I let a tearful second grader call home to get picked up. Her dad said he'd be on his way, so I sent her to her classroom to get her belongings. Soon after, the secretary asked me if the student went back to class, and I told her that I'd asked her to go get her backpack but she would be back soon...Another few minutes later, a classmate of the ill student came to my office to tell me the student had never come back to pick up her things. 

I brought the classmate to the front office where she reported, loudly and in front of the ill student's father, that the student was missing...Oh, crap. The secretary, the principal, and I quickly checked all bathrooms in the school, and her classroom again, and still we couldn't find her. The secretary used the PA system to ask the student to come to the office, and she came in through a side hallway. Apparently she went to her normal after school pick-up spot to wait for her dad. 

Sheesh, though. "Sorry we lost your daughter" is not exactly a statement you want to make to any parent, particularly in the neighborhood of this school. 


Poison Control Center

It's becoming more rare that something brand new happens on this job. I've seen concussions, broken bones, stitch-requiring lacerations, etc. But I finally had the privilege of calling Poison Control after a first grader ate one of those oxygen absorbing packets you see in items, the small salt-like package that is labeled all over with "DO NOT EAT." I didn't imagine it'd be too damaging, seeing as how those packages come in so many items, but I thought it would be better to be able to report to her parents that I'd called Poison Control than assuring a parent, "It'll be fine, I just 'googled' it." 

They're a lovely bunch over there that answer Poison Control calls, and as expected, the lady that answered the phone told me that the student would only have a stomachache as a result, and asked that we give her something to eat (to bind the oxygen absorber to something to help pass it through).

I told the student she would be okay, and to eat a snack out of her backpack when she got back to class. She burst into tears, refusing to leave, saying, "But it's still in my stomach, it's going to be stuck there! I want to get it out!" After a lengthy explanation of how poop works, she agreed she'd have a snack, and went on her way. Aww...First graders are precious. 


It Does a Body Good

A student that was in my office while waiting for a ride home watched me pack up my stuff to go home. I pulled my jar of pumped breastmilk out of the refrigerator in front of her, and put it in my purse. "What's that?" she asked. I told her it was milk, and thought we could leave it at that. But no, she wanted to comment further, "Oh, weird! I thought it was cream, because it has that thicker layer on top like cream does." Some kids are so observational...


Manic Monday

We were off for two weeks, although I can hardly say flying across the country with an almost nine month old just itching to crawl was a restful break. I was thrown back into things Monday, beginning with an 8:30 a.m. 504 meeting. In nearly five years, I have never been to a 504 meeting that has started on time, so I didn't sweat running a few minutes late...only to find that, indeed, this would be the one that started promptly at 8:30. Oops. 

The bell system wasn't working at school, but at some point classes started and minutes later, one of the PE teachers was walking a bloodied student into my office. He'd run into a wall, broken his glasses, and had a cut on his eyebrow that dripped blood all over his face, shirt, and shorts. I cleaned him up and we called his mom, who apparently seemed to disregard the seriousness of it, to find someone to pick him up. The student got dizzy, and I called mom back to reiterate that he needed to get picked up immediately. Thankfully, his grandfather arrived before I felt like I needed to call 911, but his grandfather laughed off the injury. I told him head injuries can be serious, handed over a head injury information sheet, and sent them on their way. I found out the next day the student did have a concussion. 

Soon after this, a teacher popped into my office, telling me a student was present that had had mono over the break. Despite what people like to think, mono is not the most contagious thing ever, but before I knew it the teacher was telling me about his trip to England coming up in February and how he couldn't afford to get mono. "Me neither," I said, thinking to myself, "I'm not planning on making out with the student so I don't think it'll be a problem for me." Still, I played the politician's role, listened to his concerns, and called the student in. I talked with the student, told her she was welcome to stay, and told the secretaries about my decision so that when the teacher complained about it they'd have a leg up on it. I can only imagine the teacher's reaction when I sent her back to class. 

At lunch, a severely asthmatic student came into my office coughin
g, and his inhaler did little to alleviate his symptoms. He's a frequent flyer, always with a bark-like, painful sounding asthmatic cough, and he called his unsympathetic mom, who came to get him at her convenience an hour later, so he could go home and do his breathing treatment. She berated him in front of the entire office for calling her, saying, "We need to get this under control, you can't keep calling me." I nodded in agreement thinking she was talking about his asthma, and then I heard her continue on to say that he just needed to suck it up and stay at school. Um...your kid can hardly breathe, lady. Please take him. Thankfully she did take him this time, but I'm not looking forward to the next time I'm stranding in the office with him. 

I had grand plans to start working on an assignment for my credential program, but needless to say, I didn't get a chance to do that on Monday. 


Lucky me

I received notice from the public health department that a student had a lab confirmed case of pertussis the day before winter break starts. When we return from break, hopefully there won't be any new cases, or...everyone will be out with pertussis.  

It's winter break!! Barring another round of pneumonia or some other gross illness (not completely unlikely as I get ready to board a traveling germ factory next week, also known as a plane), I will be back next semester with more regular posting. 


The games kids enjoy

My 6th grade redhead diabetic is a bashful little guy, but I have him talking far more now than he did back in August. He is on an insulin pump, and his mom packs his lunch. He enters his blood sugar into his pump, the amount of carbohydrates in his packed lunch, and it pops out a bolus amount. I started estimating how much the bolus would be, and he clearly enjoyed it, hiding his pump for me while I tried to come up with an accurate insulin dose. Finally, yesterday, after a month or so of doing this on a daily basis, I guessed the bolus amount spot on. Mr. Redhead was so excited about this! I was too, thinking we could stop the game, but no...Today, he told me that I had to guess every day and once I got enough right in a row, then it wouldn't be fun for him anymore and we could stop. 

Whatever makes you happy, kiddo...


Setting up shop

At one of my new school sites, there's a confiscated Razor scooter sitting parked against the wall. Months ago, a student came in to see me and asked whose it was. "Mine," I replied. "I live here." She looked at me with awe and explained that the school has everything I need: a bed (the cot) in my office, the teacher's lounge has a microwave where I make my dinner, and I never shower. She must have gone back and told all of her friends that the new nurse lives at the office and rides a scooter, because now it seems every time a younger student comes in my office, he or she asks, "Is that scooter really yours?"