May 31, 2012

Pointless Mortification

Edward has been home sick all week with strep. It was a little satisfying taking him to the doctor yesterday: the nurse said "I'd be VERY SURPRISED if he had strep" and the doctor said "Well, we've been seeing some sore throats but they're all just viruses...."---and then the doctor looked in his throat and said, "Huh. Well, we should do a strep test," and did the strep test, and it was positive. My phone issues artificially skew my success rate: I'm not likely to bring a kid in unless I'm pretty certain there's a problem.

This morning Elizabeth told me that a boy in Edward's class told her that he didn't think Edward was sick, because HE heard the assistant teacher telling Edward's teacher that she drove by and saw Edward playing outside. This has left me stricken with Pointless Mortification. Edward has NOT been playing outside; he has been in on the couch. But Henry looks very much like Edward (enough so that if I'm out with just Henry, people who know us casually aren't sure who it is), and Henry HAS been playing outside. And today Edward is feeling way better, but has to stay home another day because of contagion risk, so he very well MIGHT go play outside. But now I feel like the teachers might think I'm lying about him being sick, or that Edward is lying to me about being sick. But I can't exactly go up to them and say "Elizabeth said that Max said that he heard Ms. Jorry say to Mrs. Givens that SHE saw..."

And please note that ALL of this is from a report from two first graders, so it might not even be ACCURATE. And even if it IS accurate, the teacher might not have even recorded that information as significant: plenty of kids who have symptoms that mean they're not allowed in school (fevers, barfing, pink eye) still feel well enough to play outside---especially when the rule is that they have to wait 24 hours before coming back. Which makes it MULTI-LEVELED Pointless Mortification: don't know if it's true, don't know if it matters, can't do much about it no matter what.

I am sending a note with Edward tomorrow (as I usually would, after a child's absence, so that the teacher knows what's going on even if the office didn't tell her) that mentions taking him to the doctor and the strep diagnosis and the antibiotics, so I'm hoping if there IS any doubt, that will clear it up.


12 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh yes. Make the note really detailed!!!!

I can diagnose strep now by the smell of their breath. Damn strep and it's streppy hold on our house. If only they'd give prescribing authority to Dr. Mom I'd be without the ginormous hassle of having to make an actual doctor's appointment.

Jessa said...

I could tell my daughter had strep before the fever even hit! We'd go to the doc, they'd say it wasn't likely strep, but would do the test anyway. Less than 15 minutes later we'd have antibiotics. Finally had her tonsils taken out last September! :)

M.Amanda said...

From another perspective, can you imagine being the teacher who DID go on about that, not knowing the child had a doppleganger little brother, then getting that brother in your class a few years later and realizing, "Oh my, I made a total fool of myself. OF COURSE, it was probably the younger one I saw that day."

Maybe I'm alone here, but I think someone will understand where I'm going, but I'd be doubly mortified that I'd made the mistake and it was now waaaay too late to do damage control without sounding like a head case. My face still burns remembering idiotic things I said, knowing now how completely WRONG I was and surely the other person at some point - probably as I said it - knew it.

Anyway, I'm sure anyone with a couple years teaching experience will either understand the things you mentioned.

Ginny said...

Maybe things are very different between preschool and first grade, but when I was a teacher I would never have suspected a parent of keeping their child home under a pretense, nor would I have cared if one did. Parents bringing their infectiously ill children to school was a much bigger problem and much more likely to occur. My guess is that the child interpreted it as a possibly judgey conversation, because the child knows you're not supposed to stay home "sick" if you're not, but the two teachers were merely mildly curious.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

My IMMEDIATE reaction is to call the school and in a scolding voice say that teachers should not be discussing other children in public areas. Because that is not cool.

But a), that is probably not entirely possible, because I am guessing that schools CRAWL with children, and if someone, in passing said, "Oh, I haven't seen Edward," then what is the TA to do? Say, "Let's talk about this in the teacher's lounge?" No. Not really reasonable. (But I am saying this grudgingly.)

And b), that would involve a phone call which is not fun and the person you spoke to might think you were overreacting and ACK.

So my SECOND, grudging reaction is to think that maybe the TA was saying something like, "Oh, I'm not sure where Edward is! I saw him outside, so I thought we'd for sure see him at school today." Which is not judge-y, just idle observation. And that the child who talked to Elizabeth misheard or misinterpreted the tone of the conversation.

My THIRD reaction, belated, is ACK! Strep throat! I hope it ends with Edward.

Swistle said...

Oh, Ginny, interesting thought! YES, I can see how the CHILD would be like "GASP HE'S FAKING!!" whereas the teachers would just be like "Oh, another day out, I hope it's not something serious!" "Oh, I think it's okay: I saw him playing outside."

Christina said...

I get strep like once a year and doctors NEVER believe me. Ever. Until they shove that qtip thing down my throat, I gag, my eyes water, and they come back with a "hmmm well it DOES look like a positive for strep." Der.

I like Ginny's thought. First graders could misconstrue an adult's casual conversation, easily!

Kami said...

Uh. I would be upset and probably complain on that teacher, she needs to learn a lesson. Better yet I would complain after I personally stuck a doctor's excuse with the DX on it under her nose.

People need to learn certain things aren't their business, and to shut the hole.

I'am convinced people only act this way because other than being miserable they do not think they'll get called out on it.

Joanne said...

I think and hope Ginny is right - my inclination is to feel guilt and fear, so I thought the teacher or aide or whatever was saying Edward is FAKING! but in fact - why would a teacher think a parent would be in on it too? Also, my kids have been sick over the last seven years, and they've had to stay home from school, but if the weather is good,I would definitely send them outside because a) they are driving me crazy by that point and b) it's good for them. For a while, my son's school had a rule that you had to wait FIVE DAYS after flu-like symptoms or fever and that kid was going crazy after day two!

kris (lower case) said...

i would have sent him to school. the whole 24 hour rule thing is so ignored and they probably aren't even contagious anymore anyay. i mean if he saw the dr at 8am that day and school started at 9am the next day.. that is 24 hours. what is the difference between that and seeing the dr at 11am instead of 8am..

Laura said...

I would choose to believe it is what Ginny said.

This past year (we're out of school now) my son threw up one morning and I wasn't sure what to do about sending him to school. He doesn't just regularly throw up, but he sometimes does that and then he'll feel fine later. BUT - I've had a couple of times this year where he was questionable and I sent him on and then got a call a bit later that he threw up in the breakfast line (that is a GREAT call to get!). Anyway - so I decided to keep him home that day. Turns out he was just fine, stayed with my mom and was active and feeling well all day. He had a baseball game scheduled for that night and at first I just assumed there was no way he could go because he had missed school and you CAN'T do something like that when you miss school -- what would everyone think?? But, we ended up going because he really did feel fine. Luckily his teacher wasn't at the game :-). My aunt, who was at the game, handles the attendance records at the school and did tell me that 'you know you aren't supposed to play ball on days you're out of school'!! She was mainly joking.....

Alice said...

oh, i bet ginny's right!! however i would TOTALLY have thought/felt what you did (until someone else pointed out what ginny did).