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Author Topic: Full time college student, Kidney Failure, Dialysis, etc  (Read 1649 times)
mister2509
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« on: February 18, 2016, 04:43:32 PM »

 :waving; Hey everyone,
My name is Ike, 19 and on dialysis. I've been on dialysis since November 2013. Oh yeah... right in the middle of my first semester of college. Long story, short: I knew i would be on dialysis eventually. I had a PUV at birth that wasn't detected early enough and damaged my kidneys. I've been lurking on the forums since i started dialysis and I have got a lot of useful advice and information from a lot of posts on here.
So why am i coming out of the shadows now?

I'm in my junior year(Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science) now and i feel like i finally have a nice balance with being on dialysis and being a full-time college student and i started searching for a part-time job.

I actually started last summer. I applied at my local family dollar and recieved a call back. He said i was "just what he was looking for" and i should come in for an interview and a drug test.

I was obviously really excited but then i thought "Oh wait... I don't make any urine." "Not a problem. I'll just call him back up and explain the situation. That shouldn't be a problem!" When i told him the situation and told him i would be requiring a drug test, he told me there was nothing he could do for me and literally hung up on me. I felt so sad that i actually began to cry right there at my dialysis center(I was 18 and I felt rejected for something i had absolutely no control of... don't judge me).

So anyway I started my job search again and as at right now I've received a callback from Subway(Sandwich artist) and i seem to be at the same road block with subway. They require a drug test. I have been as vaguely open(hehehe) about my condition with them(I don't like to let my situation define me) and they seem to really want to help me but i feel their hands are tied.

Is this going to be my life now?? I'd love to get some of your advice and/or stories on your similar situations and how you handled them.

Thanks a lot! I know its a lot to read but I'd really appreciate it!
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Rerun
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 05:23:42 PM »

Hello Ike and welcome to IHD.  You are too young to have to endure this.  Is a transplant in you future? 

If you call the drug test place and tell them you don't make urine they will clip some hair off your head and if you are bald they go for the armpits and probably further..... I don't know that aspect.  But, They took six tiny clips close to the roots of my head of hair.  They can test that for drugs.

Good luck and thank you for joining us.

Welcome - Rerun, Admin.   :welcomesign;
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 05:59:26 PM »

A real drug test is not done with urine.  I was a systems admin at a federal site and was required to pass a drug test, that test done every year was with a collected sample of my hair.  Since you are a dialysis patient the ADA requires reasonable accomidations for the disabled and a hair test would be a reasonable accomidation.  The law is on your side feel better and call the state labor department and complain.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 06:04:12 PM »

The failure to provide an alternate form of drug test is a violation of ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act), as it would he hard to argue that doing so is not a "reasonable accommodation" (provided your dialysis does not prevent you from being able to do the job).

I understand you are 18, in college, and probably don't have a lot of experience fighting bureaucracies.   It's one of my specialties (I have at least a half dozen cases in federal court now).    I can tell you from experience that few things are as satisfying as watching the state send your attorney a five digit check for legal fees, and then having the attorney refund your legal fees (this happened to me in three cases that were not based on a contingency fee as yours probably would be),  and have state modify its policies because you fought in court.  (though I have never hired an attorney to bring an ADA case)

Stop thinking "I will reason with the hiring manager" and start thinking of this as a chess game where you have to think several moves ahead - as in "They will accommodate me or it will cost them many thousands in legal fees and an anti-discrimination settlement."  Think jury trial.

You need to do a better job of preparing your case.  A call to the employer explaining things won't cut it.  Don't discuss urination, alternate samples, etc, with the employer.  Simply ask "where do I report for the drug test".   It will generally be an independent medical clinic or lab collection station.   Report, on time, and tell the clinic staff you don't make urine, but can offer blood, hair or anything else they want to test.  They will either do it; tell you to come back; or refuse.   In any case, make sure there is a record of your visit and try to get some paper.  If they won't give you paper, take down names of the staff involved.   Remember, if you are denied the job, your attorney will be subpoenaing records from the test center and deposing the person who refused you a "reasonable accommodation".

Your medical situation is not the employer's business.   Any medical specifics should remain between you and the drug test company, which will report "passed" or "tested positive for prohibited drugs".

Also, when going to the test center, have a letter from your MD certifying that you do not make urine, and give them to this one the way in.  Tell the center you are requesting a "reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act".

