Friday, September 11, 2009

THE 504

The last post was all about preparing for our 504 plan...tweeking it and preparing for it mentally.
Well, we finally met yesterday after school...the principal, teacher, me, nurse, health aide, and of course, C. We went over the plan quite quickly since there really weren't too many changes except for recess and lunch times. We also included that C would be able to work her pump and punch in carb numbers with the supervision of the health aide during times when the nurse may not be on campus. I was fine with all of it. But I was on edge throughout the whole meeting.
When the principal asked me if there were any other issues I needed to address, I said "yes" before she could even finish the question.

I told her, "I brought several old, expired glucagon kits with me. And I really want to personally walk the entire 2nd grade team through the process of why and how you would use it." (At this time, I told C to go out to the front office and start on her homework.)

"Oh," she said. "There's such a remote possibil..." I didn't even allow her to finish the sentence. Rude, I know. But for the last two years I have been carrying around this weight...this heavy, awkward thought "I don't know if anyone here, caring for C, really knows how to administer glucagon or not."

Now, don't get me wrong. They say they know. And common sense tells me that the nurse has the knowledge. And the sweet health aide says she's practiced with it before. But what about the teachers? And what if one of them were absent? Or two of them? What if there were a true emergency...a lockdown...for hours? What if C simply didn't eat the carbs at lunch that were inserted into the pump? I could go on and on. Hypotheticals all day long. I'm good at it!

Well before you could say "hypoglycemia," the two other 2nd grade teachers were in the office too. I pulled out some expired kits and an orange. And, as the talk about syringes and needles began, I started feeling very overwhelmed. There were some giggles of discomfort. The nurse caught my eyes, which were now beginning to fill with tears. I don't know what came over me. She quieted everyone down and made the point that this was serious stuff. "This is your child we're talking about. I understand how you must feel about putting this trust in us for her safety." The room was silent.

"Yes," I said. "It's very hard...unexplainable, really." I told all 6 people in the room now, that I need to show them how to use this and watch them open the kit, hold the syringe and practice giving a shot to an orange. I need to do this because it's the only thing I can do to help myself feel better about leaving C at school all day. How many times have I heard people say "Oh, I don't think I could ever give someone a shot!" And, I told them, right then and there, "If someone is taking responsibility for my daughter, whoever they are, they'd better be willing and able to do this." And, of course they all agreed. They are actually a bunch of wonderful people.

And, so, briefly, I described the situation in which glucagon would be needed. A remote possibility? I suppose. But I remember it like yesterday, the time that C did need it. She was only 2 1/2. It leaves a lump in my throat to think about it, still.

As we filed out of the principal's office, the health aide gave me a hug. And in that hug, I felt as if a fifty-pound vest was taken from me. My head felt a little clearer. I hadn't noticed, until that moment, how consumed I had been with these thoughts.

Diabetes. Constant management. Constant stress. Maybe just a tiny bit less now.

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