Monday, September 30, 2013

Making Simple Things Difficult....

I've been frustrated with my daughter's school lately. Actually, it's been a growing frustration. I remember (decades ago) carrying multiple books home with me in elementary school to do my homework. These kids have copied work sheets - no books to bring home. I've requested to see her books in the past just so I knew what the heck they were learning. How are parents suppose to monitor and help their children with homework if we have no idea of what they are suppose to be learning?

I also thought math is math - you can't change the basics, however, apparently you can. She showed me her worksheet and it was basic multiplication:  135 x 23 for example. I told her, "You know how to do this, is this just a review?"
Nope. They have to solve the problem using the distributive property of multiplication. Now are they just trying to confuse the hell out of these kids or are they preparing them for algebra? Shouldn't they just practice the normal way of solving this problem to master the basics? She's in the 5th grade - I don't foresee algebra until high school.
So, using that example from above this is what you have to do for the problem:

135  -->     100+30+5
x23  -->      20+3
100 x 3 =     300
30  x 3 =      90
5 x 3 =         15
100 x 20 =   2000
20 x 30 =     600
20 x 5 =       100

I asked my daughter if she remembered how to do this problem 'normally' and she did. I guess I'll have to contact the math teacher and find out what this is all about. I bet these teachers think I'm a pain in the ass because I usually ask for materials and writing notes because I want to know what's going on with their classes when I see something strange to me.

So she comes home this past Friday with a failing grade on a science test. I'm surprised because she loves science and is normally a very good student. She's learning basic chemistry and she was able to bring the book home. We reread every chapter this past weekend together, reviewed her old test and I had her take the make up exam on her own. She had one question that she didn't understand. I read it and couldn't answer it, I showed it to my husband and he couldn't either. He said, "This is a bullshit question." We both have multiple degrees, certifications, and he has a graduate degree - together we couldn't answer this question - how is a 5th grader suppose to do it?
So I wrote yet another note to the teacher requesting that she allow my daughter to bring home the book once a week so I can review it with her.

So now I have math & science to do with my daughter, keep an eye on my son's schoolwork, and prepare for my next degree starting in January. If we could add another few hours in the day, I might be able to do this all. Sigh.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where Vomit Hides....

My 7 year old son was setting up the ole 'I'm sick, so I don't know if I can go to school tomorrow' routine. He complained of a headache, I gave him some ibuprofen then he complained of nausea.
After describing what his day would look like in no uncertain terms (in bed, no Wii, no TV, no friends, no fun), he mysteriously got better after taking his shower.

"Mommy, I feel better. I think the medicine helped. The throw up went into my feet."

"What?! Your feet? You mean your nausea is gone?"

"No, the throw up. The medicine scared it to my feet."

"Umm, okay. Why did it go to your feet?"

"Because that's where throw up hides for me, in my feet. Everyone is different. Mine goes to a secret, dark hiding spot in the middle of my feet and when I have to throw up next time, it rushes out, up to my mouth and I throw it up. I'm fine now, it's locked up."

"I did not know about this."

"You're a nurse, mommy, didn't they teach that to you in school?"

"I guess not."

"Where does your throw up hide?"

"I don't really know."

"You should look at your feet, I bet it's in there."


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hope without 'this'

I had another young patient in the ER for drug related problems. As the doctor was bedside and I was assisting him in a procedure, the patient mentioned that she was starting nursing school. The doctor engaged in some more chit chat and then left the room. I decided we were going to have a little talk while I bandaged her wound.

"We're going to have a chat."
"I know, I know....I did a stupid thing. I swear this is the last time I will do something this stupid. I've only done this once before."
"Yeah, say you're starting nursing school, if that is a goal of yours, you're not going to reach it by doing this. You can't be a nurse and do drugs. No one will trust you or hire you."
"I know."
"Look, I'm old enough to be your mother, so I'm going to give you a little motherly advice."
"You don't look old enough to be my mother."
"Well, I am."
"My mom is a drunken bitch, she's horrible."
"I'm sorry about you want to do the same thing to your child? Do you want your baby to have the same childhood that you did?"
"You're young, pretty, and you must be intelligent to get into that nursing program - you have a great opportunity to have a terrific you want to trade all of that and your children for this?" I held up a vial to make my point. She looked at me with tears in her eyes.
"This will take away everything you have in life and this will be the only thing you will have left. Is it worth it to you? Don't answer me, just please think about it. Get help if you need to. Don't go down this path. Don't do this to yourself and your family. Don't trade this for your baby. You can have such a wonderful life, you can be a great mom to your child, you can have a loving family life even though you didn't when you were young, you can have a satisfying career.........don't throw it all away, don't let this take it all from you because it will. Think about it, okay?"
She shook her head.

After I did her discharge teaching, I turned to her and told her she could get dressed and go home.
"Think about what we talked about, okay?"
"I will."
"I don't ever want to see you back in my ER for this again. I mean it."
"You won't."

As she was leaving she passed me in the hall, gave me a tight hug and whispered, "Thanks for being my mom."
And then she left.

I try to talk to every drug user that I have as a patient. I realize it's mostly wasted breath on my part, but if I can reach just one person, just one.....then it's worth it.
I have hope for this one.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stop taking meth and feel better!

"Okay, I'm going to discharge you now and take out your saline lock."
"Wait, why am I all jittery?"
"Well, because you've been taking meth for 2 days."
"Wait, what are all of these things all over my arm?"
"I just took your blankets off of you. Those are goosebumps from being cold."
"Wait, why do I feel so bad?"
"Because you've been taking meth. Don't do that anymore."
"I want to speak to the doctor. I don't like you or your answers!"

"Doctor, why am I jittery?"
"You went on a meth binge. Don't take meth if you don't want to feel this way."
"What are these things all over my arms?"
Looks at her arm, "goosebumps."
"Wait, doctor, I feel bad, why do I feel so bad?"
"You took meth for 2 days. Stop taking meth and you'll feel better."

She didn't like the doctor's answers either.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

But Why?

"I've been having seizures again."
"Have you been taking your seizure medication?"
"How long have you been off of them?"
"About 2 weeks. Oh, I've been drinking a lot lately and I stayed up all night last night playing video games."
"I don't understand why this started again."

Maybe because you haven't been taking your seizure medications, drank a lot of alcohol and didn't sleep?
Just a guess here.....