Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lawmommy reaches the end of her rope and winds up in the principle's office

To be completely honest, this has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad 8 days. Gabriel's surgery has been much more stressful than I anticipated. He has had a much harder time recovering from the surgery than we anticipated. Sunday night I was bawling on the phone to my grandma (because my mother was at a convention in Nashville and she had no cell service, so, when, you can't have your mom's ear, at least it's good to have your grandma's ear.) Grandma was so worried about Gabe and I that she threatened to drive down from Detroit. By herself. I pulled myself together in order to keep grandma from killing herself by attempting to navigate 65 miles of interstate in the dark.

Gabe is normally a nice child. A sweet child. Not perfect, but, I don't generally want to strangle him on a regular basis. Since the surgery, he has been alternately, an atrocious monster brat and a pathetic and scared mouse, which alternately makes me want to scream or cry. He still has a lot of pain. We saw the surgeon yesterday, and adjusted his pain medication dose and switched to a different antibiotic.

We finally thought he would be able to return to school today. I dropped him off, along with his presciptions. (He needs doses every 4 hours. School is 8 hours. Obviously, he needs to receive his meds.)

His teacher tells me I have to take the meds to the office. (Okay, that is totally reasonable.) The office staff tells me that they won't administer medication without a note from the doctor.

I point to the prescription label on the bottles. "I'm not asking you to administer over the counter meds. These are prescription medication that he needs at 11:30 today."

"We need a note from the doctor," replies the secretary.

"This IS from the doctor. SEE, see here, where it says, "1 tsp every 4 hours?" that's from the doctor's instructions."

"We need THIS FORM from the doctor," I am handed a form, with a place for my signature. releasing the school from liability, and a place for the doctor to sign with instructions on dosing the meds. (So, the doctor's instructions to the pharmacy meet the legal requirement for me to obtain a controlled substance for my child, but, that's not enough for the school board?)

The secretary says, "Why don't you call the doctor and ask him to sign this and fax it back to us before 11:30?"

"Because the doctor is a surgeon and he is performing SURGERIES in the morning. That's his job. His office hours are in the afternoon."

"Maybe your family doctor would sign it?" she says.

I call my family doctor and get the response I expected - they won't sign the form since they didn't prescribe the medication.

"Why don't you come back at 11:00?" the secretary asks me.

"BECAUSE I AM A LAWYER AND I HAVE TO BE IN COURT AT 11:00 DOWNTOWN, which is fully 30 minutes from here."

Suddenly, and without warning, I burst into tears. I am ushered into the principle's officer, where the situation is explained. I continue to cry.

The principle, Mr. W~, keeps telling me this is board policy. I explain what a hard experience this has been for Gabe and us, how I thought we had finally gotten him feeling more normal, and now he is telling me that the meds my child needs to stay healthy cannot be given to him.

Mr. W~ asks me to call the surgeon's office, where I am promptly put on hold for 20 minutes.

Mr. W~ asks me if there is anyone I trust to administer the medication to Gabriel.

Mr. W~ holds my cell phone and listens to the hold music at the surgeon's office while I call my neighbor, S~, to see if she would be around at 11:30 to drop by the school and give Gabe his medication.

Hallelujah, S~ (who is a pharmaceutical sales rep and works odd hours) agrees to go to the school at 11:30.

I write a note, stating that S~ can remove Gabriel from class (where she will give him his medication.)

That accomplished, I burst into tears AGAIN in the principle's office, and I say, "I'm sorry. I'm not usually like this. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in 8 days - this has been very stressful, and I thought we might finally get back to normal, and this just feels like the last straw, and it's absurd. If the prescription is sufficient for the pharmacy to release the drug, it should be sufficient for the school."

Once more I am told it is board policy, and I silently curse the lawyers who drafted it.

In the parking lot, I sit in my car and cry for 5 minutes. I drive the hospital and I take the form to the office of the surgeon who performed the operation. I explain the situation, and they tell me they will try to have it worked out and get the form signed by the end of today.

I have no idea what I will do tomorrow, if they don't get the damn form signed and faxed back to the school.

Feeling frustrated and weepy,


Blogger Kate said...

I'm sorry today was so hard. Hugs.

Just as a side note, lortab (which is what I think he's on?) makes me EVIL. Seriously. Like hide your children, woman on the rampage evil. So that may be part of his behavior issues. Is he still getting ibuprofen, too?

Hope you both feel better soon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anya said...

This is just way personal, but certain pain meds mixed with certain people can equal constipation...I know - gross, but if he's been not drinking as much as usual, AND less physically active AND is on a pain med that has a constipation side effect, some of his mood problems might be his guts. If that is the case, he doesn't have to have a laxative, just stool softener would help. Delete this if its too icky.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Space Mom said...

I am sorry.

Once Gabe is better, this sounds like an issue for the school board. I would certainly bring them up to speed on how hard it is to get a medication.

I agree with Kate. Some pain meds can make you very crazy

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Duchess said...

Sorry to give assvice - have you tried throat coat tea? They gave it to me after surgery because it felt like they had ripped out my vocal cords and replaced them with barb wire.

Sorry about the school too - when the last straw goes it goes - it seems so silly that you could write a note and it would be okay, why wouldn't they just let you put in the nurse or admin persons name?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger jenn said...

I hope today is a better day for you. Thinking about you!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Sending many big huge hugs your way. The school rule is ridiculous when the dose is ON the bottle WITH a Dr's name. You would think the school would be able to get verbal confirmation from the Drs office and that should be good enough (and even that is too much). I hope G continues to recoop and I wish he was his normal self again! I am thinking about you and your family!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 8:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

the school situation sounds absolutely absurd!!! Poor you, and poor Gabe!

Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger maxhelcal said...

Wow...what a time you had! I don't think our school has that requirement.....I seem to remember being able to just go to the nurse. Thankfully, it worked out though. Hope your Gabe feels better soon!


Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:48:00 PM  
Blogger Avonlea said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this turmoil, and the having to be in court - something we can never change - is so tough on top of all of these challenges.

Friday, November 03, 2006 11:28:00 PM  

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