Jan 8th 2017 by porchy12 • 33 Questions • 2929 Points
Little Caesars was my first job, and I really enjoyed it for the most part. I've worked for corporate and for franchises, ask me anything that you may be curious about!
Why did you leave?
When I was first diagnosed, they gave me 2-4 years, which was really upsetting to hear.
After doing a lot of research online, and getting information from specialists in London, we don't actually know! Chemotherapy is used to 'treat' this, but it works differently for each person, so we will keep on trying different drugs to find the one that works for me.
If we do, I MAY have a normal life expectancy, but we won't know for sure for a long time.
Plus, my airways are so bad, the parts that the tracheostomy can't reach are at risk of collapsing completely.
But hey, I'm still alive right now! :)
I left when I stopped enjoying it there. I had another job that took up a majority of my time, so I was tired. By the time I actually turned my keys in and said "I'm out", I hadn't worked there in a solid two months because I asked my manager if she could take me off the schedule for a while. Coming in felt more and more like a chore and I worked kinda far from home. Wasn't worth it anymore and I wasn't happy. I left on a good note, though, and that job will always hold a super special place in my heart. I even have a pizza tattoo!
Are there any other secret requests? Like getting it crazy crusted? Stuff that's fantastic and not listed?
Yeah, my normal will be different from everyone else, but everyone can adjust to changes with time. Although it may take a bit longer for this!
Sometimes we'd make stuffed crust pizza or pepperoni crazy bread or calzones... but I'd never make that for a customer unless I knew them or they were a coworker. Too much work and if word got out that we would do stuff like that, people would want it and eventually it might be made a menu item, blah blah blah... ya know? Specialty items are super annoying to make, and that's why I'm glad I worked on the bottom of the pizza chain totem and not at the top!
Keeping a positive outlook is so important, I wish you the best my man
How much pizza did you guys usually throw out each night?
I couldn't do this without my wife though. She's been my rock throughout this whole ordeal!
We tried to keep waste down as much as possible, but depending on if we met projection numbers and all that jazz, sometimes nothing and sometimes 20 things.
Can confirm. I found myself requiring the services of a food bank a few months ago and they had uncooked pizzas in LC boxes that had been donated. Popped that sucker in the oven for 10 minutes and had fresh LC pizza for two days.
There is no cure for the disease, but chemotherapy can keep it at bay, so I think I'll be having chemo for the rest of my life. As long as it works though, the sickness is a small price to pay!
The surgeon I am under has plans to carry out a reconstruction of my airways, but that can take a long time to carry out, as we need to get the disease at bay before he will do it, otherwise it will just destroy my airways again :(
That's awesome! I wish all LC did that.
Former employee at another LC franchise here. We donated ours to the food bank. Apparently only a couple franchises do.
No, it's an immune disease, and chemotherapy is an immunosuppressant, so it should stop the damage, but it is all about finding the right drug and dosage that works for you.
Currently looking at other AMAs thinking "no one will ever care about Little Caesars that much!"
I hope everything works out for you. Thank you for the response.
How are the prices kept that low?
Is the pizza actually good? I've never had it
You wouldn't believe how cheap it is to actually make the stuff. I read somewhere that it's like a dollar something to put that pizza together. And then you sell it for five! Pretty decent profit, and then they bump up the price of other stuff like the breadsticks. It's crazy! And it can be good! It depends on who makes it, honestly. Some people don't care about their work, some people do.
A buddy of mine used to work in a lab that sampled various forms of chemotherapy on patient tumor biopsies to determine which would work best for each case. They returned a much better patient success rate than the generalization of chemo X usually works well against this condition. Medicare/Medicaid decided that the cost/benefit ratio wasn't there and pulled funding. Business dried up almost overnight.
What would you do if someone came in and shouted 'Pep out!' over and over?
Jesus, that's really bad!
It really gets to me that money is the deciding factor on whether someone should get the treatment they need. If the people who decide that it isn't worth it were in our situation, they would have a different view on it.
It's awful, but I'm not sure anything will ever change :(
Like, in my house right now? Probably go insane. While working there I had a lot of dreams like that... haha.
Why don't biologics like Enbril and Humera help keep it at bay? Sounds similar to psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis...
We used to dive into the dumpsters behind your restaurants and grab your delicious dumpster pizza. Approximately how long did it sit before you threw it out?
They haven't tried those yet, I think my rheumatologist wants to try methotrexate first, then rituximab was mentioned as well. Apart from that, it is just trial and error, because one drug may be fantastic for some, but useless for others.
The rule is half an hour in the hot box. Trash doesn't generally get taken out til the next morning though.
How would you say this disease has affected your social life ?
Where was the Lil Ceasers you worked at? (If you don't mind me asking)
Because of the tracheostomy, I need a suction machine and a nebuliser. The nebuliser is mains powered only, and the suction machine is heavy and has a small battery, so going out isn't really something we can do easily.
