Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sick Days

Ainsley is rarely sick.  Maybe once a year she gets a cold bad enough to run a fever.  But really, she's fairly healthy.  I attribute it to full time daycare since 3 months of age.  Because she wasn't always this way.  She was my ear-infection-every-6-weeks kid.  If it wasn't an ear infection it was a virus or strep throat.  She was sick a lot, which made me sick a lot.

However, by about age 3.5 she stopped getting sick.  Sure she has a cough or runny/stuffy nose here and there, but really down and out more.  Also, she's never had any kind of stomach bug.  The child has never thrown up.

This school year, the only days she has missed have been days we pulled her out of school for something...until February.

February brought the flu to our house and a nasty, high fever virus to both the kids.  So three weeks ago, Ainsley was sent home from school with a 102 fever.  She then missed the next two days  The following week we kept her home because of another high fever.  That whole time she would run a fever here and there, but that was it.  In between fevers she was her normal happy self.

Fast forward to this week.

Tuesday the school called at 10 AM, Ainsley was complaining of a sore throat, but no fever.  I was kind of caught off guard.  No fever?  Then why are you calling me?

But since I'm still kind of new at this public school thing, I left work and picked her up.  This child was not sick.  No fever, no congestion, nothing.  She said she "had a frog in her throat."  She flipped out when I told her she couldn't play with the neighbor girl after school.  "But I'm not sick!!!" she insisted.  Which I knew, but no way was I encouraging this behavior.

Yesterday, she cried getting on the bus.  Said she was afraid of poisonous snakes.  The night before she had grilled me about blood-sucking bugs.  Clif forced her on the bus and the day was uneventful, as far as I know.  Last night I asked her about it.  Asked her if everything was okay at school.  Asked her if she was getting along with all of her friends.  Her answer "I had a great day mommy," as she bounced into the minivan.

Today, I'm working away at my office when the phone rings...Virginia number I don't know.  I answer.  It's the school.  Ainsley's in the clinic.  She told her teacher she felt like she was going to throw up.  Again, the girl has NEVER thrown up.

"Is she running a fever?" I ask.
"Not really, 98.9 (side note: NOT A FEVER NURSE!!!)" the nurse responds.
"Did she throw up?" I ask
"No, but she's asking to go home," says nurse.
"Can you please explain to me your criteria for sending a child home?  I thought they had to be running a fever."
"Well, yes, they need to have a fever over 100 degrees, but we also send them home if they're not feeling well.  And she says she's not feeling well," she explains.

Then I got all blubbery.  I don't know how to explain it.  I'm not good when my parenting is questioned.  I was asking if it was really necessary that I come get her and even though it wasn't, I was being made to feel like an ass hole for, I don't know...not caring that my kid was sick.  Which is not the case, but that's the way I felt.  Most of that, probably my own issue, but I have no idea why a school nurse is calling me when a child has ZERO symptoms.

If Ainsley gets embarrassed or upset she tells me she doesn't feel well.  A kid saying "I don't feel well, I want to go home" is not reason to send them home.

So here I am, at home again with her and guess what...she's not sick!  I am forcing her to stay on the couch all day.  She's pretty pissed about it.

I tried talking to her, asking her why she kept wanting to come home and her only answer is that she was sick, but now she's not.

I'm trying to make her understand the difference between actually being sick and just feeling a little icky.  But really, how do I make a 5 year old understand that?  I don't want her suffering through school if she is sick, but again...she rarely, RARELY gets sick.  And she's already been sick this month.  I can't see her getting another full blown illness this close to the last one.

So bottom line, I kind of feel like something else is going on, but I've asked every question I can think of and nothing.  No one hurt her feelings, everyone wants to play with her, no one yelled at her, she loves school.  So why is she asking to come home every day?
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