Have I proceeded correctly?

  1. I just had a positive test for Alcohol. I didn't drink.

    I'm almost 3 years in to a 5 year contract in Fl's IPN.

    I'm not a delicate flower. I didn't dissolve into tears, I was LIVID. Immediately upon hearing what she had to say, I asked for a pEth test. I was told 'no' and that the protocol for a positive etoh is to test specimen B of the split screen and go for an eval. I have NEVER in my entire LIFE tested positive for alcohol. Alcohol is just not my thing and never was.

    I told her I would think about it and hung up on her! Immediately I got my own order for a pEth test and self urine tested, just for overkill. I have support systems in place and discussed all of this with my group, we met the same night for our regular weekly group. I kept raging and got a lot of good feedback on how to keep this in perspective and to remember that it was my actions that put me here. That helped me, because despite how angry I am, staying in a 'victim' spot is never a good choice for me.

    I've been at this long enough so that although I do carry a degree of guilt and shame, I don't let it keep me from standing up for myself when I truly feel something is not right. One of the suggestions I got from my group was to go ahead and have the split screen tested. I was operating with the notion that if I hadn't drank, it must be contamination. And if they retested, would they use a second specimen to try and hang me. Then I learned about 'incidental' exposure. And I had taken Apple Cider Vinegar for joint pain and inflammation. There is no ALCOHOL listed on the label. A friend of mine in group had tested positive for etoh in treatment from red wine vinegar. I contacted my case manager who always very kind ( she's not the one I hung up on ) and deposited the additional $55 dollars in Affinity to cover the cost of the split screen. Spent $249 in less than 24 hours attempting to prove my innocence.

    I was told later to do any test I wanted, no test result from this point on was going to negate a positive etoh. Which is fine. I'm not looking to negate the positive, I'm looking to establish a 'look back' through a pEth so that the time the specimen was submitted is surrounded by other days, before and after. If I didn't act then, that time would elapse and it would be easier for them to try and say I'm drinking. And, I'm in the process of setting up the eval. They will request a hair test, another pEth, fingernail and urine. That is all a ok. I am one of the fortunate that can withstand the cost of anything they throw at me. And I'm convinced that's what it takes.

    I had an email war going. I asked them why it took 8 days to report a positive urine? Weren't they supposed to be protecting the public from me? I asked them what has my urine been doing for 8 days, fermenting? After that last message, I was given THAT day only to retest the rescreen. I didn't get the message till 6pm. So, I missed the window. What was my urine doing for 8 days? Why did it take them so long to notify a nurse who had a positive for etoh? I could've been on an 8 day bender! I wasn't, but that's beside the point. And, they wanted to retest the same urine. Something is weird about this.

    I'm in the process of setting up the eval. I started calling THAT day, the person in my area has yet to return my phone call. So, I'll probably have to go a city away. It's impossible to do this stuff quickly. Then, once I get an appointment, I have to give IPN 72 business hours to fax the info to the person I selected. SO glad I had that pEth test done myself, mind you. Time is ticking away... Time to let them look back during the time the positive screen was collected.

    Can you think of anything else I can do to be proactive? I do not mind being tested, I do not mind another evaluation. But I would be devastated if I lost my time in monitoring. I would like to say here that the person who is my full time case manager is very kind. Just the battle axe who covered for her on her day off was not and I gave as well as I got. The way I see it is, I'm required to comply. There is nothing in my contract that implies I'm a whipping boy. So, I stood up for myself and I always come out swinging.
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  2. Visit Persephone Paige profile page

