unable to work for them because of their attitude then you can claim either unfair or constructive dismissal and that will hurt their bottom line. Don't suffer, stand your ground and keep a diary of symptoms based on the role.

    Hope that helps, I would suggest talking to HR.

  • It sounds like your poor system has taken a battering and a half. I agree with Operanut. Your employers need breathing employees, not dead ones. They need to consider your breathing needs. It could be something like the air vents in reception triggering alergic inflamation which only makes it harder to fight new infections too.

  • You need a referral to the Respiratory Clinic. Infections, if not caught soon enough, can cause scarring of the lungs, otherwise known as lung obstruction which will not get better. Get copies of any letters sent by the Respiratory Team. There are other medications they can give you to help control your Asthma.

    It sounds like you work in a similiar place to me. I am now medically retired, thank goodness.

    Join the Union, if not already a member.

    Under the Disability Act, work should make reasonable adjustments to help you stay at work. Only an Occupational Health Assessment can 'persuade' work to recognise your condition and make adjustments, if they are unwilling to at the moment.

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