Then, follow up with the employer on the job offer.  Take careful notes - who you talked to, time, etc.  Record the phone call if legal in your jurisdiction.

Then, contact your states anti-discrimination agency (if there is one - in my state the agency is MCAD - Mass Commission Against Discrimination - and business would prefer an IRS audit to an MCAD case).     If there is no such agency, or they give you the brush off, find an attorney to bring an action.  If it's a big chain, you should be able to get a contingency fee attorney to take the case.

Remember - take notes about EVERYTHING, document EVERYTHING, take names, and kick ass through the legal system. By reporting to the test center, you are documenting both your willingness to be tested and any possible refusal to make an ADA required "Reasonable accommodation".

Despite your lack of good planning/documentation, a good attorney might be able to extract a settlement from Family Dollar that exceeds anything you could make part time in a year.    Get thee to a lawyer and find out.

Quote
I've received a callback from Subway(Sandwich artist) and i seem to be at the same road block with subway. They require a drug test. I have been as vaguely open(hehehe) about my condition with them(I don't like to let my situation define me) and they seem to really want to help me but i feel their hands are tied.
This is bullshit, since Subways are a franchise operation and the manager can make it happen.   It's in the category of "gee, I would love to help, but I wrote a policy memo to myself prohibiting myself from doing so, so there is nothing I can do".   Well, write a policy memo to yourself that you litigate anyone who tries to F you over on employment because you don't piss.

Quote
A real drug test is not done with urine.
Many "real drug tests" are indeed done with urine.  Some places prefer hair because it is less invasive (no need to supervise urination to make sure you don't get a substitute sample), and it has a longer look-back period that urine.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 06:16:55 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
mister2509
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 10:05:31 PM »

Your medical situation is not the employer's business.   Any medical specifics should remain between you and the drug test company, which will report "passed" or "tested positive for prohibited drugs".

You know this is exactly what i thought! I am going to do exactly this with Allsups. I kind of already blew it with Subway.
And can i just say WOW! Thanks a whole lot Simon Dog for the very detailed information. I really appreciate it! As far as suing and pursuing legal action, right now I just want to focus on getting my degree. My education is number 1 before anything else(Well except my health). When the time comes I most definitely will if need arises. Cheers!

Also, yes Rerun a transplant is in my future. I'm on a waiting list. Been called once already, wasn't a match. And maybe i am a tad too young to be dealing with this but you know what, I am good. I am way past the "dealing" and the "why me", I'm just trying to go on with my life as normal as i can with kidney failure, hard as it may be(AND IT IS HARD!).
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 12:49:43 AM »

The reason I don't believe in urine testing is the many false positives that occur from most forms of urine testing. One of my fellow admins suffered from a strange medical condition  no hair.  He was given a multi page list of things not to do prior to his urine test. Weird things like nothing with poppy seeds (show up as heroin) , no  Peptobismal (shows up as cocaine) . Urine testing as used by most employers is done on the cheap and is just a poor screening tool. 
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iolaire
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 05:37:52 AM »

Welcome, I'm glad to see you are still a student and are looking for a job.  I'm a firm believe that as long as your health allows you a normal life you should live it and not fall back to a life on disability unless you need to.  That disability check might look like a bit of money but it will not be in a few years when your college friends graduate and start doubling their salary with promotions over the years.
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Transplant July 2017 from out of state deceased donor, waited tree weeks the creatine to fall into expected range, dialysis December 2013 - July 2017.

Well on dialysis I traveled a lot and posted about international trips in the Dialysis: Traveling Tips and Stories section.
Simon Dog
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 10:54:36 AM »

Quote
As far as suing and pursuing legal action, right now I just want to focus on getting my degree. My education is number 1 before anything else(Well except my health). When the time comes I most definitely will if need arises. Cheers!
The beautiful thing about contingency fee litigation is that the attorney does 99% of the work while you go on with your life.
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 06:48:42 PM »

The one good thing about the it field is most of the companies will make it possible to work around dialysis.  With the right equipment I feel most it jobs can be done during dialysis.  If you can work from home, you can work from the center.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 07:26:30 PM »

If you can work from home, you can work from the center.
Not necessarily.

FMC censors the internet (I cannot access several companies I consult for without using hacks to bypass the filtering), and also blocks many ports which could interfere with VPN access.

Quote
As far as suing and pursuing legal action, right now I just want to focus on getting my degree.
Money is the engine that fuels the pursuit of the degree.

