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Author Topic: Losing Hours Again......  (Read 1154 times)

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Offline bramblef

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Losing Hours Again......
« on: July 24, 2012, 12:31:24 AM »
For the first time this week (three times last week) a client brought shellfish into the home I work in. Last week I got a large rash on my arm when the pot with Chinese food touched the part of my arm not covered by long gloves in the kitchen.

This time it was crab salad-

I had to switch houses again. This is getting very frustrating. I had to be very forward and direct and practically demand a change as my House Manager thought that since it had not been eaten  I could be ok for the 8 hour shift. My allergy is very severe and even touching it can cause anaphalaxis.

I don't know what to do next. Diagnosis gets confirmed tomorrow as Test results should be back.  We have a list of questions for the allergist about a page long. 

As for the work accommodation, I am hoping that having it official helps- but they have not been helpful in working with me. I was told that perhaps this was not the right job for me anymore as I have to deal with cooking meals/food.  I informed them that if I would have known earlier about it, I would not have sought out a job requiring me to do so, but that as this is the situation they need to work with me per the ADA. (That comment got me a very dirty look >:( )

I'm not sure what else I can do.... I already wear gloves my entire shift, bring and prepare my own food, don't grocery shop while at work or visit restaurants with clients, and not attend cook-outs parties planned for the clients... (this one stinks... as I have to tell my favorite clients I cannot attend their birthday parties when I get a personal invite...)

Offline starlight

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 09:26:04 AM »
I hate to say this, because I know how badly this sucks personally, but there are just some jobs now that you will not be able to do.

Yes, FA is a disability under the ADA. However, what if you were a door-to-door mail person and were in a car accident and lost the use of your legs? You can't ask everyone on your route to install ramps over their stairs. Personally I had to quit an amazing job due to exercise-induced asthma and the abundance of stairs and temperature changes. There were no elevators and nothing they could do. It's not fair, I cried, I'm still upset about it. but it is what it is.

The key is reasonable accommodations. If you were in an office and food was not a part of your job and it was other peoples' lunches that were a problem, then that's reasonable. If your job is working in a kitchen? Being able to handle the food is a job requirement. Getting you gloves is reasonable. Eliminating a food that has always been there from a kitchen or someone else's home when they've hired you to be there? I'm not entirely sure how well that's going to fly. If I had someone coming into my home, I'd try my best to be accommodating and try to cater to their allergies and clean up for them and wash things after I eat and touch things, but only because I already have an allergy and I get it. Most people aren't going to go through that kind of fuss in their own home unless they're in love with them. Just not going to happen.

Offline bramblef

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 11:15:12 AM »
I completely agree and am looking for something new. But in the meantime have to stay where I am to pay the bills and deal with it all. It's just nice to vent sometimes :)

Funny enough- all my RAST testing came back negative for crab, shrimp, clams, lobster and tuna.  Yet, I have had two anaphalactic reactions requiring ER care.  We do skin testing on Friday, but I am not sure what to do if that comes back negative too...


Offline bramblef

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 11:27:37 AM »
I work in an Adult Family home with developmentally disabled adults.  If we had a client with the allergy the food would be completely eliminated as it is our policy. We would just need to apply for a waiver from DHS.  For Staff they are telling me they cannot do the same- which I am struggling to understand.

I have some new job leads, but hope that I can get something soon.

 


Offline CMdeux

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 11:28:40 AM »
RAST isn't necessarily very accurate.  People with very low RAST values can be allergic.

If your skin test also comes back negative (and you MAY want a "fresh" sample alongside the prepared SPT extracts just to be certain), then you may need to consider doing an in-office food challenge.  Negative results on skin testing are at least 95% accurate, but that does leave some room for error, if you KWIM.  History trumps testing, but in this case, you really, REALLY need the documentation from your phsyician, so the food challenge might well be worth it.  Just make absolutely certain that they can manage anaphylaxis.

If that comes out "not allergic" then you'll need to start looking further at other possible triggeres (preservatives, toxins, environmental exposures, etc), or disorders that can mimic anaphylaxis.

One step at a time, though.
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 11:37:24 AM »
Let me preface this by stating up front that I am not an attorney.

I think that what it comes down to under ADA is fundamental nature.  Practices, policies, and procedures can/should be altered to accommodate disability... but ONLY to an extent which:

a) grants the disabled person equivalent ACCESS, (ie-- not "the same" necessarily)

b) does not impact the fundamental nature of the activity, goods, or services being provided or performed (so you can't make a college class "food free" if it has a CULINARY focus, and you can't necessarily force a rock-climbing center to make modifications so that a quadriplegic can fully participate), and

c) does not impose an unreasonable burden (logistically or financially-- see rock-climbing center).

I strongly encourage you to call the Department of Justice's hotline re: ADA to get some help sorting this.  Find out which part of ADA applies to your employer, and find out what they are obliged to do given that your disabling condition isn't temporary, and is new.


It will probably be in your (temporary) best interests to advocate for serving clients who either also have food allergies to fish/shellfish (about 2% of adults do, btw),  and/or to verify that contact causes systemic reactions (with your allergist).
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline SweetandSour

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Re: Losing Hours Again......
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 12:12:41 PM »
My initial tests for nuts came back negative.  That was so frustrating! But my doctor was like, don't eat them;you obviously have issues with it, so don't think a negative means you are in the clear!  Like I was gonna try that again!!!

No advice work wise, just  :grouphug:

I hope everything works out ok for you.
Allergic to: Peanuts, Tree nuts, Mango, Robitussin, Acetaminophen

U.S.A.

Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.
~George Carlin