One step forward, two steps back - Asthma UK communi...

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One step forward, two steps back


Well, after reducing prednisolone from 40 to 20mg, then having to go back to 25mg as my peak flow dropped, I’m now back on 30mg for at least one or two weeks! The gp has spoken to the respiratory team at the hospital and they say they wouldn’t do anything different at the moment ☹️.

On top of that, my school have started emailing me to say that I should return to work on the 8th of March as ‘they’ve heard that I’ve had my first dose of the vaccine’. I’ve sent them the new shielding letter and told them that, in any case, the gp says I would need a new occupational health report before returning. I’m waiting to see how school responds, before contacting the union again if necessary

Big sigh!

27 Replies

Oh no to the pred but let that do its job.

Your work make me very cross. It's not for them to decide what your vaccine means! Well done for passing on the letter.

TeachKat in reply to twinkly29

👍 Not unexpected, but wearisome! If I could only get some sleep, I might feel more up to dealing with this again- grr!

Here we go again. Your work 😡😡😡 are so naughty. You are shielding until at least 31st march end off. The guidelines are very clear on that even after our vaccines. And given the school scenario they need the 5 weeks to see "what happens" it's clearly not safe for you until after that I should think which I'm sure your union would support!!!! X

Yep - I was expecting it ! But, really - it’s not a hard situation to understand- you’d think!

Gosh your school want to make things difficult don’t they.It is VERY clear we are to shield until end of March (which may be extended) . This includes those who have been inoculated. And also includes those who have had both jabs.

Until we get information to the contrary this is what they must follow. They (& you) could find yourself in a tricky situation if you returned to work and something happened even if not Covid related. Any insurance could say you weren’t meant to be there in the first place!

Pipsqueak77 in reply to Bevvy

Can I just play devils advocate a bit here though... shielding is not legally binding it is only advisory.. 🤷‍♂️That’s not to say I don’t agree with you not wanting to go back but just be aware of the exact wording/meaning so that you have all bases covered.

Good Luck🤞 They do seem persistent!


Bevvy in reply to Pipsqueak77

Sorry but it’s not me that’s being asked to work. I am responding to Teachkat. I am fully aware not legally binding but someone can not be forced to return to work if they don’t want to. Or be made to feel guilty for not wanting to. Also any one in large government organisations NHS, Social services or in-this case Education should not be put in this position. The unions would not be happy.

When I was working I worked from home. Yes possibly difficult for organisation but I still worked.

Teachkat has long standing issues with her workplace and I don’t feel she is being treated fairly.

To state someone needs to return to work when they could be put at risk is unreasonable.

I am sure that in all this time they could have come across ways for her to work from home doing useful things - including teaching via zoom etc. This school just don’t seem to want to accommodate.

Like I say long standing issues with this school.

Pipsqueak77 in reply to Bevvy

I was just pointing out to TeachKat that shielding is not legally binding... so to make sure that she throughly investigates all the possible consequences of this if she takes on a fight with her employer... it was informative not judgemental!

Thank you - my thoughts exactly! If they push, I’m just going to hand it over to the union again.

Am just aware all things connected with insurance can be hard. It is vital you are covered. With travel insurance they do anything to avoid paying out. Eg break a leg but undisclosed previous heart attack they won’t pay! This is why I think if anything happened neither they or union could protect you because you weren’t meant to be there!!Hope school sees sense quickly. Also not impressed they emailing you because they have”heard” you have had first inoculation.... !!

Yes - the wording was a bit creepy!

Just not acceptable! I wouldn't wait to see what other pressure they put on you, I would just forward the email on to your union rep dealing with your case. You don't need the stress; asthma, pred, insomnia, covid are enough without work being idiots!! X

They certainly are!

Aw bless you, hope you start to feel better soon. You don’t need any extra stress from work 😟

TeachKat in reply to LeiLey

Thank you!

What a load of nonsense with your work. Sorry to hear you're back in the 30mg club - me too 😔

TeachKat in reply to Glty

Thank you, Glty - this is my second try at replying to you - I obviously forgot to click the reply button yesterday ! Yes - I really feel the side effects much more at 30mg - hate it! I hope you feel better soon and can reduce the dose - or are you stuck on 30mg long-term? ❤️

Glty in reply to TeachKat

Hmmm, "it's complicated". I've been on varying doses since early Jan but can't seem to get below 30 without things kicking off. To be fair, I'm finding 30mg alot better than 40 😉, I'm at least getting a little sleep since dropping down.

We did think I had an infection, slight temp and WCC and neutrophils were high (and still are) so was on antibiotics which helped but chest x-ray was clear and I've not got any mucus on my chest so can't get a sputum sample to see if I need more. Since temp is now normal GP doesn't want to give random antibiotics.

