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I want to play by the school's rules, honest I do. But when they are just plain stupid and possibly endangering my child's well being, not so much.

Even with continued therapy, K's panic attacks are an issue. If I knew then what I know now, I would have skipped steps one through 10 and just hidden her stash in a mint box. (Then again, after hearing about the Supreme Court case of the poor girl who was strip searched on suspicion of carrying Advil, maybe not.)

I went to her doctor, who filled out the proper forms and expressed her medical opinion that K should be able to self-administer her anti-anxiety meds in school as necessary. Delivered to school nurse.

Permission denied.

So I brought in a supply of 0.5 mg Xanax — in original container — so the nurse could dispense them as needed. That is, if K could actually get to her.

Her first attack took place at the beginning of history class. K told the teacher she needed to go to the nurse. His response: "We’re having a quiz — if you don't stay, you'll get an incomplete for the quarter."

That was helpful in quelling her anxiety.

I don't understand. If a doctor, licensed in the state of New York, thinks my 16-year-old daughter should be able to carry her anxiety medications with her and I agree, shouldn't she be able to carry her meds with her? How can our school override both medical directive and parental wishes, not to mention, common sense? 

My daughter's school is this big rambling mess of separate buildings, requiring students to travel among them to get to their classes. It can easily take 10 minutes to get from one side of campus to another. Here’s a math problem with a practical application: If K starts panicking in building A, but the nurse is in building Z, what is the equation to get her from A to Z and then back to her next class in Q with just five minutes between classes?

Now I'm starting to hyperventilate.

K had a field trip with her French class last month for Carnaval de Quebec. Packing all her cold weather gear — long undies, ski pants and jacket, scarves, gloves, hats — was a piece of cake compared with getting the approvals for her meds. Now, even the meds she takes at home needed forms filled out by appropriate doctors and hand-delivered to the nurse.

Lexapro: semi check. Since insurance regulations won't allow me to reorder until the next month's prescription is due, cannot fulfill school's requirement to have prescribed meds in two weeks before trip. Unless we skip doses, negating purpose for taking drugs. Check mailbox twice a day for new pills to arrive.

Advil: a no brainer, right? But no. In our district, over the counter medications have to be treated like controlled substances. Fax form to pediatrician who refaxes completed form to nurse. Transfer handful out of economical 180-size bottle into smaller container (thinking I'm being thoughtful for the chaperone who will have to schlep these items). FAIL! Nurse informs me that the container is expired. Run to Target to buy overpriced 20-count container (silently seethe). Hand deliver to school next morning on way to work. Wait while Pledge of Allegiance is recited. Wait while boys with visibly raging hormones turn in sports forms. Again, explain to nurse that I love my daughter, have no desire for her to die slowly of menstrual cramps as result of expired painkillers.

Birth Control Pills: WTF? This is the one drug they allow her to "self medicate.” But again, the doctor's written prescription doesn't cut it as permission to take said meds. Call extremely busy OB/GYN, who needs a signed note from K allowing doctor to send her medical info to the school. Write out the note, have K sign, fax to doctor; call to make sure received. Call school to make sure they received authorization.

Xanax: check. New prescription bumped up to 1.0 mg. School requires original container (along with another signed form from the doctor!), so I dump home supply into last month's empty bottle of ).5. Note to K: don't take two of these!

Now I'm the one who needs a Xanax.

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Wednesday Monday, 13 April 2009 10:42 posted by Wednesday

    I *hate* this kind of nonsense: It seems rampant among schools these days. Just make a rule to deal with something, and then you can completely abdicate your common sense. I truly believe the school health worker (they're not even nurses anymore, not here) must have the cushiest job in the world. It seems like they exist to hand out maxi pads and call parents to get their kids.