Spring Break 2k13

Spring Break already! How strange, I feel like it was just winter break...next thing I know it will be summer. As always though, I'm ready for it. Today's sad story is brought to you by a second grader with a hole in two of his teeth. Yes, a hole, carved all the way down to his gum, spanning two teeth; it appears to be a gigantic cavity. He's in extraordinary pain, and reporting that he's not seen a dentist about it; his mom says he is under treatment. The skeptic in me called B.S. on her and told her I need to see a note from the dentist, unfortunately, the conversation was through a translator so I couldn't hear her reaction. Poor kiddo, and as I do every break, I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope that him and all the others will come back in one piece on April 2nd.


Therapy Session

Spitfire Diabetic returned to school today after being gone four of the five days last week. Her mom had taken her to her grandma's in another state (because that makes more sense than waiting until spring break in two weeks). After lunch, as always, she came to my office for her insulin. We did our routine, but I knew something was up when she then asked to stay in my office during recess, because "recess is boring." I obliged, telling her she would have to watch me eat my lunch. We critiqued my sloppily made peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she grabbed a paper and pencil to occupy her hands while she started talking. Changing topics, she asked if she could tell me something that I wasn't going to be allowed to tell other people. I said sure, keeping my mandated reporter status to myself, and kept munching on my sandwich. She explained, "My aunt is pregnant and it's a bad thing." I asked if her aunt was too young for a baby, and she said, "No, but her boyfriend is in prison." I agreed that didn't sound like a good situation, and kept eating, until she interrupted with, "There's something else I really want to tell you but I shouldn't." I reassured her that I wouldn't say anything (except of course on my blog), and soon enough, she provided some more details: "It's bad that my aunt is pregnant because she's having a girl. Her boyfriend can't be around her...Do you see where I'm going with this?" Totally tuned in now, I said yes, but suggested she tell me just so I'd be sure we're both on the same page. "Her boyfriend is a rapist, he can't be around girls, he has a restraining order out on him." [Yes I made sure she's never been around him herself.]

This is a nine year old telling me all this. :( It's terrible she knows this stuff, and whether or not it's all true - she's been known to exaggerate - she knows enough to talk like this.

Side notes: First, those "3" and "E" looking things at the top of her picture are birds; the bell rang and she had run out of time. Second, today confirmed what I've suspected for some time: give a kid paper and pencil, and it will get them talking.



A gift from an asthmatic student. She comes to the office to take her inhaler every day, and the one minute I make her wait between puffs is too long for her to not do anything, so she's taken to drawing a quick picture.  Happy Friday!


Baby Daddies

A mother of a first grader has sole custody of her son, but her Baby Daddy and his new girlfriend have been hanging around the school at release time to wave at his son. Duped Mom asked our school to tell her what Baby Daddy's real name is (some of the staff do know him) because he used a fake name with her and as such, Duped Mom cannot currently file a restraining order on him to prevent him from waving at/confusing the poor kid at the release bell. Yes, this woman had a child with a man whose real name she did not know. On the plus side, she showed some embarrassment at her request for Baby Daddy's name, demonstrating at least a little bit of awareness about the awkward situation


Whose shoes do you want?

I'll be the first to admit my job is pretty easy sometimes, but I maintain that most people wouldn't want my job at other times. Today, Spitfire diabetic was absent, allowing me to get back to my other elementary school ten minutes early after lunch. I walked in to hear the secretary call my name and ask me to step in the main office for a few minutes. I found a student I didn't recognize in a wheelchair, appearing to only be semi-conscious. She had been running outside and ran into the side of a wall (don't ask me how kids do these things), reportedly lost consciousness, and needed assistance to get to the office. Dad had been called, but he'd only said he was going to try to track down mom with no promises of someone arriving, and the secretary had told him if he didn't get here quickly an ambulance would be called. Upon seeing me soon after hanging up the phone with dad, the secretary said with relief, "I'm so glad you're here, I didn't want to make that decision." 

I tried to talk with the student, and although she was oriented when answering questions, it was a challenge to keep her awake enough to do so. Just as I was opening my mouth to direct the secretary to call 9-1-1, the student's mom walked in. Ugh. She said she had insurance but it didn't cover ambulance rides, and that she would take the student to the hospital herself. In the next town. We told her the local emergency department was closer, and that she could still go to it, but the message wasn't getting across. The student's teacher was also present, and telling me that the student's lethargy seemed out of character. So, I made the executive decision, with mom standing there disagreeing with it, for the secretary to call 9-1-1. A few minutes later the paramedics were packing her up, and they were on their way. (We acknowledged that the student was oriented, but also lethargic. Mom protested that her daughter's always shy and lethargic.) Side note, I know I've finally reached the point of being quite comfortable and feeling competent at this job because I don't think my heart rate increased a beat through any of this. Two years ago I'd have been dripping sweat. 

Later, the principal asked me if I thought she had a concussion. I told him she'll probably be fine, but I don't take chances with head injuries. "Good call" were his words on it. When mom gets the bill for that ambulance ride, she'll be none too happy with me, but I'd rather have to deal with a dispute over money than the health of a kid. Regardless of the outcome of this situation, one thing is for certain: no one wanted to be in my shoes. 



I walked into Diabetic Land to find a girl already in my office, holding her head and moaning. I asked what was wrong, she said, "My brain...It's in a bad mood today!" Translation: headache. These kids and the things that come out of their mouths are the highlight of my day, every day.

I feel like I've hardly worked since Christmas break, and that'll continue through Spring Break. There have been holidays, work days, a CPR class...I'm feeling like there's not been enough kid time, and so was able to relate to the parent I called yesterday to let her know her son wasn't feeling well: "Can you just tell him to go back to class? He's hardly in school this month anyway thanks to all the breaks."