Breakfast of champions

A teacher brought a kindergartner to me this morning in tears from a stomachache. She explained: his grandpa gave him coffee for breakfast this morning. Brilliant. 


Caught red-handed

Spitfire has been coming to me at lunchtime with very high blood sugars, consistently over 300. I questioned them, and she'd tell me she'd had a juice or other snack recently after her blood sugar was low in class. Still suspicious, I mentioned this to the teacher at the 504 last week. Her teacher said she'd been taking Spitfire's word for it until then, but wouldn't be anymore after hearing what her blood sugars were by lunchtime. 

Sure enough, Monday morning, Spitfire told her teacher her blood sugar was 61 and she needed a snack. The teacher asked her to show her the meter, and at first, Spitfire tried to say that she didn't know how to look at the history. Too bad for her, the teacher is a diabetic herself, so she took it and scrolled back to find that her blood sugar wasn't 61, but 261 - only a difference of 200 (and a snack). By the time she got to me, her blood sugar was under 200, quite a feat for Spitfire, and today, it was again under 200. These were the first two consecutive days under 200 since school started. 

I had the unfortunate chore of calling Spitfire's mom to inform her of the incident, and calling a parent to tell them that their child is lying is no fun. She sounded helpless and defeated when I told her of the incident, and that I suspected that it's only the first time she's been caught; given her outrageous lunchtime blood sugars this year, she's probably been doing it for some time. Mom said she'd call the diabetes educator at the clinic she goes to for tips on helping Spitfire understand the seriousness of what she's been doing; whether she'll follow through on that is anyone's guess.  

Regardless, I'm glad Spitfire's teacher is as on top of it as one can get, and at least I was able to voice my concerns about Spitfire's carefree attitude about the whole thing to her mom. 


Parents, part 5420754

We were supposed to hold a 504 for Spitfire yesterday with her mom. Spitfire's mom had confirmed she'd be there, and I was looking forward to it. Her blood sugar has been wildly out of control this year, regularly over 350, and I wanted to talk to her about what we can do to get her to start taking her diabetes seriously. Well, mom didn't show, the meeting was cancelled, and Spitfire was conveniently absent today. She's also been ignoring our calls when Spitfire's needed her.

I will never be able to understand how a parent can not take her daughter's medical condition seriously.

Side note, my apologies for posting issues and posting late. I write them and don't always remember the "Publish" button.


I hate being undermined by my own colleagues. I can't stand when I work with a student, convince them to tough whatever the issue is out and stay at school, and a teacher walks into my office and pours on the pity for the student, reducing them to tears, and sometimes even suggests that they go home.

Once I found the doctor's note, I told Pink Eye student's teacher (below) that he could stay at school. I explained that I knew the kiddo, and that it's a recurring issue, but not to worry unless it shows other symptoms of pink eye, which I spelled out for her. What does she do? Send him to my office to "look again" and emailed me a list of phantom symptoms I guess she thought she saw. Ugh. Why ask my input if you won't listen to it?

Then this morning, a tearful student came to my office complaining of the classic stomachache. I asked her if she'd had breakfast, she said no, I asked her if she'd be able to stay at school if I found her something to eat, she said yes. I was taking her down to the office when the psychologist intercepted us, asking what was wrong. I let the student explain, and the psychologist told me she'd go talk to her, because, "There's more to this." They had a talk in an office, and when they emerged, the secretary said she's been going home for stomachaches all the time this year. She rolled her eyes at the sight of the student, and let her call home, knowing her mom would come pick her up. The psychologist left us, clicking her tongue, and telling me, "I knew there was more to that issue." Excuse me? I take pride in how many students I can get back to class when others can't, and am totally confident I could have with this one if given the chance. I didn't bother asking the psychologist why letting her go home was better than giving her a snack and having her stay in school, or how a student wanting to go home during school becomes a "bigger" issue.


My useless memory

Two weeks ago, a teacher sent a fourth grader to my office for possible pink eye. I agreed, and sent the student home asking the parent to take him to the doctor. Monday morning I received a note from the teacher that the student's eye was still pink. I made a separate trip to that site - after hitting all three of my other sites earlier in the day - just for this. His eye was still pink, but looked better. The secretary offered to call home for me (because my Spanish skills are not anywhere near conversational levels) to follow up. Mom answered and reported that she had taken him to the doctor, and that she had dropped off a note from the doctor. After some digging, we found the note - sure enough, he'd been to the doctor. 

