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,