Friday, July 22, 2011

A Peaceful Easy Feeling

Imagine a room.  A large room in an elementary school.  The room is lit by fluorescent lights and inside the room are little beds where kids come to rest when they don't feel good at school.  The health office.  The place that is looked on affectionately by most parents that send their kids to school.  For most parents this office is barely thought of... and certainly not an intimidating place.  For a parent of a type 1, however, the health office is where you know your child will spend more time than the average student.  They will visit that place a couple of times a day, if not more.  The health office is where they will prick their fingers, make them bleed and receive their life-saving medication.  It is where they will come when they don't feel good, yes.  But their "I don't feel good" is a matter of life and death, not a temporary ache that will go away with some Tylenol and a little mothering-away-from-home to be received from the school nurse.

Yesterday, we were in this room.  Sugar Daddy and I.  The Sugar Kids are starting Kindergarten.  In three days, I will drop them off and from 8am to 2:30pm every week day they will be under the care of someone else.  This is a nerve-wracking time for any parent.  For a parent of a type 1 its terrifying.  So, we did the only thing we could do.  We asked for a meeting with the people that would be responsible for the care of that type 1.  We asked them to meet us there in that office and review our plan.  We asked them to take care of our son... to keep him safe from the disease that threatens his life daily. 

I found myself sitting on one of the little beds.  Sugar Daddy was beside me with this laptop.  Facing me around the room were 8 other people.  Sugar Boy's nurse, the district nurse, the two sub nurses that float the district, his teacher, his P.E. teacher, the music teacher and even the librarian.  Every person that would have contact with him during an average week was there.  And in their hands they held a 7 page document that is the "owners manual" for Sugar Boy's care.  I greeted them and thanked them.  I was actually a little emotional at this gathering.  People that had taken time from there day to come and listen so that they would be prepared to keep Sugar Boy safe.  As we went through the document some of them took notes... some of them asked questions... some of them just listened.  But all of them GOT IT.  They talked amongst themselves and set the schedule.  They anticipated other parts of the plan and asked intelligent questions before I even got to reviewing that part.  They laughed and made jokes but took the entire meeting VERY seriously.  The P.E. teacher was on it.  He committed to carrying sugar and glucagon with him at all times.  They learned how to check Linkie (our CGMS) and they nailed down the procedure for when he is high and low.

The one person that was noticeably absent from the meeting was the principal.  At first I was concerned.  But then I realized that the reason she was not there is she has faith in her team.  And from what I could tell that faith is well placed.  The team is tight.  And that is SO refreshing!

After almost 2 hours of discussing, planning, and collaborating, they meeting was done.  They left.  But not before THANKING US!  I was shocked.  But each and every one of them stopped and thanked Sugar Daddy and I for the information we had given them.  They all expressed gratitude at the comprehensive document we had put together and they all assured us that Sugar Boy will be safe in their care.

Sugar Daddy and I spent a little extra time with the district nurse and the school  nurse and then we left.  I assured the nurse that on Monday morning I would be bringing her the sugar box that would stay at school, 3 glucagons (one to be kept in the sugar box, one for his classroom and one for the P.E. teacher to carry), and a stuffed animal for her to keep on her desk that will have a card attached to it with Sugar Boy's picture and a checklist for his daily care.  I also very willingly agreed to come at lunch time for the first few days of school to supervise her figuring the amount of carbs consumed and dosing Sugar Boy. 

And when I walked out all I could think of was the Eagles song... because it was an amazing Peaceful, Easy Feeling.