I think I’ve been on speed-dial with the school nurse for the past fifteen years. In fact, Nurses have come and gone, but my number remains the set of digits most often dialed! The other day I got a call that my little princess had thrown up. Before I even made it to the school, I told my niece “I’d bet you anything she threw up her milk so she could come home early.”
I don’t know who would want to be the first one home to hold Ms. Presley!!
There’s just something about school cafeterias and those little cartons of milk…. they are never quite cold enough and my kids seem to know exactly how to chug it down just fast enough to send it churning right back up… eeewwwwwwwwwweee.
The day after KK managed to get sent home, I was taking a nap. It had been a long week. We’d had visitors in and out and a new baby and Blondie had surgery on her kidney the day after Presley was born and I’d gone back and forth from the hospital (45 minutes away) so many times that I was completely exhausted. By the time Wednesday arrived, I found myself in need of a mid-morning nap.
I was sound asleep when my phone rang. I answered to my friend, who said the school nurse was looking for me. (After hanging up with Angi, I saw that I’d missed two calls from the nurse. I have no idea if that was a cell-phone black hole moment or if it took the phone ringing 3 different times to bring me out of my coma, either way, it was back to the elementary school for me!)
So I got to the school to find that one of my twins had nearly cut the tip of his finger off! So much for safety scissors!!
The doctor said there wasn’t anything to stitch since Jordan had basically fileted his finger! All we could do was put a little glue on it and hope it would eventually decide to stop bleeding.
The office ladies had a good chuckle over how calmly I took the news, but over the years I’ve had my share of emergency calls. I’ve had to drive my car onto the football field to load up Dyl Pickles when he was tackled wrong. Once Blondie fell on the steps on the gymnasium and actually broke her tailbone (on the one day I was planning to take her out early to see a movie!). I’ve seen stitches, staples, casts, and CT Scans, but my absolute favorite school nurse story is from when Blondie was in the third grade.
The nurse called me, very worried. Blondie had failed her hearing screening. Now, she was already a karaoke diva, and she eavesdropped on every phone conversation I ever had, so I knew there was no way this little drama queen was struggling to hear, so I suggested that allergies had clogged up her ears. The nurse waited a few days and re-tested her.
Again, my phone rang. “Blondie has me baffled” the nurse said. “She sometimes hears the soft beeps but not the loud ones, she might really need to see a specialist.” I just knew there was no way this kid couldn’t hear everything around her, and I was talking about my attention-seeking nurse goer when I noticed Blondie snooping, as usual.
Suddenly, I got a brilliant idea. If there was anything Blondie liked to do, it was listen in on my conversations, so somehow I managed to signal my friend Angi to play along with a bogus conversation. I remember making sure Blondie was in earshot, and I said to my friend: “I just don’t know what to do about her hearing, it’s so scary. They want me to take her to a specialist, but you know they will stick that long needle all the way to her eardrum and remove a piece of it to be tested…”
I went on and on about how much I didn’t want to see my poor little baby suffer through that terrible test, if only her hearing would magically get better…
Well Blondie never said a word that night, but the next day, she went straight to the nurse and proclaimed that her ears were feeling much better! She was tested again, and she passed with flying colors.
That time, it was downright funny when the nurse dialed my digits. She couldn’t explain the change, but she was confident that I didn’t need to see that specialist after all…
If there’s one thing every school nurse needs to know, it’s that sometimes, you’ve got to outsmart these little rascals. Milk vomit isn’t contagious, 103˚ fevers are typically fake, hearing is selective, needles are scary, and if word gets out that mom is home taking a nap, somebody will find an ailment to complain about.
The truly ironic end to this story is that I actually received a letter saying that two of my kids have missed too much school- pretty funny considering they are the ones who keep sending them home! If it were up to me, perfect attendance is what it would be!!
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