If a company as f'ed with the ADA, you might get enough of a payoff to avoid the necessity for any student loans (if you have them)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 07:28:04 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 11:37:53 PM »

Right and as I stated with the right equipment you can work from your center, with a laptop with a LTE access you don't use the center wifi.  I carried that type of access for the last several years that I worked. Prior to that I had 3G access. I worked on UNIX systems and rarely used a graphic interface.  I was a UNIX system programmer for AT&T from 1978 through 2004.
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cassandra
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 05:08:18 AM »

Welcome to the site Mister2509

     :welcomesign;


Take care, Cas
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I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
Charlie B53
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 08:29:36 AM »


Welcome to IHD.  Always glad to hear that you have already learned much from postings here.

Simon Dog's response was GREAT!   We should think about a way of marking such informative posts as he is so it may be easily found by others as i'm sure this is and has already happened to many others and most just give in and let it drop.

You have GOT TO stand up for yourself.  If you don't then the 'system' fails you.  Learn to use the system to your advantage.  That is why the ADA was passed, to help those that or otherwise cast aside.

Good luck, with documentation it is almost a slam dunk.

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Simon Dog
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 03:47:32 PM »

Right and as I stated with the right equipment you can work from your center, with a laptop with a LTE access you don't use the center wifi.  I carried that type of access for the last several years that I worked. Prior to that I had 3G access. I worked on UNIX systems and rarely used a graphic interface.  I was a UNIX system programmer for AT&T from 1978 through 2004.
I've done some basis sysadmin and coding from the chair using a Verizon wireless doohickie, however, I found it hard to do any really complex code in that environment.  But, I did use it to prepare for home hemo by writing my data tracking application in the chair, which I used with great success until I was issues a NxStage nx2me iPad.
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Fabkiwi06
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 02:29:06 PM »

Woo another youngster!  :thumbup; nothing like dealing with dialysis and learning how to be an adult at the same time!

Welcome!
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surprise kidney failure - oct. 2015
emergency hemo - oct. 2015
switched to pd - dec. 2015
transplant list - apr. 2016
Vt Big Rig
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2016, 04:11:57 AM »

Welcome to the site young man.

IMHO you should follow up on Simon Dogs advice. I can understand not making waves but eventually you will have to. You have to be able to make a living. Disability is certainly not enough to live on.
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VT Big Rig
Diagnosed - October 2012
Started with NxStage - April 2015
6 Fistula grams in 5 months,  New upper fistula Oct 2015, But now old one working fine, until August 2016 and it stopped, tried an angio, still no good
Started on new fistula .
God Bless my wife and care partner for her help
Simon Dog
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 09:22:25 AM »

A wise lawyer once told me "what you tolerate, you validate".

If you don't fight back, you are validating discrimination against the anurinc.
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2016, 12:34:34 PM »

More important he has chosen a profession that will allow him the flexibility to deal with this disease and the ability to earn a decent living.  In my last job 90 percent of the organization I worked in worked from home.  This means that he can if he chooses work during dialysis.  Many of the tech industry players have moved support people to work from home slots.  This benefits both the employee and the employer.  If this person is not transplanted before graduation this training should stand him in good stead in finding a good job. I was a IT worker from 1974 through 2014. It was a great time. I loved every minute of it.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2016, 01:11:34 PM »

I was a IT worker from 1974 through 2014. It was a great time. I loved every minute of it.
My regular IT employment was 1980 - 2016.  It was interesting to see the evolution of not only the technology, but the work patterns as the internet made distributed work (both work at home and export your job to India) more feasable.
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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2016, 04:55:20 PM »

It's not only India but I had a job in a bid telecom that required a security clearance, after I was let go in 2004 I heard that despite the security required that job was moved to a Eastern European country.  It's even worse I read that Disney out sourced its support work, hired a Indian company, had the Americans train their replacements then had the work done locally by the Indians. Never go to Disney again.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2016, 06:03:42 PM »

True about Indian outsourcing, however, I don't know too many people who will tell their clinic "Sure, it would be fine if you could surcharge me instead for domestic products instead of using needles from Singapore; line sets from Mexico; antibiotics from Croatia; alcohol wipes from China and syringes from China."

The mantra is "please pay more to buy domestic; excuse me, I need to get to Harbor Freight before closing time to buy some cheap tools".
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 06:04:52 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
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