Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sick and Tired

This is not going to be a popular, "warm and fuzzy" post, I'm just going to go ahead and put that out there.  I have sat at home with my daughter for over 2 months now patiently waiting for her to heal, for her to feel better and she is.  We still have another month to go before she can go back to school.  Do you know why we have to wait another month for her to go back to school?  It's not because she is not ready, she's doing's because folks won't stop sending their sick kids to school.  It's because we are waiting for the "sick" season to be over because parents won't keep their kids home when they are sick.    To tell you the truth I have absolutely no problem with keeping Sophie Kate home during the winter months, because I know that even if the sick child stays home their siblings could be carrying germs as well and those kind of things just happen.  My boys pick up germs from school and bring them home that's why they stop at the door and change clothes and then go wash up before they are even allowed in the same room with her.  I get those kind of things and I know they are going to happen and I am fine with keeping her home during the winter months.

Here is what I am not fine with....I am not fine that Spring is approaching and there is still a question concerning whether or not she is going to be able to go back to school. I am most certainly not fine that my healthy, smiley, school loving girl may not be able to attend her wonderful class because parents won't keep their sick kids home.  My emotions are all over the place with this, I go from raging mad and wanting to scream "It's Not Fair" to looking into her big brown eyes and knowing in my heart that I have to do what is best for this little girl above all else.  

Things are going to happen at school, germs are going to be spread and kids are going to get sick while they are at school and I know that full well.  Teachers are doing everything possible to keep hands, desks and rooms clean and I know that as well and I am most definitely not speaking to those things.  When I used to send her to school, I knew those things loomed all around.  What/Who I am speaking to is parents who know full well their children are sick and send them anyway!!  I am also speaking to those parents who send their kids out the door with a full dose of Tylenol, Ibuprofen or your fever reducer of choice on board...please stop doing this!!  Children are not supposed to return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours and that is the point at which many parents stop reading.  There is more to that sentence...children are not supposed to return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours...wait for it...WITHOUT FEVER REDUCING MEDICINES ON BOARD!!

Let me take a minute to explain how this affects my family and more specifically my daughter.  Let's even for the moment take out how sick she was this past December, let's take that event off the table for now.  Prior to this past December, when Sophie Kate would get sick we have to immediately take her to the doctor.  We can't just "wait it out" at home and see if things are going to get worse. When she gets sick we are seen by her doctor that day.  She then ends up missing anywhere from 3 days to a week or more of school just for a "run of the mill" illness like a sinus infection or a bad cold.  Sophie Kate is not immunocompromised like a person taking chemotherapy might be but she is immunosuppressed which means when she gets sick she is not able to fight off illnesses like a typical child would.  There are many reasons for this but the main reason is because she is non-mobile and as a result she cannot mobilize her secretions and get them up and out like a typical child can.  This, along with difficulty in coordinating her swallow, is how simple colds and such can lead to pneumonia for her.

Now let's add in the viral pneumonia (metapneumovirus) we dealt with this past December...since then Sophie Kate's lungs have definitely been compromised.  Her doctor did not mix words in telling me that in the months following December another illness would most certainly land our girl back in the hospital, that is why we are choosing home bound school for her right now.  He also didn't mix words when he stated that since she enjoys school so much he most definitely wanted her to get back in school come spring.  We are not in the business of blaming folks for our circumstances and we will not under any circumstances jeopardize the health of our princess.  If it is best for her to participate in home bound school for a time to heal then we are all for it and all in.  However, if a healthy Sophie Kate must continue to participate in home bound school because grown ups are not behaving responsibly then I have a big problem with that.

If y'all could just see this girl at school you would know how much she loves it.  They do so much with her, she receives all of her therapy there.  They have special equipment for her there that we do not have at home.  She enjoys interacting with her classmates and her teachers and everyone else that sees her at school and yes she does interact with them.  She is making progress there and they even have her making choices at school, it is amazing.  To say that it makes me sad that she may have to give those things up is a huge understatement and simply should not happen.  My healthy girl should not have to stay at home because of selfish parents sending their sick kids to school.

While I am on this subject I may as well get it all off my chest at once...I have also witnessed this "sick season" sick parents out and about dragging their sick children along behind them.  This is the reason that none of us, not just Sophie Kate, got out much in December or January because people won't stay home when they are sick and they drag their sick children out with them.  For the love all things healthy and I know I am not just speaking for myself here...STAY HOME!!  OK I think I may be done now.

If you are among the parents who keep their kids home when they are sick and do not send them back to school until they are well, let me say a big "THANK YOU!!"  I wish there were more of you and my family and I appreciate your consideration.  

I told you that this would not be a popular, "warm and fuzzy" post but it's something I feel strongly about and deal with every single day.  It is always on my mind, please keep it close to yours as well it would benefit us all.

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