Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Interrupter, Refuser, Moper...

Pre-post Note:  Joe does not get into trouble at school.  This is an unusual event, my opinion....the "low" trumped the reasoning for his visit to the Principal's Office.

"I thought it was all my fault mom." ... was stated in the sweet, soft, lispy Joe-voice... "I did not even think about my low or that the teacher would not let me see the nurse."

This infuriated me even more; Joe blaming himself.

Joe's daily log came home tucked in Woodchuck.  His numbers were documented.  Insulin doses were transcribed.  A visit to the Principal's Office was also written down on the log.  Apparently, he had to go see the Principal after his morning snack.  His pre-morning snack blood sugar was 66. 

Me:  "Joe, it says here that you had to go see the Principal ...  ...?  What's the story?" (questions were posed in a surprisingly even-tone by your's truly)

Joe:  "I was moping.  I asked my teacher if I could go see the nurse because I felt low ... I interrupted her; she was not happy with that ... she made me sit back down at my desk ... then I wouldn't do my math ... my head was on my desk .... I was mope-y-ish ... she then sent me to the Principal's Office ... the Nurse noticed me waiting ... checked a BG...66 ... " 

Me:  Trying to wrap my brain around the situation, "so you are saying that you asked to see the nurse because you felt low...the teacher made you sit down at your desk because you interrupted...and then sent you to the Principal's Office because you refused to do your math and you moped?"

Joe:  "I did not handle it the best."

Me:  "Did you not do your math because you didn't feel like it because of the low or because you were mad at the teacher?" the way ... I don't know why I even asked this.  It is so, so, sooooo not the point.

Joe:  "My brain did not feel like it could do the math and I was angry.  I really did not handle it well."

Of course he did not handle it well.  The one person who he depends the classroom... the gatekeeper to the nurse, to safety...was denying him access to help.  The "low" trumps the whole situation.  Of course he did not feel up to doing the math... there is a physiological reason for that.  Of course he moped...Joe can be a "moper" in normal situations...add on a low during a frustrating situation and you are gonna get some serious "mope-age".  AND!  Of course he went up to the teacher to ask to see the nurse.  He does not want to raise his hand and ask to see the nurse in front of the whole class.  He does not want to call attention to his "difference".  I GET it.  I GOT it. 

The following morning, as Joe and I were driving into school to rectify the denial-to-see-the-school-nurse-during-a-potentially-life-threatening-situation-situation, from the back seat a "Thanks mom... thanks for sticking-up for me."

Stuck up for him, I did.  It wasn't pretty.  I wasn't that calm.  Cool, I was not.  Collected?  Perhaps.  I was collected in my point.  Denial to the School Nurse is not an option when Joe feels low.  My voice was shaky.  It was loud.  I think I said I was "very upset" ump-teen times.  I did not cry though.  I felt like it.

My message to Joe throughout this ordeal was two-fold: 
  1. Do not let anyone deny you access to sugar or to your supplies if you feel low.  You may whip out your glucometer and do a check and have sugar anywhere.  OR, you may walk out of your classroom and head to the Nurse.
  2. I know this one doesn't seem quite right...BUT...I said something like "Joe, this is an example why you have to be on your best behavior all.the.time.  It will be easier for people to pick-up that you are "off" diabetes-wise, when there is an actual problem.  Maybe not the right message. 
A day-in-the-life of sticking up for my son Joe.


Tim said...

teacher = just wrong
Reyna = great response
Joe = dude, you rock!

Sandy said...

Wow that is horrible. Ugh. Joe is so sweet though!!

Beth said...

When I was still in school, I was told by the endo that I would sometimes get in trouble for doing what I needed to take care of my diabetes, but I had to do it. My mom fully supported that statement and me as well when I did end up getting in trouble. I almost failed PE (PE, for goodness sakes!) when I missed the activities so often due to lows. PE right before lunch is a bad, bad idea for a diabetic on MDI.

~Shannon said...