We sometimes have friends come over to visit, but most of them have kids and busy lives, so it's not so often that happens.
All three locations that I worked at were in Michigan!
Hey my mom had tracheal cancer. We got a prescription from her doctor for a 2nd nebulizer that ran off battery power. (I think the place we bought from required the Rx but we paid for it ourselves - I want to say around $60.) Anyways, even if you don't go out, it would be useful to have around if the power goes out. Just wanted you to know there's such a thing as a battery powered nebulizer. :)
We never really had to deal with taking her out on suction as 5 days after she got that machine at home she passed away. Probably would have needed a transport ambulance.
By any chance was one of them the one in Detroit on Warren by I-75? I work by there, so that's the one I generally go to. Bulletproof glass wall, but great pepperoni cheese bread.
Yes, I have seen them, specifically an Omron one, that has a rechargeable battery, or can run off mains. It is about £200, so that is one of the things I have been raising money for lately :)
I'm really sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she went peacefully.
Nope! I was at an inkster location!
How old were you when first diagnosed and what was the progression like? What first happened that clued you in something was wrong? What do you want to do MOST that you can no longer do? Thanks for the AMA, prayers for you and family.
The best LC I know is a franchise owned by an elderly couple. They are the sweetest people I know and all of their employees love them. They constantly show up during the busy times and closing hours to help out, and to make sure every customer is happy. The store and kitchen is immaculate and you can often knock on the door for free pizza after hours and you'll see the two of them on their hands and knees scrubbing the place down. The world needs more people like that.
I paid to see a private doctor about two years ago, who first diagnosed me with this, but then my local doctor didn't think it was right. Then I was diagnosed again a year ago, when I moved to a different area, and saw different doctors.
At the moment, we aren't sure how long I have had this disease for. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 2 years old, but looking back at my history, with other things that happened, it may have been this disease all along!
The thing I would love to do most is to just take my wife and kids out on day trips, but it's impossible at the moment with the equipment that I need to keep with me.
Thank you so much :)
That's amazing! I wish the franchise I worked for did that.
Thanks for answering my questions. Much appreciated! Doctors really appreciate patients like you who let us learn from your case. Thanks!
My dad once saw a Little Caesars employee pick their nose while working on a pizza. How would this be dealt with if it happened in front of you?
I think the next time I am in London, I think one of the doctors asked if I would be happy 'speaking'(hah) to a bunch of his understudies.
I'm quite looking forward to that!
"Dude, seriously? Go wash your damn hands. And use a tissue next time." But that's just how the stores I worked at were. We were very up front with each other. Then again, our personal hygiene was a lot better than the overall cleanliness of the stores, so that's one good thing I can say about the places I've worked.
What was the process to get it diagnosed? This seems like something that would take a while to think of. Like an episode of House.
1-How would you describe the cleanliness of LC kitchen or other fast food chains? Do you feel comfortable eating in them?
2-Are the ingredients real or is it just all chemically manufactured "stuff"?
3-Is it true you have to make the pizza dough 1 daily earlier and have to keep it in the fridge? What happens if you run out of dough?
Do you know what, when I was rushed into hospital with what we thought was a heart attack, I saw this one doctor, I can't remember his name, and he had an entourage exactly like House!
They even stood there doing a 'differential diagnosis', which made me smile, because it reminded me of that show. He didn't have a limp or a cane though :(
Anyway, back to the question...
It took a long time, because there is no simple test for it. You have a list of symptoms, and you have to get certain ones for a diagnosis.
You can also tell with CT scans of the cartilage, but apparently it is quite rare to find.
I remember the doctor that confirmed my diagnosis mentioned something about a 'train track' pattern on the cartilage rings in my airways, which confirmed I had the disease, and it had completely obliterated my airways :(
It honestly depends on the store. I've been in immaculately kept stores, but never worked in one. It's not hard to keep up with a clean store, but it's hard to make a dirty store into a clean one. I eat fast food because it's convenient. I don't wanna know how clean the place is if it's any place like I've worked, honestly. I guess the ingredients are fine! All of the olives and jalapeños and such come from cans or jars. The meat all comes in plastic bags so ¯_(ツ)_/¯ who knows. My one tip is to never get onions or green peppers... nasty. And yes! Our dough was all made and had to proof for at least 12 hours in the walk in before use. If you run out of dough, you either close or you make more and have shitty pizzas for the rest of the day.
What changes have occurred in your life after you were diagnosed?
Mentally, I have stopped taking things for granted, and before all of this went down, I could get quite moody with my family. Now though, I am much more 'chill', although not perfect!
Physically, I am pretty much house-bound, because of the equipment I need to keep around me. (And I've put on a LOAD of weight because I can't move around much)
Since nobody is asking, what were the symptoms of this and what made you realize something was seriously wrong?
The main symptoms started about three years ago. I thought it was a chest infection, because I have had a lot of them over the years, but this time, my breathing did not get any worse, and I was constantly coughing.
