A blast from my past

I was working on Saturday at a kindergarten preparation fair, performing hearing and vision screenings on some adorable four year olds, when I noticed some familiar faces in line. There were two older girls along with their younger sister, and a parent I recognized: it was the weed-eating family from long ago. 

Leave it to a child to say excitedly without realizing the awkwardness that might follow, "Hey, you're the nurse that called the ambulance when I wasn't feeling well!" I hadn't seen the mother since the incident, but had heard rumors of the struggles she had in keeping her kids with her after that incident. They did end up going into foster care for quite some time afterward, a wonderful foster family that reportedly sent the girls to school on time and dressed appropriately, but for whatever reason, they just recently were reunited with mom. Unfortunately. 

I tried to check the four year old's hearing, only to be met with a look of zero, I repeat, zero recognition of anything happening. Four year olds tend to either get really excited and happy when the headphones are put on their heads, or start flailing and crying; for neither to happen - well, there's something wrong with that baby. I called my trusty health clerk, who tends to know everything about everybody, about the lost gaze in the youngest sister's eyes. Apparently the baby had been badly burned in a fire soon after the weed eating incident her sister had (a fire that was worse than it needed to be after mom poured water on a grease fire). This, combined with the fact that she's with that mother, sadly accounts for the fact that the baby appeared to have the cognitive function of a vegetable. Makes. Me. Sick. 


Changing Times

A student wanted to call home, and the office was a zoo, so I told her to just go ahead and use my phone. She tried a few times before complaining to me that it wasn't working. I tried myself, and heard a busy signal. Thanks to today's age of cell phones and call waiting, the poor girl had never heard a busy signal on a phone line. 


New phone, new school

After a big long hassle, I'm connected to the world again...yay? Due to reasons I won't elaborate on here - suffice to stay, personnel issues, I am also out of my middle school now. That's the middle school with Time Bomb diabetic, as well as Sticky Fingers, and while I should be thrilled with this change, I'm not entirely. It's not a good feeling to be out of a school on these circumstances, and word spreads like wildfire around the district. I know I'm in the right, and when I was introduced to my new school and why I'm going to be there now, the police officer stationed there said sarcastically, "How surprising..." 

Anyway, moving on, yes! There's a police officer at my new school! Without getting too detailed, this new school of mine hosts 5th-8th graders that are hopefully destined for something great. The students wear uniforms, address me as "Ma'am," there's a police officer that has an office there, oh, the list goes on! It's a world away from my two other schools, and a universe away from the middle school I leave behind. So, while the circumstances of the change aren't ideal, it's a change that could certainly be worse. 

Happy Friday, and cheers to another three day weekend!


Happy Valentine's Day...

...Not. As a school nurse, I've come to hate holidays, and the day after them as well when the stomachaches continue. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, all just bring too much candy, too much stuff into the classrooms. There are food allergy issues, and the diabetics are always an issue. It's one thing to learn about the holiday in the classroom, but I see an unbelievable number of kids feeling sick after eating too much candy, and it is just sad to hear my diabetics ask me what they can or can't have. Yes, I'm a Grinch, I've accepted my role as the fun-squasher when it comes to excessive amounts of candy.

Moving on, Spitfire's been acting out lately, and when she does, it's usually because something's going on at home. I've figured this out by now, but she hadn't mentioned anything until today. I took the holiday - where she's surrounded by candy she can't have - to spoil her by escorting to the front of the lunch line, and we had lunch together in my office. She told me she's having dinner tonight with her mom and her mom's ex-boyfriend, one who she said this about, "I always cried in front of him so my mom broke up with him." I asked if she was crying on purpose so her mom would get rid of him, and she answered honestly: "Yep!" Then I asked where her step-dad would be during this Valentine's Day dinner with the ex-boyfriend, and got another honest answer: "He moved out, my mom didn't like him anymore. Now she's seeing this guy from a long time ago again, except I like him better now. They met at AA. You know, Alcoholics something?"

Yes, little one, I do know what AA is, and I'm sorry you know too as a fourth grader. Happy Valentine's Day, don't feed your kids too much candy!


Sticky Fingers.

This morning I wanted to plug my phone in to charge it up for the day. The poor thing was so old – it’d carried me through the end of my undergraduate career, through nursing school, and through the beginning of my nursing career. I was heading out of my office for a minute, literally, to heat up my breakfast. Rather than leave it out on my desk, I stuck it in a drawer, under some papers, thinking at the time it was wrong to do, and yet, not knowing what else to do with it. What idiot would leave a phone out on her desk without being in the office to watch it?


A case of the Mondays

This weekend, I worked Saturday at a Kindergarten Readiness event doing hearing and vision screenings on 4 year olds going into kindergarten next school year, and I would hardly call Superbowl Sunday a day of rest. My depleted energy levels didn't help today, but thankfully there are furlough days - that were later restored, but too late to ask kids to come to school, so there are work days without students instead - on Thursday and Friday. 

At lunch, one of my diabetics told me he didn't want to be a diabetic because I was taking too long to draw up his insulin, making him late for lunch, and that I hurt him when I gave the injection.  

Also at lunch, Spitfire came in with a blood glucose level of 346, and a box of candy for lunch. I wanted to clobber her dad, who sent her with the goodies.  

Topping everything, a middle school student was found dead (not one of "my" kids, but close enough) over the weekend in a park two blocks from one of my schools...the one I always describe to friends as "a place where bodies are often found near." Nothing like the death of a child to put things in perspective. 


Cue your "Awww"

A second grade girl said, verbatim, "I don't have a fever or anything, but I miss my mommy. Can I go home?"