Monday, August 31, 2009

I'll Take the #504 with a Side of Glucagon Training, Thanks

Several years before C started school, I had heard about a "504 Plan." I put it out of mind, on the back burner. She was still so young and I would be going to preschool with her so I didn't think much about her legal rights and such.

Then came kindergarten. I had to really wean myself away from the classroom. I ran office errands for the teachers. Ran off papers. Collated homework packs. I'd spy into the room now and then. Meet C in the Health Office for finger checks. And then it hit me. She needs a 504 plan. I need the 504 plan. If I seriously want to be able to leave the campus and, oh, I don't know, go to work, then we needed a plan laid out in black and white to cover all the diabetes bases. Even though the school personnel was wonderful and loving, I needed to put a plan in place for C's protection under the law. I don't know why, but I felt weird about doing this. Maybe it kind of stated loudly, I DON'T TRUST YOU PEOPLE! I don't know.

The only other D mom I knew at the school just left that year! Her daughter moved up to middle school. So I called her. A 504? They had never done one! Wow, I couldn't believe it. She was definitely looking into it now that her daughter was at the middle school.

Hmmm? What to do? I went online and started my search...anything to help me with a plan. I found some to look at, but it definitely had to be tailored to C's situation. CHLA gave me some guidelines too. The site, had tons of examples. And, so, we met to go over the plan with the principal, nurse, teacher and, of course, C. I leaned upon the experience of the principal. After all, her own daughter, now grown, has type 1 diabetes! You would think that would be such a soothing support. And, it is, to a point. But she's the principal and has way more to think about than just my daughter. But, I went with a standard form that she presented. We filled in the blanks, signed it and that was that. I had a difficult time enforcing my wish for glucagon to be kept in the classroom as well as in the office. My initiative to "teach" some staff about C's illness and how to give a glucagon injection was dismissed.

Last year went along without too many diabetes glitches. There was a time when all the first grades were going to do a food celebration of some sort and I wasn't notified in advance. There was a field trip that, post-surgery, I could not go on...and it ruffled some district feathers. But things worked out and they actually hired a "medical" person to accompany C. Maybe a few other times of substitutes rewarding kids all day with candy...that sort of thing. But we got through it okay.

This year, I tweaked the plan just slightly. I worded it so that the entire 2nd grade team, health aide office workers and such, will need to be trained on glucagon injections. This is the one thing that creates so many hypothetical crazy scenarios reeling around in my brain. My biggest fear: a severe hypoglycemic episode and no one around who knows what to do. Although, we've only needed to use it one time on C back when she was just 2 1/2 years old, I know it poses a daily threat to her. The reasons she may experience such a severe low are numerous. So this is the big focus for me...this time round. We will be meeting soon, hopefully this week. I'll put my diabetes game face on. This is such a critical step for me to take. I need the comfort of knowing that several people on campus understand the importance of this facet of diabetes.

So, yes, my order this year..."I'll take the #504 with a side of glucagon training, please. Thanks."

1 comment:

  1. Good luck Nan! Keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth meeting! Keep us posted!!


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