Then it dawned on me: two years ago, this student's teacher was also constantly sending him to my office for "possible pink eye." The poor guy has an issue with his left eye, and it is frequently red - but not actually the contagious pink eye everyone fears. I double checked this in his school folder. Sure enough, I had the right student, and knew what teacher he'd had for 2nd grade. What a useless factoid for my brain to retain. I can't remember to put the garbage bins out on the right day of the week, but I can remember what teacher one particular had two years earlier. 


Up and down

I went to the bathroom just as one of my students came in for his lunch meds. I didn't see him until after I came back, and he ran at me screaming, "THERE YOU ARE!!!" and gave me a big hug. You'd have thought I had been lost for hours. (This kid has been particularly attached to me since he noticed my emerald ring as he LOVES gemstones; in fact, I keep forgetting to inform my fiancee that one of my students is expecting him to buy him a ring to match mine.) 

That was a much happier occurence than what happened when I went to screen a kindergartner. I showed him the headphones and explained the hearing screening, and he did okay until the machine started making the testing tones. He melted into tears, sobbing, begging me, "No beeps, no beeps." He sobbed inconsolably for the entire twenty minutes I was in the classroom, and still was crying as I left. Poor kid.



Spitfire's blood sugar has been out of control so far this year. In the 300-400 range very often, and varying amounts of ketones. The other day her blood sugar dropped to 60 in class so she ate two Peppermint Patties; two hours later her blood sugar was over 400. (These numbers and times were confirmed by her glucose meter and teacher.) Her A1C has been going up and up in the two years she's been under my care, and when last year a normal insulin dose would be 3 or 4 units, this year it is 7 or 8. 

So, come Friday afternoon, when I received a call from the school secretary, I wasn't at all surprised to hear that her blood sugar was high and she had moderate ketones. She had called her mom, who was at work and told her to call her aunts, but none of the aunts answered and then her mom wouldn't pick up again. I told them to keep calling her back and had I not been at the dentist's office, I'd have taken her home myself. 

It wasn't until after I hung up with the secretary that it dawned on me that Spitfire's mom answered the first time - knew she wasn't feeling well and what her blood sugar was - and then ignored the calls after that. How can parents of children with serious medical issues just ignore phone calls from the school, particularly after she already knew something was wrong? I don't understand some people. 



A first grader came to my office complaining of a headache, and I asked my usual first question: "Did you have breakfast?" He said no, and I asked if he eats the school breakfast, as a large percentage of our students do, thinking I could get him some food from the cafeteria to tide him over until lunch. He said no again, so I asked if he ate at home. He answered no once more, and explained, "I eat at McDonald's." 

What? "Every day?" I asked. 





I looked up a student in the computer only to find that he had the same last name, same birthday, same address, and same parents as another student. His middle name was also listed as the other student's first name. I pointed this out to the secretary, thinking maybe he had accidentally been entered twice into the system. I was wrong. The two boys are adopted twins; their parents named their new adopted sons after the adoptive father. One became (Father's Name) Jr. and the other was given the father's name as his new middle name, with "Sir" as his first name. I'd encountered this family before I made this discovery and I can say quite factually that they are, for lack of a better word, totally weird. 



A teacher brought a student down for a lice check. I snickered to myself as I said I'd take care of her. She certainly had a few nits, so I called home just to let mom know - and then brought her back to class! The teacher is, thankfully, one of the more reasonable ones on campus, and thoughtfully nodded her head as I explained the new policy. The amusing part: as I left school, word was spreading through the halls about the new lice policy. It is only a matter of time before it reaches Ms. Meanie, who I am sure will have something to say about it, particularly when she sees it hanging in my office with bright highlighting. (The secretary and I got a good laugh while thinking about what her reaction will be.) Sadly, Sweetie 1 and Sweetie 2 are no longer at my school site, but they are still in the district and will benefit from the new policy for sure.