I also had really bad joint pain in my knees, my thumbs and right index finger, and they were all swollen badly, and my ribs were constantly in agony.
None of those symptoms responded to any normal treatment, but I was only properly diagnosed with RP after one of the doctors looked at a CT scan of my trachea very closely, and noticed that the cartilage was destroyed, and it had 'train tracks', which confirmed the disease.
We knew it was really serious when I had a coughing fit, which led to me having a hypoxia seizure, and I ended up in ICU for a few weeks. That was a really bad time :(
Do you have any neurological symptoms? How long were you having symptoms before a diagnosis was made?
I don't think the disease itself has caused any neurological issues, but I do suffer with depression, but that is because of the drastic changes to my quality of life (or lack of).
Looking back at my medical history, I hay have had this disease for over twenty years, but it will be really difficult, maybe impossible to confirm, but the major life changing symptoms started about three years ago, and even then, it took over two years to fully confirm what it was.
At the moment I can't.
Exercise is impossible, I can't even walk up the stairs in my own home, and I'm on a fairly high dose of steroids, and have been for two years, so I have put on a LOT of weight recently :(
Yes, in both thumbs, and right index finger :(
No, the disease will 'relapse' by attacking the cartilage in your body for a while, and then it will go into remission, but it will always come back unless you get it under control with chemotherapy.
Also, the damage that it does is not reversible, so a relapse can be life threatening!
I too am on methotrexate. I also get monthly infusions of Actemra. I have rheumatoid arthritis which is also an autoimmune disease. I have joint destruction in my wrists and feet and pain everywhere. I had to quit my job as a registered nurse. I HATE methotrexate, makes me ill! Does anyone else in your family have the same disorder you have, or any of your ancestors?
Wish you all the best! My ancestors are from Wales! I would love to visit but seeing as I don't have a job I don't think that will happen!
Urgh, me too, I feel so sick afterwards! I have just had my dosage increased too, and it made me feel worse, so I think they are going to give me injections instead, to see if that helps with the sickness.
Yes, I know the feeling, I have rheumatoid arthritis in both my thumbs and right index finger because of this disease. It has also caused costochondritis too, which is awful!
No, I am the only one, and apparently it isn't genetic, which is good, because I would be devastated if any of our children have this. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemies!
I'm sorry to hear you had to quit your job. I had to leave mine too. :(
Wales is a beautiful country! You never know what the future holds, so you may be able to visit :)
I am soon to see an immunologist regarding a recent discovery of low IgA. I highly doubt I have what you do or anything close, but out of paranoia and curiosity, what was it that made the diagnosis confirmed?
Normally, you need to have a bunch of symptoms that match a list, but one specialist I saw looked very closely at a CT scan of my airways, and noticed 'train tracks' in my cartilage rings that were damaged. That is what confirmed the disease properly for me.
Hopefully, you won't have anything serious! I hope all goes well for you :)
Hey Dan. I don't really have any questions for you, but I'd still like you to see this. I'm just a teenager and in no way have I ever been in a situation that comes close to this, so I don't mean to come off as stuck-up or anything. But I just want to remind you that everything will work out in the end. In fact, this could be an opportunity, because you now know that life should be cherished as much as possible. I want to encourage you to have fun and make memories just for the hell of it, and show your disease that it can't stop you from being amazing.
It seems like you've really gotten the positive attitude down already, so maybe this hasn't helped much, but I just wanted to give my two cents.
This is actually pretty inspirational to me, and I appreciate that you've kinda helped me in a way. If you're so positive at a moment in your life like this, why shouldn't I be?
Anyway. Thanks for reading this, and best wishes :)
Thank you for your kind words!
Before I had the surgeries in London, I was very grumpy, and wasn't a very happy person. Being in hospital 400 miles away from my family was an eye opener, and I realised I wasn't the husband and father I should be. So when I came home, I have been trying my best to be happier, because our lives are hard enough, without having a big grump in the house!
I'm glad that I have helped you in a way :) That's awesome!
Thank you so much :)
Howdy, I'm an EMT, I'm sure you've had some experiences with us. Is there anything I can do if I ever run into a patient with your condition? I haven't heard of it, it's interesting to read about it.
Oh yes, plenty! Hah, they know me by first name basis now, haha.
No, I'm just like any trach patient really, the disease is a slow acting one, and it is very hard to diagnose.
Most EMTs just ask me what it's all about, and how it has affected me. They are very interested though, I guess it's good for them to learn about new things! :)
Have you tried ingesting Cannabis oil as an edible? It seems to be highly beneficial for those suffering with autoimmune diseases.
I am a member of some tracheal stenosis support groups, even though the cause of my stenosis is completely different, the symptoms are the same, so is the treatment.
Some of the members there use CBD oil, and it helps them breathe easier, as they say it is a bronchodilator.
It is illegal here in the UK for now, so I think I may have to wait a while to be able to try it out :(