I got a call from the school nurse on Friday. The kids were on a walking field trip to a park near their school, and Ash tripped on some uneven sidewalk and skinned both knees and part of his forehead. (He stayed at school, she just wanted us to know why he was going to be sent home covered in band-aids and with a flier about watching for concussions that she includes by rote.)
I find it strangely hilarious that the nurse says things like, “You don’t sound happy to hear from me,” after I acknowledge that I’m me and that I know that she is her (she is programmed into my phone separately).
Who is happy to hear from the school nurse?! This isn’t even like the reflexive anxiety that comes with ANY call from the school. I’m pretty sure calls from the nurse are NEVER good. Does anyone get calls going, “Hello! I just wanted to tell you that your child bounced by my office today in a blur of healthy energy!” or, “Good afternoon! I thought I’d call and tell you that I saw your child walking by my office with his class, and he was the one child NOT trailing snot. His color was EXCELLENT,” or, “I just want you to know, with the school year ending, that your child has fallen remarkably below using his quota of band-aids”…?! I don’t get random calls because the nurse just had to share with me the ADORABLE story of how when Ash was at the school breakfast they made the mistake of sitting him near someone eating cereal, and he immediately gagged and threw up on himself. I don’t get little notes written about how FUNNY it is, how many ways a sensory kid can manage to hurt themselves semi-intentionally. You don’t walk down the hallway and school and get that hand on your shoulder to get your attention, so the school nurse can just say hi, and let you know it was really SWEET how your kid caught the nasty stomach virus going around.
I can’t really feel sorry for her, either, because in the grand tradition of nearly all school nurses that have been in my life, her rough gig is coupled with a bad attitude. My kid doesn’t have a crap immune system on purpose, or even because of bad habits….he has a crap immune system because he was born before he bloody well had developed one at all, and “catching up” after the fact only works just so well. If his teacher has to rummage through your stash of spare changes, it’s because he’s already used up the personal ones we always provide, and that’s because he’s had to void between the times he’s given pre-scheduled toileting breaks, and the school system has not yet grasped the fact that an aid can allow him whatever independence is possible and vital to his development and optimal function in school, and yet still do things like watch him for signs that he’s about to have a potty accident because his ability to recognize the sensation of a full bladder or upset bowels is not functioning that day, and he needs a cue to know that he needs to use the bathroom. If I am called to pick up a sick Ash from school and can’t get there within 5 minutes, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because my efforts have not yet procured a safe way to retrieve him….which, by the by, would take more than 5 minutes even if I could drive on the spot and pick him up myself, because he attends a school program that we are not zoned for. Oh? And the fact that the one time I saw her that wasn’t directly related to Ash being sick or injured, was when she was at an IEP meeting, doing her best to make it harder for him to get the therapy lighting he needs? NOT HELPING. I mean, I try not to bury potential school nurse relations under my baggage from, say, when one of my school nurses almost killed me (not exaggerating) through idiocy and negligence. But, seriously….this relationship has been established, and I am never going to be happy to hear from this woman.
For the record, Ash is fine. Nothing was interfering with his movement, and his nociception is tending towards the, “Huh? I got hurt?” right now, so he was more annoyed on the tactile front by the need for band-aids, than he was bothered by the cuts, scrapes and bruises themselves.