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  • Travel for work

    I am recently diagnosed with ESRF and expect to start dialysis soon. Needless to say, I'm quite anxious. We've not settled on a dialysis type yet but will more than likely start with HD or HHD. One of my biggest anxieties is the fact that I travel for work, most often by plane. I have the ability to work from home most of the time but at least once per month (often twice) need to travel to a different location. My trips are often planned just a week or two in advance. Can anyone offer some suggestions or experience with this. Thanks.

  • #2
    Yes-talk to your HR director, and let him/her know that you will need greater warning to set up dialysis where you are going, or else to cut back on the travel.

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    • #3
      Hello ksaab31,

      I elected HHD and began hemodialysis with HHD training while remaining employed full time. I apprised my manager that I would not be able to travel during the 5 week training period, but would be able to travel for up to 3 days provided I returned by no later than 6:00 pm on the third business day, unless that day was Friday, in which case I return as late as 8:00 pm.

      My HHD weekly treatment schedule required 5 treatments and allowed a maximum of two consecutive days without treatment. I was able to support short notice travel provided I was only gone for up to 3 days. As an example of a short notice trip, I came into work on a Tuesday morning around 7:00 am and was told I would have to book a flight to depart that afternoon/early evening. My manager permitted me to go home, conduct my HHD treatment (my 3rd treatment for the week together with Sunday and Monday) with time to catch a plane in the early to mid afternoon. I was able to work on site Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, arriving home Friday evening to conduct my 4th treatment of the week and finished the treatment week on Saturday.

      Until I started conducting nocturnal HHD treatments, I treated Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every week and took my days off during the work week, e.g. Tuesday, Thursday.. This schedule wrecked all my weekend evenings, but set me up for most anything my job would throw at me during the work week.that might require short notice travel of three days or less.

      Short notice travel was exceptional and generally costly from a travel arrangements perspective, with two week or longer notice preferred to obtain more cost effective airfare. When I was given advance notice of several weeks or more I could have my HHD clinic's social worker arrange an afternoon treatment at a DaVita in-center clinic near the work location. Those appointments were not easy to obtain, as most centers have regular patients and all seats are taken. It helped if I was working in a large metro area with many centers, e.g. Denver, Kansas City, providing plenty of options for 3:00 pm treatment start times..

      I conducted several one week long trips that were planned months in advance where my social worker had NxStage Medical arrange shipment of a week's worth of premix dialysate and cartridges for the NxStage System One Cycler, which I would transport along with needed treatment supplies, e.g. needles, saline, gauze, etc to the hotel.

      I was fortunate to be capable of conducting nocturnal HHD treatments for week long trips, conducting treatments from Sunday through Thursday while I slept, leaving the full business day and evenings open. My care partner/spouse played an essential role in these on the road/in the hotel week long trips. I supported one way drives of up to 15 hours for these trips, making sure that I was on the road for all available daylight to minimize driving fatigue..

      ESRD patients on dialysis are disabled, and that disabled status affords them "reasonable accommodation" so they can perform their work. The travel limitations that I have detailed above would constitute reasonable accommodations. Make certain that at a minimum, your manager is aware of your travel limitations, as well as any other limitations that may affect your availability for work.

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