    About Persephone Paige, RN

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 213; Likes: 626

    105 Comments

  3. by   catsmeow1972
    I think you've done what you can do. I honestly wonder what it is with these people when this sort of thing happens and they seem to think that there is something wrong with the person for being upset. Really???
    I long ago resigned myself to having to do this charade for the assigned amount of time and I'll follow the rules to a T, but like you, nothing in that pile of trash called a contract says I have to submit to abuse. Supposedly (another pearl out of the participant manual) we have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Does some battle axe of a covering case manager need to be reminded of that?
    If, after all of this, multiple testings, evaluations, etc, with questionable handling of that first specimen etc. they want to try some bull like extending your contract, I would be finding myself a good lawyer. You've done too much for too long to rebuild for it to flame out over these people's stupidity.
    PS...I personally think your anger is justified and you've shown considerable restraint. The advent of cell phones makes hanging up on someone so much less satisfying than slamming the phone down.
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah I think your anger is justified. I'm glad that you got testing done to dispute any claims that you drank. I'm gonna agree with Cats & I'm pretty sure these butt-heads are going to try and mess with you in some fashion. I hope you have the resources to get a good BON lawyer and fight these idiots. Good Luck!!!!
  5. by   Persephone Paige
    Appreciate the input, cats and spanked. I signed on to Affinity and the urine test I submitted yesterday is already back, it's negative. I have this entire line of beautiful negatives, a positive ( now reads submitted for retest ) and then a negative. No sketchy abnormals... I was going to use that if a potential employer ever wanted to see my record of negatives. I still can't figure out how a 'positive' took so long to post. I also discovered that apparently they went ahead and submitted the 2nd specimen for screening. Thank goodness... I wrote Affinity to request the exact ng/ml of the positive. Fingers crossed that it was a mistake instead of ingestion of something not alcoholic beverage in nature, but still showing etg signature. God, this is awful. I swear I have PTSD.
  6. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    We will all have life-long nightmares of this BS
  7. by   catsmeow1972
    I've always wondered why they do a split specimen if they have to be prompted to do anything with the second one. What is that second one for anyway?
    Also from what you were saying about 'it not being good to stay in a victim spot' reminds me of two things. One- you stood up for yourself because you did not allow them to run roughshod over you so to me that's not being a victim. Perspective, my tuchas! After clawing your way out of the hole that you long since came to terms with having dug your self into, I am of the opinion that you have every right to be angry. Two- I have spent enough time in various nurse "support" groups and Whatever anonymous meetings (intentionally being a wallflower) as well as around (by force) people who may or may not be 'in recovery' to figure out that all this recovery stuff easily gets twisted so that it can be boiled down to one thing: that is if you are having problems (be it anger over something like this or anything else) you are not working hard enough at your own recovery, therefore it is your fault and if you have the cojones to stand up for yourself over this, your are playing the victim. In short, any error from anyone else is your own fault. That only makes sense in the world of monitoring where the 12 steps are gospel and no program is willing to admit they might be overstepping thier boundaries.
    Now that my morning rant is over, do you know if they are going to make you puke up the $1000 for another useless evaluation?
  8. by   Ash2213
    This is pretty much my worst nightmare come true and I truly feel for you. I think in light of everything, you have proceeded correctly and firmly. Stick to your guns. Something is weird. Did they tell you if it is ETOH or the actual ETG/ETS showing up positive? I think you did the right thing getting a PeTH as well, I would have done the same. I am offering you all my support from afar. It is SO ridiculous that we use UDS testing that has so many flaws. I mean, read the SAMHSA guidelines for drug testing. These boards and programs are not following them!
    Please keep us posted, know I am rooting for you to knock them on their behinds.
  9. by   Persephone Paige
    Hey all...

    I heard from my case manager ( the normal one, not the fill in battle axe ) and the drug-screen specialist. I think I had mentioned before that they went ahead and sent the split screen in the absence of being able to talk to me. Which I am happy about. From my understanding, they split screen is taken for just these sorts on incidents. A positive comes back and the person who submitted the screen screams foul. From my investigation what should happen is the person gets a call from the MRO to ask about incidental exposure or legal prescriptions, in the case of a positive drug screen. We nurses don't get that. We get a 'positive' and a call from the case manager saying, "you are positive and you are refrained from practice." Okay, ( my mind processing the information ) what are my options? None... Your options are to pay $55 and have the split screen tested, go for an evaluation. And even if the split screen comes back positive, you still have to have your case evaluated by the medical director of IPN. The fill in case manager did not say that part. She said, 'even if it comes back positive you still have to have an evaluation.' THAT's when I hit the roof. I'm thinking I'm going to be sent to treatment ( cause that's what they do ), my time is going to be taken away from me, the whole 9 yards. And, I lost it on her.

    The conversation with my case manager went fine. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but speaking with another human who has an element of decorum can do wonders in this type situation. She confirmed that the split screen was sent off and that it takes time. She asked me if I wanted to wait until the results came back to set up my evaluation. I didn't. I can be on the books for an appointment waiting just as easily as I can be sitting at home with my thumb up my ass waiting. I don't need time for anything to clear out of my system, I didn't take anything. In this case, time is not my friend. I want to be barreling through the evaluators door the minute that test comes back positive, or canceling the minute it comes back negative. I told her this. That way they can get all their samples, whatever.