Scary!!! You and Joe both handled it well. I very early gave my kids permission to talk back to/disobey a teacher when it comes to their diabetes care. They know their bodies better than anyone else and only they can say what they need. We're lucky now because both kids keep their meters with them in class and are free to check whenever and wherever they need to. You have to fight for them until they can fight for themselves.

Jess said...

I am sorry that this happened to you guys. It's not a pleasant situation. But hopefully Joe will learn from this experience.

In high school, there was a teacher who wouldn't let me go upstairs during finals to the nurse. He didn't know me at all, and even when I showed my pump, told me I couldn't go upstairs.

I wish I would have had the courage to run up the stairs anyway. It's not like he really could of stopped me. Instead, I went to another staircase where there was a teacher that did know me.

Hopefully, if Joe ever encounters this again, he'll just walk right out of the classroom. Or run up the stairs. Whatever it takes.

Kelly said...

This whole situation just breaks my heart. I hope if we ever have to encounter something like this we can handle it as well as you guys did. Missed you! xoxo

Shayla said...

As a teacher, I am horrified, and am sorry. As a mother of a T1 son, I am apoplectic, and am sorry.

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah said...

Oh my crap, seriously, that is just not okay. I am appalled at hearing the story and that Joe repeatedly stated that "he didn't handle it well"...oye! I am just starting to get my stuff together for Isaac's beginning school and these points are very wise to make, especially for Isaac with his sometimes whiney moods to make him aware that his whining is too similar to his low behavior and may be mistaken, BUT still if a child needs to see the nurse there shouldn't be denial.
Sorry you guys had to deal with this, but thankful that you and Joe are such great communicators with one another and your school team.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Poor guy. I'm sorry that both of you had to deal with that situation. If you all ever need "uncle Scott" to come and kick some tail, just say the word. :-)

Barb Wagstaff said...

Poor Joe should never have had to feel like he was wrong. Congratulations for not ripping the teacher into itty bitty shreds. I would have had a hard time showing restraint.
Hopefully the teacher will click in next time!

Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Good for you Reyna! I had this same situation happen to us at church. One lady would not allow Andrew into the room where his diabetes bag was. I had to send my husband to confront her because I would have turned into a blubbering mess and my point would not have been made properly. It's so aggravating that people who are put in place to take care of our children don't take it seriously enough. IT"S A HUGE DEAL!!!!!!

Way to go D momma!!!!!! Give Joe a big hug for us. He rocks too! They have to carry so much on their little shoulders. It frustrates me to no end!

Liz said...

I feel so bad that he felt he did something wrong!! When I am low, the confusion is so hard to deal with that I can't handle anything well!! Obviously this teacher needs to be educated more in the treatment and handling of a T1 child (and I am sure you "schooled" her). It sounded more that she was annoyed at being interrupted and that trumped anything less a diabetic low for a child who is fighting a chronic her temper clouded her judgement.

Let Joe know that he handled the situation the best he could (or was allowed) and that the teacher failed him, not the other way around.

Then give him a (((hug))) for me. You keep sticking up for matter how loud you get :)

Jules said...

That whole interaction just makes me so mad. When was she going to figure out that him lying on his desk unable to work was a significant event. Some people can be so ignorant and perhaps controlling. Im in charge blah blah blah. Where was the duty of care. Gah. Glad to hear you went in to make your case heard - of course essential to taking care of your beautiful sonxx.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm sorry that Joe had this experience and that he blamed himself. How together is this teacher that SIX months into the school year she doesn't trust Joe?

As for your message to Joe about always being on his best behavior, I had the same kind of conversation with my son before he entered middle school.

katy said...

Oh, Joe. So familiar. Poor little moper with head on desk.

Unbelievable teacher! I hope it sinks in + never happens again.

Kristin said...

Good lord - hope the teacher got the message loud and clear.
Ironic that it's hard to find a PDA, because everyone's afraid of doing something wrong and being liable!
And - congrats on the nursing position!