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work and asthma


ok so this is my second post and I have has my gp and asthma nurse working double time to try and get my asthma under control. so im currently having so far a 5 day attack I don't know what's kicked it of I can only assume.

so on the 29th March a ran out of my montelucas. I made a mistake with the easter bank holiday. so I phoned my gp and explained this a to him. my asthma was really good finally on an even kill and he wanted me to go back to my 100/6 fostair as I'd been on the 200/6 for a month (last serous flair up was 6weeks ago and I was in hospital for it. so my gp said that a few day with the montelucas would have no adverse effect on me so I didn't think any more of it.

it's exactly the same symptoms as when I was sent to hospital. but this time except my pf have drop to issue lowest and interview he red zone 230 from 470.

i wasnt feeling great tuseday but as we all know with asthma you can start on feeling crappy and improve or go completely down hill so as precautions I took all my asthma stuff to work and my asthma action plan. told my senior members of staff thay asthma is being a bit unpredictable and it wasn't really a concern as pf wasn't showing any problem I just had symptoms. it wasn't until I started driving to work I realised I had badly misjudged the situation. I spent the who 15min journey breathing through my nose because any more deeper breathing was impossible from the tightness and pain in my chest.

i was feeling a bit better when I arrived at work so decided to stay thinking that was the last of it.

but it kept fairing up until I took some time to calm myself and them I'd feel serously bad again. so with time to calm I'd feel a bit better but then when I start working again is felt seriously bad. my blue was making me feel worse. I eventually admitted defeat and went home.

phoned my gp and was seen later that evening. he basically took my temp said no sign of an infection but its definitely my asthma. so I said in my asthma plan I'm meant to for worsening symptoms take two puffs of the 200/6 fostair but I don't have any and gp didn't want to prescribe me another one when he said I can take 4 puff of my 100/6 twice a day. so that what I've done for 2-3 days.

im back on my montelucas but he's said that I must never stop taking it as its possibly the thing keeping my asthma from going over the top.

so i had my back to work meeting. I've only had 3 separate days off in 4 months because of my asthma. I hate it effecting my work but it's becoming unavoidable at the moment anyways my work has said the my behaviour on tuseday when I ha dmy asthma attack at work was unprofessional and they said I was obsessed with my pf (been told by my asthma to do my pf if I can and right down what possible triggers I'm about) so I'm following professional advice from a highly qualified person. and then they said me using my areo chamber in a private office to do my inhalers before I left work or on my breaks was unprofessional and unexpectable behaviour. and they said I should think about getting another job.

my asthma wasn't nearly as bad before I started working there but i love the job. I have a second volunteering job with the ambulance service and I attended cardiac and breathing difficulties and I've never had any problems with my asthma doing that or when I working on the ambulances I've never had a problem there either. but im. alway in different locations and not stuck in the same place for hours.

now seeing a Dr at 11.45 today for some steroids or antibiotics of she feels I have a infection brewing.. I have a prominent wheeze right at the end of my pf which I don't usually have. my blue only makes me feel better is I sit upright and do nothing! but I still have symptoms. clearing my throat a lot I seem extra mucus there... plus I'm coughing far more than i normally do and I'm bringing up small white sticky lumps so there is definitely inflammation there..... I just have no idea why is so aggressive again. just doing 15 steps is bringing it on..

now im too scared to tell my management or senior staff if my asthma is bad and I'm to worried to phone in sick.

i know I can't be the only one going through this.

i love talking can littrally talk the hind legs of a donkey but I'm feeling far to unwell to even eat, drink and i dont what to talk. this is generally a sign to me that it worse than normal.

im exhausted after 5days of this and forcing myself to carry on because its expected. I'm meant to be working tonight to.

sorry for the very long message but it some times easier to let it all out.

8 Replies

asthma comes under the equality act. they cant ask you to leave your job because if your asthma. if this is what they are saying as them to put this jn writing and then seek legal advice. they need to make reasonable work place adjustments. have they suggested an occupational health assessment?

LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I'm not an expert on employment law at all but that sounds like a shocking attitude from management and potentially illegal - if they know about your asthma and it has been going for I think at least 6 months then it would be a disability I think and they are required to make reasonable adjustments.

Even if not, I completely fail to see why taking your inhaler in an empty office is unprofessional!! You need to take it when you need it, and if anything you are going out of your way more than you should have to not to do it in front of anyone. They appear to think illness is unprofessional in general as I'm not sure what you were supposed to do if they also give you grief about calling in sick. It does sound a bit bullying the way they are saying it though obviously I wasn't there.

Do you belong to a union or is there one you can join? As a last resort could you do that job at another company with a better attitude or is that tricky because of location or other factors?

