Being right never felt so bad

The aftermath of the wild Tuesday I had continued through yesterday.

It began with silence on the mother's part as to what happened, which was the first red flag. The next red flag was when the little girl I'd sent via ambulance to the hospital came to school on Wednesday morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. To have a turn around that fast, I figured, it could only be drugs. Still, the mother wasn't returning our calls as to what happened. Rietta, the health clerk, had given the mother her cell phone number to keep us updated, and she was getting nothing. Our concern grew as time passed, and then skyrocketed when late Wednesday night the mother sent a text: "Im just ready to go away. its hard4 me to talk." I never imagined being on the phone at 11 pm for this job, but through our many, many lice check encounters, I have grown quite attached to the little girls. Even the paramedics kept talking to me like I was their mother, perhaps because I was answering the questions about the girl's medical history while mom stood aside. In hindsight, I have discovered, it was just as I thought: she was fearing getting caught. 

Rietta eventually did get the mother to talk, and we got the story: weed cookies. The little girl was indeed high as a kite. They discovered this at the ER, the police came to the ER and searched the mother's house, although supposedly they found nothing there. Nevertheless, the girls - the 8 year old twins, and a toddler at home - are most likely going to be removed from their home. If anyone is in the CPS business, no offense to you, but it is awful sometimes what CPS will not remove a child for. To take kids out of the home is serious business, and hardly done. While I feel terrible for breaking up a family, everyone who knows them keeps telling me it's the best realistic outcome for the girls, and I'm practically being lauded as a hero by the principal.

As I am following this case, there have been a few shocking things to me, but what stands out the most is that the mother had the audacity to ask Rietta if she or anyone from the school would accompany her to court yesterday morning at a hearing regarding the children's welfare - as a character witness. What kind of other drugs is the mother on to be thinking that any of us from the school would stand up and, under oath, say that this mother is a good mother? Another shocking thing is that I know these girls now, I know the family. They are not just some crazy people I see at the mall or bus stop, but these are real people whose family is now being broken apart. It feels different when you know them, although I'd still say the mother is a loser.

The principal was heavily involved on Tuesday, and so was the teacher that had first discovered the girl "not feeling well." Repeatedly, they asked me what I thought was happening to her, and I kept saying the girl was just totally stoned, but I didn't want to believe it. I sent her to the hospital by ambulance not just in case it was more severe than too much pot, but because I didn't trust the mother to take her there. I remember standing over the girl and telling the mother the paramedics would be taking her daughter in, not her, like it was an out of body experience, crossing my fingers that I wasn't doing something totally unnecessary, and not wanting to be responsible if I were wrong. As it's turned out, from a health perspective, the girl would have probably been fine if she'd gone home to sleep off the cookies, and mother probably would have taken her home given the opportunity - she had to have known what was going on. From a child's welfare perspective, I am so glad I insisted on the paramedics.

I hope those girls turn out okay; at least they may have a shot now.


  1. You just made a big difference in those girls lives. The outcome may take a few years, but they will be better off knowing that someone cared enough to intervene. Yeah, Erin!

  2. Anonymous26/3/11 16:46

    From an ER nurse: Good job..