Every disappointment has a reason

Hi all. Just thought I would share my experience with you all. Having being asthmatic with hay fever all my life I was diagnosed with COPD October 2013. The medical professionals have been wonderful; however my place of work has not.

At work, I am sat next to a fax machine, with a printer behind me and an air conditioning unit that blows very cold air to my right. This is the very environment I should not be in. Consequently, I have needed steroids and antibiotics practically every single month.

Over this last year, I have been assessed by the works occupational health 4 times, where they recommended I be moved away from the environment and especially the machines, yet still I was not. My sick leave has effectively being regular; where I have not a full month at work for a long time.

I have had my procedural meetings due to sick levels and not being at work, to the point I was given my notice to leave on the grounds of ill health capability this week.

This is the short version of what has been happening with me.

So the disappointment is having my work career cut short and the reason is that I can now focus on myself and health and try to stabilise my condition. Since the notice, the stress of not having to go back there after the end of this month has been lifted somewhat. It can only be onwards and upwards for now.

Have a good day all!

11 Replies

  • Wishing you the very best for the future - the stress will not have helped your condition at all. Lots of love TAD xx

  • What an unhelpful lot can't believe they would not try to help you.

    Anyway as you say onward and upward, hope all goes well and you will be feeling much better very soon.

    polly xx

  • Thank you Pollyjj

  • Hi EmAitch - I looked forward to finishing work too - it really did take its toll. Even though I had changed jobs and gone part-time it still proved to be too much - I found myslf getting up at 5am because it took me so long to get dressed and ready - and then after work I was spending my afternoon laying on the sofa too exhausted and weak to do anything. One suggestion I would make though - after a couple of days rest and catching up with yourself, do try and instigate a regular exercise routine -and a regular daily routine generally - otherwise we can so easily slide into sitting around for half the day whether online, reading, watching TV, or simply staring blankly into space in my case. This becomes a recipe for disaster - we go into a spiral of decline, losing muscle mass, becoming weak and progressively shorter of breath. I have seen it happen to so many COPD'ers and so easily.

    If you can, get into the mind frame of 'working for you and your health' - it sounds like you already have! Learn everything you can about living with your conditions, have a regular walking plan 5 or more days a week all year round - whether at home on a treadmill or out and about - along with any other exercise you might enjoy. If you are starting very small and can only walk 20 yards thats fine - just make sure you do 21 yards the next day, 22 the day after etc... in next to no time you will be doing miles and breathing better etc. It also helps to set goals that appeal to you so that you can work towards them - whether it's walking a mile by the end of the year or doing the great wall of china lol.

    Another thing to busy yourself with is looking at your home and considering how you can make it work for you - eg. are the most frequently used items in your kitchen / bedroom etc easily accessible at a height that doesn't require too much bending down? Is there anything you can do to make home life more pleasant and workable for you? Do you need a shower or bath stool, would a hand rail help etc.

    In addition to the above it pays to look into hobbies / interests that you always meant to get around too - or new ones - particularly some that you can continue through winter months or when you are not feeling so well - also it creates a contrast and balance to all that exercise! For me it was learning the ukelele and doing a number of home study courses. For others it may be painting, craftwork, writing poetry - the list is endless.

    So you see - you may be 'retiring' in the conventional sense - but in reality you have everything to work for and it can benefit you and enrich your life. Some of us even find ourselves enjoying life more than ever before. So good luck with your 'retirement', and long may you enjoy it! Vanessa :)

  • Thank you Vanessa. I had already got plans for my future. I am not even going to think about work of any type for at least the rest of this year. I have little projects that I will keep busy with. My main goal is to try and keep off steroids one month at a time. I bought a guitar last year, so that is one to learn ( by ear - as I cannot read music..lol). I do my daily walks and refuse to do a large amount of shopping. Each day means I have to go and get something. Thanks

  • I would seek some advice about your dismissal as they have not followed the recommendations by the occupational health to support you being at work, they have an obligation to help you be at work by making reasonable changes, try and speak to someone :)

  • This made me chuckle, but not at your expense Bryju124. Their obligation to help me following recommendations from OH, was to move me......6 ft back...that's right 6 ft back from where I was originally sitting. I have made an appointment to see the local CAB. Thanks

  • I hope that CAB help you and I can't see how moving you six foot back would help but they didn't do it did they, so that must give you some leverage surely? Hope all goes well for you though :)

  • I would agree with this comment,

  • Hi

    I toohad to take a lot of sick time from work. However, my line manager was wonderful. I have a window seat and a fan & my co-workers couldn't be more helpful. Fortuantely I have a Blue Badge so can drive to work. I work 4 days a week 28 hours in all.

    Also since Febrary '14 have been on oxygen for 15 plus at 0.5 litres. I believe that should think about taking them to an insdustrial tribunal for unfair dismissal. I

    All the best

  • As an update, I was dismissed from work due to ill health at the end of July. Since then I have been informed by my union rep that management DOES NOT have to follow OH recommendations because that is all they are....recommendations. Why wasn't I told this during meetings?

    Pray, tell me why they have a medical department, if recommendations do not have to be followed!

    Anyway, I have had an episode since then, however, I am feeling much more calmer despite this, as I can focus more on me. Some days I feel more 'wheezy' than others, but I know the air pollution and temperature has a lot to do with it.

    I currently receive ESA and awaiting the assessment. My only anxiety around this assessment, is if I am having a 'good' day, will this go against me receiving the benefits I should be getting. Time will tell I guess.

    Happy Monday people, if you are reading this you are breathing, albeit laboured. Have a good one

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