Best. Hug. Ever.

Shoe Girl has new shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More later, please excuse me while I bask in the glory of my victory.

:) (x a million!)


Friday "Recap"

Well, despite there being no emergencies* these past two weeks, I wouldn't say this school year has been off to a great start. Out of approximately 15-20 emergency care plans I mailed home after failing to reach parents after multiple phone call tries, zero have been returned. It's a bit unsettling to have things like "peanut allergy/epipen" written on an emergency card and then have no epipen, no other paperwork, and your phone calls seem to be getting lost in outer space. My new school, in a world away of a different neighborhood than my two others, was supposed to be an upgrade with more caring adult parents, and less strung out unidentifiable relatives. Instead I have one diabetic for whom I STILL don't have current orders, and another one breathing down my neck about my care who is certifiable crazy. (She refers to the child as her "daughter's son" even though it's her name as the mother on the birth certificate, and when I asked the kid who he lives with he said his mom.) On top of it all, the principal at my middle school is hounding me to get all the TDap records in and we still have 30+ kids to chase down.
The saving grace this week: starting color vision testing on the kindergarten boys. It sounds twisted, but finding the color blind kids is thrilling. It's satisfying to think everyone will know this about the kid sooner rather than later, and delivering the actual test is a joy itself: I sit in the back of the class in tiny chairs I fear breaking, listening to ABC songs, and I get to meet all the kindergarten kids - they're a blast, some of them.
Let's hope the beginning of this year isn't an indication of what the rest of the year might be like.
*Just barely. I answered a call from my trusty health clerk on Tuesday who asked me to get to where she was in a hurry: my old elementary school, site of four 9-1-1 calls, and one of the greatest concentration of weirdos in town. I found one of my old kids in the middle of a bad asthma attack, sitting with a cracked out uncle who came without medication upon getting word of the attack, because mom is in Las Vegas doing who knows what. It was my call: ER? Nope, I dug out her old medication in the cupboard, which technically isn't allowed because new paperwork hadn't been signed for the school year. Rules are meant to be broken, and I'm not sure what kind of person I'd be if I withheld albuterol in the face of a wheezing child on account of her inept mother being too irresponsible to do the right paperwork. Disaster averted, but seriously, some people should not be parents...or in the case of the cracked out uncle who arrived medication-less and suggested we give her a peppermint, they shouldn't be guardians either.



It took three phone calls and three days to find someone who agreed that, after an accidental needlestick, I should probably go get a blood test. Am I the only one who believes in bloodborne pathogens?


A new one

There's a little girl, now in second grade, that was a frequent flier to my office last year. She made up things ranging from accidents she didn't have to saying her dad hit her and she's in pain (do not fear, we take all such reports seriously and did file a CPS on that one). For such a tiny little girl, she's loaded with mental health issues, and after almost a full school year of denial, the parents are finally getting her therapy.
Still, I wasn't surprised today when she asked to see me. The reason, however, was one I haven't heard before: the "summer diarrhea virus."
Hey kid, summer's over.


Never recap a needle.

If you're a nurse, or do any work with needles, you know where this post is headed...


Not fair

I don't understand how teachers can complain I didn't get the student health alert list to them soon enough when they send kids complaining of stomachaches stemming from anxiety to my office. Parents won't pick them up and the kids are too hysterical for me to bring back to class, much less talk to them or get anything else done while they're squealing. I'm thinking I'll be filing for worker's comp for hearing loss after this week.


Actually written on an emergency card:

Occupation: Domestic Goddess.

Also, parent of Mr. High Maintenance (we'll call her Mrs. High Maintenance) came looking for me at lunch, just as the office staff and I were saying some not so nice things about her. That was lovely. It was about as lovely as the lengthy lecture I got on taking care of Mr. HM.

Now I see why, when I was hired two weeks into the school year last year, everyone said what a relief that was for me. These first three days have been nothing but craziness, and my sanity was only barely saved today when "Epilepsy Mom" returned a phone call I'd made in hopes of getting updated information on her daughter and left a message about five minutes long thanking me over and over for making the effort to get in touch with her. (My goodness, how things have changed since our first encounter.)