    So, I'll continue to keep you posted. If I've left anything out or if anyone has questions, just ask.
  10. by   catsmeow1972
    Quote from Persephone Paige
    Hey all...

    I heard from my case manager ( the normal one, not the fill in battle axe ) and the drug-screen specialist. I think I had mentioned before that they went ahead and sent the split screen in the absence of being able to talk to me. Which I am happy about. From my understanding, they split screen is taken for just these sorts on incidents. A positive comes back and the person who submitted the screen screams foul. From my investigation what should happen is the person gets a call from the MRO to ask about incidental exposure or legal prescriptions, in the case of a positive drug screen. We nurses don't get that. We get a 'positive' and a call from the case manager saying, "you are positive and you are refrained from practice." Okay, ( my mind processing the information ) what are my options? None... Your options are to pay $55 and have the split screen tested, go for an evaluation. And even if the split screen comes back positive, you still have to have your case evaluated by the medical director of IPN. The fill in case manager did not say that part. She said, 'even if it comes back positive you still have to have an evaluation.' THAT's when I hit the roof. I'm thinking I'm going to be sent to treatment ( cause that's what they do ), my time is going to be taken away from me, the whole 9 yards. And, I lost it on her.

    The conversation with my case manager went fine. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but speaking with another human who has an element of decorum can do wonders in this type situation. She confirmed that the split screen was sent off and that it takes time. She asked me if I wanted to wait until the results came back to set up my evaluation. I didn't. I can be on the books for an appointment waiting just as easily as I can be sitting at home with my thumb up my ass waiting. I don't need time for anything to clear out of my system, I didn't take anything. In this case, time is not my friend. I want to be barreling through the evaluators door the minute that test comes back positive, or canceling the minute it comes back negative. I told her this. That way they can get all their samples, whatever.

    So, I'll continue to keep you posted. If I've left anything out or if anyone has questions, just ask.
    Guilty until proven innocent strikes again. And it's entirely possible that the price of proving your innocence can be in the 4 figure range.
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah Cats the shameful truth
  12. by   kbrn2002
    Quote from catsmeow1972
    Guilty until proven innocent strikes again. And it's entirely possible that the price of proving your innocence can be in the 4 figure range.
    That's what kills me. All the anecdotal evidence of these so called helpful programs trying their best to bankrupt the nurses caught in the system. I know OP said the money wasn't an issue, but that's not the case for most people stuck in the monitoring land nightmare. Besides even if OP can afford it, that doesn't mean she should have to.
  13. by   catsmeow1972
    My contract has something in it about "a readiness to complete evaluation may be required." What in blazes for? They've been up our you know whats for however many years with P tests or more, restrictions for this that and the other thing, trying to control our lives OUTSIDE of nursing and so forth. How is another $1000+ "evaluation" with all its associated ridiculous and unnecessary testing anything other than a money grab, or a last gasping effort to trap a person into another contract for no good reason? Just sayin'
  14. by   Persephone Paige
    Being able to afford the storm just happens to be my only defense. And at least it's something... When I was first informed and the email war began, one of the things the lady said to me was, "you said you were having financial difficulties and not working." I did say I wasn't working when she told me to refrain from practice, but I didn't say I was having financial difficulties. She assumed I was having financial difficulties because I was not working. And, I'm sorry if I sound a little jaded, but I think she was banking on that. Participants with limited resources are more likely to take the least expensive path, which may or may not turn out in their favor. I don't know, this is my first time ever fighting the results of a drug screen.
    There have been two times since I began this ( almost 3 years ago ) when I have behaved poorly. My very first ever drug screen came up dilute and I didn't behave poorly towards IPN, I was just upset and didn't want any trouble. I adjusted my fluid intake, made sure I did not void for 2 hours prior to any drug screen and never had another problem. And this...
    I can withstand the troubles I've had finding employment, I did this to myself. I withstood the hell of trying to locate a facility to do my clinical, I did this to myself. But when I submit a drug screen, that's my insurance policy. I count on that above all else. So, when I popped positive for Alcohol ( of all things ), I reacted. My 2nd time reacting badly in IPN. My regular case manager would have handled this in a more professional manner, even if she thought I was full of ****. The fill in case manager was deliberately provocative. If she had taken the approach of a more seasoned case manager I might have proceeded differently, just given my explanation of what I had eaten, ingested, whatever. But, she didn't and I went on the warpath. Maybe it was a good thing, who knows. We'll see...

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