Trip Report

Spitfire's class was going on an all day field trip, which meant I was also going on a 4th grade field trip.


Mama Bears II

During scoliosis screening last week, I screened the daughter of an employee I know at another school site. When I saw the employee the next week, I asked if her daughter had survived the screening. She said (in broken English), "Oh, yes, she said it was okay. She said you seem very nice and she wants to know you more." 

Awwwwwww! Also, phew.  


The Minds of Children

I received a call from Diabetic Land that Spitfire's blood sugar was 56. They put me on the phone with her and I told her to stay in the office,  what to eat and when to re-check her blood sugar. As she was getting off the phone with me, she told me what was really important: "Oh and don't forget, it's my field trip tomorrow." 

Yes, little lady, when you're feeling shaky and your blood sugar is in the 50's - soon to be in the 40's, as it would happen - I am concerned about your field trip.


Just another day at the office

During scoliosis screening, with intermittent breaks between class periods, I was kept busy with the following:
1. Relaying an observation from a teacher to a mother that her son has been appearing to flip a switch in terms of attention. The way he's been "spacing out" with blank stares seemingly unrelated to stress or any other sort of pattern was a concern enough to suggest he need an evaluation, which is always a pleasant thing to tell a parent. 
2. Listening to a complicated lice issue: Biological mother has recently gained visitation rights to her son, and she told me he came to her house with lice on the last visit. She wanted me to follow up with the guardian that the lice has been taken care of. Guardian says the lice were planted by the biological mother. Lovely. 
3. Sending out letters to the 120 6th graders at my school who have still not turned in their proof of Tdap immunization that is required for entering the 7th grade. 
4. Another lice complaint and request for a class lice check. 
5. An email from the speech therapist complaining some of my results were inaccurate (which I had to politely disagree with). 
6. Finding out that the P.E. teacher had distributed the scoliosis notification to parents to the opposite students I needed: 8th grade girls and 7th grade boys instead of 7th grade girls and 8th grade boys. 

Needless to say, I'm glad it's a long weekend. 


It's that time of the year...

Chaos. Case in point: I scheduled scoliosis screening for my middle school for Thursday. On Tuesday, I received a call that I needed to be at an IEP that same day, at the same time 6th period scoliosis screening will be taking place. I tried to say this politely to the big-wig district office lady that was calling me about this:
"Well, I have already scheduled scoliosis screening for that day. Also, I know the student, and know that her issues are psychiatric. Shouldn't the psychologist be the one at this IEP?"
"We need a nurse there, so if you can't make it, find someone else that can."
"Oh...okay, then..."
I did, but only after some scrambling. (If someone from the district office tells you to do something, you do it.) It's that time of year where people are finishing up business, and everyone needs me to do something immediately. It's a great challenge to please everyone at every site when you're juggling three schools. Four day weekend is approaching, phew!


Overheard in the kindergarten lunch line:

"My mommy is having a baby. She wants the baby, but she doesn't want to take care of it."

Ahh....The refreshing honesty of children.



I love translators. One of the reasons I love them is they can be messengers of my bad news, and I don't have to face the reaction. I'd been dealing with a kid with a hole in his tooth for some time, most recently requesting from his Mom that she bring me a note from his supposed dentist for his supposed treatment. To no surprise, I never received a note, so I decided to go one step further with an ultimatum: produce a note from a dentist or I will have to notify CPS. I'm not sure I'd have been able to say this to a parent so calmly if I had to say it to her face. Luckily for me, Hole in Tooth's mom doesn't speak English. I found a translator and told her the message I wanted her to relay to this parent. She raised her eyebrows at me but said she knew the kid I was talking about and hoped something would be done. As expected, the parent was quite unhappy, but not at the translator per se, as the translator was simply relaying a message. Angry parent or not, the plan worked: there was a note on my desk by the end of the next day: Hole in Tooth was finally taken to the community dentist.



To the parents of the birthday boy kindergartner who didn't get picked up for a full hour after school, who spent the entire hour fidgeting with his paper cone "Birthday Boy" hat, staring out the window hopeful that the next car to pull into the parking lot would be you: Why did you have children? 

I understand that people have to work or have other obligations, but to not make other arrangements for your child or answer your phone when the school calls asking someone to pick him up, on his birthday no less, I don't understand. 



It's about as unnerving to leave my diabetics in the care of another nurse when I take time off as it is to leave my pets in the care of anyone else. After taking a long weekend, I asked Mr. High Maintenance diabetic how it went while I was gone. He's recently switched over to insulin pens, and I've also been encouraging to become more independent prior to his transition to middle school next year (he's told me before that he expects me to be his nurse when he's 30).
Mr. High Maintenance: "Oh, it went okay, I did my own shot!"
Me: "Really, why don't you do that with me then?"
Mr. High Maintenance: "Well, I thought I had to. I didn't think she knew how to do it."
Me: "It's awesome that you did your own, but don't you worry. I only let nurses check in on you when I'm gone, and they all know how to do the same things I do." 

I had a good laugh with the nurse that had covered for me, a diabetic herself, when I informed her that Mr. High Maintenance was under the impression she wouldn't know how to use an insulin pen. 

Happy School Nurse Day!

It's School Nurse Day, and one of my schools noticed it - what a pleasant surprise! It's also Nurse's Week, so cheers to all the nurses out there. :)


Mama Bears

Mr. High Maintenance Diabetic is a 5th grade boy who is so sheltered he doesn't know how to tie his own shoes. No one has taught him, and he's happy to stay as naive for as long as possible. I worry that he'll be eaten alive in middle school, but that's another story. His mother, who I think is actually his grandmother, is extremely protective. Case in point: she'll keep him home if he sneezes. I do not exaggerate, once after he was absent I asked her why he was gone, she said, "He sneezed." Literally, that was her answer.

Anyway, the mother scared my little tail off when I first got to know them; I feared she'd rip my head off if I made a mistake with her little boy. I'm far more comfortable now, but the reality I deal with every day, and with every child, is that I'm taking care of somebody's baby. (Careful, "Somebody's Baby," it's one heck of an earworm. At least for me.) So imagine my reaction when his mom decided to drop of his lunch at lunchtime, and signed in as a visitor so she could watch me give his insulin. It's something I do on a daily basis, but my goodness, the pressure is palpable when the parent is watching over you. I swallowed my annoyance and had Mr. High Maintenance prepare the shot himself, and knew he felt the pressure in the room too when he looked at me and asked, "Are you really going to make me do this?" I've had to clean scrapes and call 9-1-1 in front of parents, but there's just something about being the only healthcare provider and delivering insulin to a little boy while his mother watches that was just downright terrifying. 

As usual, I should have had no reason to worry. I played it cool, and made casual conversation with Mama Bear throughout, and she didn't look twice at what I was doing. Trust thyself, even if a Mama Bear is hovering.