Ir does sound like your asthma is really flaring up at the moment and forcing yourself to work is making it worse, but I appreciate it's difficult with work. Is there anything your GP can do eg say you shouldn't be working (which as a non expert on the internet it does sound like if yiu can barely walk or eat - that is very close to neesding hospital territory).

Sorry Indon't have much useful to say but wanted to add some support.

Wheezycat in reply to Lysistrata

This thing of having a back to work interview and all that I think is now fairly standard stuff. Lots of years ago I got some respiratory infection (not asthma in those days). It was pretty bad, but I tried to get back to work twice (for some very good reasons) and was sent home both times, so technically I ended up having three episodes of off sick within a short period, even though it was all the same illness. According to the then rules I had therefore been off sick too often so was put on ‘special measures’. Everyone knew what had happened, but the rules ruled. I was pretty p....d off, as it wouldn’t have happened if I had not tried to go back to work. This was in a local authority. I think some rules are quite bullying! It is not good!

As for using either pf or inhaler in any area in the office, whether empty or not, or in front of everyone, how on earth can that be unprofessional? That company need a training sessions, or at least those managers!

so I had a gp phone me back today even though I saw one tuseday. I wasn't feeling well at all this morning. so go phoned and I got an instant appointment great only had to wait a few hours but id be sat upright on the sofa distracting myself and I had got evening to a semi ok station not good but it wasnt getting worse proved I didn't do anything this enclosed cloughing or sneezing. so I explained to the gp I'd not seen before as best as I could after my 5mim walk to the surgery I littrally managed two words at a time if I was lucky.

she listened to my chest and said no sound of Infection which was good and I'd recently used my blue so my wheezing was far less and my stat where bad I was tacky +100bpm and resps high for me this is my asthma to a t.

she had put me back on my 200/6 fostair and a 5 day course of prednisolone the last course I was on was a 7day one 5 weeks ago.

she said I'd be feeling relief in a few hours and I explained that's when I wa due at work so she just said see how you feel and to call back if I'm getting worse or call 999.

by 1.30pm I'd manged to successfully have a little walk out side before heading off to work I was Indeed feeling great relief of my chest and my breathing was calmer. because I ate jam on toast just to have a steroids. I'd finally eaten to which probably have one a good dose of energy.

i have say its 9. 46pm and im still chest crushing pain free and no dodgy breathing but i am feeling a few symptoms coming back for instance my chest had started to ache since Ive been in bed.

thank you to everyone who has supported me today!

oh i spoke to my DM and explained that's I'd been to the drs and got more meds that's seem to help and I told them I was fearful of my job. basically Imthey seem happy that's ive been nack to the drs but I honestly don't know where is stand because asthma just dose not stay hidden when it's good it's good but I can't live in steroid tablets for ever to suit them.

update- last night was terrible. After feeling alot better after the steroids....about 12/1am I was woken by very sharp pain in left lung and then the very fimilar tightening feeling in chest and then the breathing started up and i just thought "here we bloody go" it's didn't develop any more but left me extremely uncomfortable and unable to sleep for obvious reasons. even with me slightly raised shoulder ect. which made no difference.

so i took all my meds again th is morning plus my steroids all 8tabs. headed of out to check my horse and with the idea the steroids would make me feel good again and in fact I might ride. but what actually happened is I feel nearly exactly how I felt before seeing the gp yesterday before the steroids. I've never relapse with symptoms on my steroids before so I'm a bit concerned about what I do next?

Oh how awful that you are feeling this way. I will tell you though if you work for any emergency service they are not the best. I was a police officer and after one if my boughts of a bad chest infection and then I was in hospital I was reported for bad attendance I took it personally and very unprofessional of them! They even reported a friend who had too much time off for having cancer so with those guys you will never win. But stick in there. Don’t let them bully you

Regarding medication I would let them treat you for an infection and keep taking the 4 puffs. Keep on montelukast and If you are using the inhalers inc the blue one you will cough up more.

Don’t get anxiety about anything as it will make you worse and o believe work is doing that to you.

I’m no professional but been an asthmatic 20 years and worked for 35 yrs so it just an opinion. I do hope you feel better soon

You are not in a good situation at work. The next time you have a back to work interview you should take someone with you - a line manager or, better still, a union rep if you are in a union. Everything should be written down. If they refuse to let you have anyone in to support you, say you must have their advice - that you are not up to the job - written down.

It is difficult to say much more as I don't know what job it is you do, but you could try finding what your rights are for this kind of employment. Your HR office should be able to help.

Small companies are the hardest to deal with but asthma is included under disability discrimination and your employers need to take reasonable account of that. If they have a personnel department you might ask for their policies with regard to disabilty or occupational health issues.

Do you know if any allergies such as dust mites aggravate the asthma? You have certain rights with regard to work and they need to know you will not be bullied.

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