I finally have my referral appointment next week (discharged in Oct but referred straight back 2 weeks later for another flare) so hoping for some input/help 🤷🏻‍♀️

TeachKat in reply to Glty

That is complicated- I hope the appointment goes well and that you get something that helps🤞

Oh my days! Your work place is unbelievable!!! I would go with what Bevvy and mylungshateme say and go straight to your union now. I really don’t...and know the others would agree, want to see you in such an awful situation as last year and it causing the same stress for you as last time!! You are worth more than that!! Your workplace seem to have no respect for you and the unfortunate situation you (along with the other shielded ) are finding themselves in!

Have you ever made an official complaint? I’m guessing maybe not as for the time being you’re still employed by them& don’t want to make things worse for yourself.

Please keep us updated and remember you are worth looking after, being kept safe& being respected!

💕 Dee x

TeachKat in reply to madonbrew

Aah Dee, thank you for your lovely message, it really warms my heart! I am gradually losing patience with this nonsense. I’m trying not to let the thought into my brain, but I had a good talk with the gp today and had to admit that I need to feel a lot better/less ill before I can go back. He was very nice and said he would happily support whatever I need. I also spoke to an Asthma UK. nurse yesterday and she was shocked at the thought of me thinking about going back to work and said my health was ‘too fragile’ (!) to even think of it at the moment. I’m in denial about this at the moment, I think.

Rosemary x

100% agree xx

Hi Teachkat, I have just came across this and am disgusted. I am a teacher too, I have worked in good schools and bad schools and feel like it’s not until you work in the ‘good ‘ schools, that you realise how badly you were treated in the ‘bad’ schools.

It sounds like you are very poorly, regardless of Covid and lockdown etc you clearly should be off sick from school anyway. Teaching is impossible with ill-health. To add to this, Covid has happened making society dangerous for you at the moment! These are clear, simple facts and a good school would be fully supportive, caring, considerate, inclusive and empathetic about this.

To tell you that you could return due to having the vaccine is ludicrously simplistic, unrealistic and not taking into account the seriousness of both your illness and your shielding conditions.

They are in the wrong here. It sounds like you maybe a bit foggy, (not surprisingly due to your illness and medication) not realising how poorly you are and potentially not realising you’re rights and how they should treat you, it’s hard when it’s happening to yourself. But ftom one teacher to another- this does not sound right to me!

Please keep involving your unions, be clear with school and unions about the extend of your illness and medication. And above all- do not feel guilty, do not worry, you have done and are doing nothing wrong! Keep resting and recovering and let that school get on with it themselves. You are unavailable and that’s it!!

Good luck xx

Ps just to say I had insomnia on pred, I took Nytol or Lloyds own sleep aid.

I also have taken melatonin (used for jet lag)

Obviously these would need to be checked with pharmacist if there are any drug interactions with everything you are taking.

Or maybe ask your Gp if there is any sleeping help you can have prescribed.

Take care

TeachKat in reply to LRLR

How kind of you to respond! I really appreciate your support and understanding. More and more of us at my school are realising how ‘expendable ‘ we are. The stupid thing is that I am furloughed, thanks to the union, so not costing them any money and my lovely job share is happy to cover for me. I have worked at the school for 20 years and my own children went there so the attitude is all the more disappointing. I am coming to realise that I cannot go back until I am in a lot better health than I am at present- but I haven’t quite got my head round the implications- somewhat in denial and definitely fuzzy-headed from the medication and lack of sleep, no doubt!

Thanks again.

Arr, I really feel for you. That’s a long time to be there and the history with your own children makes it all the more wrenching for you when they behave like this.

Please try not to worry you really do not need the stress. Lack of sleep and being at home a lot makes everything seem ten times worse than it is.

That’s great you’re job share is covering everything so you don’t need to worry it’s covered. And sounds like the unions have done a good job too! If I were head I would be saying to you don’t worry about work, it’s all sorted get yourself better. That’s what should be happening. Honestly do not let them wined you up or annoy you, it’s just not worth it. They are in the wrong, not you.

Yes it does sound like you will be off for a while and that’s ok. The school need to accept it and be kind about it. We have loads of long term sickness at our large school- people with kidney stones, severe asthma, chrones disease loads of conditions mean people have to be off long term. One lady is off every winter with asthma and we support her. The most important things is to not worry, not feel guilty as you can’t do anything about it. It is what it is and if you need to be off and rest then that’s it. Do they expect you to go in and teach breathless and pass out in the class! I really struggle teaching sometimes with my breathing and that’s just mild asthma! I do understand what it’s like and you need to get yourself right.

Anyway sorry to go on! Just feel like you need support to know it’s ok to be off poorly no matter how long it takes. When the school is not supportive you may feel subconsciously like you’re in the wrong and pressurised to go in, but you are not in the wrong.

Feel so sorry for you not sleeping I really hope you can get some rest soon it will help you to heal.

Look after yourself x

TeachKat in reply to LRLR

Thank you - you’re very kind and comforting! Xx

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