I spoke too soon

Mother of Diabetic #1, Mr. High-Maintenance, complained about my log-keeping to the staff - on day two of my care - and because of it says I am now supposed to call her daily with the blood sugar. Oh, joy. (Not that anyone is interested but in my defense, but she sent some messy log forms with him that she wanted me to use, which are far, FAR, more difficult to read than the ones I make.)

She's the opposite of mother of Diabetic #2, Ms. Spitfire, who when I asked today for some guidelines - because we are still missing current orders - for the corrective morning insulin, suggested I choose the dose "based on what she seems like." Okay, I'll just pull a number out of thin air and hope it doesn't make her crash. Awesome. 

Patting myself on the back

I went in to this school year with the expectation that I would have two diabetic students at the same school, one whom was supposed to be checked twice a day and one three times a day. Three times, and at my new and far away school! Ridiculous, I'd get nothing done at my other schools. With the help of parents and teachers, it took me one day to get these visits down to once a day. Hah! Take that, attention seeking kiddies (and parents).

Unfortunately that one visit can take a very long time when the kids are uncooperative, and their blood sugars are behaving even worse. If I can't get the children and blood sugars under control, it might be a very long year.


'Twas the night before school...

Never in my life would I have thought that in my twenties I'd be too jittery to sleep right the night before school started - primary school, that is. Or that I'd peruse the back to school aisle in Target with such interest in the school planners. But, here I am, waiting for tomorrow morning with excitement, nerves, and a lot of questions about what this year might bring.

The excitement stems from the orientation night I went to last week, where the little siblings of my middle school whispered not too quietly to their parents, "Hey, that's my nurse!" The nerves stem from a project I started on Friday: making the health alert lists for my students so that the teachers know any serious (or what I deem serious) health concerns for their students. I was at an elementary school and by the time I'd reached partway through first grade I had so far found two students requiring Epipens for peanut allergies, neither of whom had brought one in. One parent/guardian said she was working on it; another couldn't be reached. <sigh.> The questions: How many emergencies will there be? How am I going to teach my diabetics to be independent? How am I going to get my remaining Tdap-less students to bring those shots in or get their parents to come in and sign a waiver? Will the dynamics of the nurses and district office change? (Rumor has it we might get a new boss.) Is anyone serious about making me coordinator? What's it going to be like in my new school?

You get the idea. 2011-2012 kicks off in T-11 hours. I don't feel ready at all, I don't think my ducks are in quite the row I want them to be, but at the same time...the kids can't come soon enough.


Culture Shock

I spent the summer in countries in which I spoke two words of the language, and, needless to say, experienced some culture shock. I was in for culture shock again as I helped with schedule distribution at the back to school orientation last night. I had, apparently, completely forgotten what my clientele are like: parents and students who appear so close in age and dress so alike it was impossible to deciper which one I should hand the schedule to, cellphones falling out of cleavage, and at least one parent slurring his words and holding himself steady against my table as he leaned over me doing his inebriated, I am sure, very best to flirt with me. Welcome back, me.

Today is Thursday, class starts Monday, and my emptied out middle school office has yet to be painted, not to mention put back together. And, so far, I have two places to be first thing Monday morning. I'll spend the weekend working on cloning myself.


Putting out the fires

With no kids, I imagined this week would be pretty slow. As usual when I make such assumptions, I was wrong.


Coming Soon!

Today marks the end of my summer break, but I think my mind is on vacation until the kids return on August 15th. A preview of the year to come: I have switched one of my elementary schools with another elementary, and having never even stepped foot in my new one I can't speculate as to how that might be; our district is rolling out a new email client, which I don't imagine will be a problem for me, but I can only imagine the fuss that will create in the less technologically-savvy school personnel; and of course, the biggie that has truly earned its nickname: Tdap crap.

I'm looking forward to setting up shop this week and easing back into the chaos before the onslaught next week. Cheers to the start of another school year - may it be less exciting than last year!