Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is this just part of the gig?

I am pretty frustrated right now to say the least but I am wondering if I am justified or not. I might not be. Miles goes to daycare at our church - First Christian Church of Houston (First Christian School). They are a little freaked out by him to say the least. At first they were just a little nervous, as is everyone at first I guess. When the epilepsy diagnosis came they were okay at first. After the big seizure at Christmas they have become increasingly more nervous about him being there. When we sent the Diastat to school they freaked and called a lawyer - saying that administering this medication is invasive and against state law. They don't want to be held liable for sticking something in his butt. I told them, "If you let him die then you will be much more liable than if you stick something in his behind that I asked you to put there". They requested to be trained on how to administer the meds. I searched and searched and finally an angel said she would do it. I paid her $100 and she trained the whole school on how to administer this very self explanitory medication. Either Sean or myself have always gone along on the field trips because we want to be a part of everything. Today there is a field trip to go bowling. When Sean arrived to drop him off they said Miles can't go unless one of us goes along - that it is required for one of us to accompany him on the field trip. Required? Are there any other parents that are required to accompany their child on a field trip? Why do we not have this in writing? Speaking of in writing - they sent me a legal agreement about the medication. It says:
"Rebecca L. Conway-Suggs and Sean Suggs agree to indemnify and hold harmless First Christian Church/First Christian School and their officers, employees, agents or instrumentalities (the "Indemnified Parties"), from any and all claims, liabilities, demands, suits, causes of actions or proceedings of any kind or nature, losses or damages including attorneys' fees and costs of defense, which the indemnified parties may incur arising out of the negligence, error, omission, intentional acts, or other cause arising out of or resulting from the administration of any medication or medical procedure by the Indemnified Parties for or for the benefit of Miles Suggs. The obligation to indemnify and hold harmless specifically includes claims, liabilities, demands, suits, causes of actions or proceedings arising from the negligent acts or omissions of the Indemnified Parties."

I have not signed it and just cannot agree to ANY medication or medical procedure! I am thinking of editing it and saying "...the administration of Diastat as prescribed for a grand mal seizure lasting five minutes or more..." What do you think? If they were to accidentally give him some other child's meds they wouldn't be liable according to that agreement! Should I add something about the school being trained on how to administer it?

Also, I think that the teacher treats Miles differently than the other kids. At his birthday party the kids were very 'careful' with Miles and concerned about him while they were playing. There was lots of hugging and "Oh, Miles!" from some of the kids. I think his teacher may have given the impression to the class that Miles is fragile. I SO don't want that for him!

So here is where I am wondering if I am justified or not in being upset...

Is his health really that fragile? Do I underestimate the situation? I know that he has had several seizures of all different types and we don't really know what triggers them. I know his heart is a big deal. But am I expecting too much from the daycare? From my point of view - they are a daycare - they know that not all children have picture perfect health - they expect to have to give medication sometimes. There are lots of kids with health issues - is Miles' health more of a big deal than a normal kid? (btw, he is such a normal kid!) Is this just part of the gig and I have to get over it and realize that his health will freak people out - and they will be nervous so I will forever have to make concessions?

I know when we first were looking for a daycare people were so freaked out by him and his health. We had one place that looked at me like they were terrified and said "So, he could ACTUALLY turn BLUE?" (I thanked them for their time and left) Have you other heart moms experienced anything like this? Am I totally downplaying his health? Is it expecting too much to expect the daycare to treat him as any other kid?


Michael said...

this is a TOUGH issue. We have the same concerns for Sophia. I believe all Sophia's caregivers are freaked out by her heart condition. But, they have all followed our instructions to treat her normally. If they ever have concerns they just call us and tell us. But if I received that letter, I would get legal advice before signing it. I am sure there are laws governing this kind of thing. I am sure other parents didn't have to sign the same thing. It seems a bit strong to totally free them of any responsibility for his medical well-being.
good luck.

Sarah said...

I'm with Michael.... it seems wrong to totally free them of their responsiblity of Miles while he is in their care. This was Evan's 1st yr. & was at a small Christian school. On his admission sheet under medical conditions I stated his heart defect and gave the # to the cardio. During orientation I talked in length about his condition w/ the teacher and director. I told them about his heart, asthma and things to watch for. I also told them to please treat him normally. I can only remember 1 time picking him up and the teacher said that she upset Evan b/c she made him sit down a while during recess b/c his breathing was heavy. I assured her she did the right thing. I cannot think of any other instance where he was treated differently. I'm sorry this has become such a problem and hope things work out.

Jennifer said...

I have to agree, I don't think you should sign anything that gives them a free pass on everything, if anything it should at least be specific.

I get that they are nervous. I can remember getting sick to my stomach in elementary school and if there was another kid already in the nurses office, I was sequestered to the library until my parents came to get me, because they were scared and unsure what to do or what could happen.

I do understand their fear, but it doesn't make you or Miles feel any better about it. You try so hard, like my parents did, to make him feel that he is a normal kid just like his classmates, and other people do the exact opposite and freak out. It is lack of education and understanding, but there is not much you can do there...which sucks.

I think you are justified to be upset.