Thursday, December 06, 2007

Big Oops

Riley's teacher was out sick yesterday. I found this out when Holden called me at snack time before he gave Riley his insulin.

Holden called again at lunch. He always calls before he gives insulin. Riley's sugar was fine at snack and lunch. After I hung up I said a little prayer that he'd stay fine and not go low before getting out of school. I know Holden is fine giving the insulin, but when Riley has a sub I worry that when he goes low she won't react quickly enough.

I didn't get a call from my mom when Riley got home from school and ate snack so I assumed everything was fine.

At about 4:15 yesterday afternoon my cell phone rang. It was Riley's teacher. She sounded like death warmed over.

"Hi. I was just calling to check on Riley."

"He's OK, I guess. My mom hasn't called since he got home from school."

"Well, I wasn't there today and Holden gave him his insulin."

"I know, Holden told me."

"The class had an ice cream party this afternoon."

My stomach dropped. I never got a call from Holden about insulin.

"The mother who brought the ice cream brought sugar-free for Riley."

"Well, that was nice, but most sugar-free ice cream has more carbs in it than the regular."

"The sub didn't know if Riley needed insulin or not since it was sugar-free. She was wondering if she needed to call Holden or not. But, there was another mother there and she is a RN. She told the sub that he would be fine and didn't need any insulin."


"I know. I'm so sorry. I told her that from now on anytime Riley eats he has to take insulin."

"P, you know I don't mind being called at anytime."

"I know."

"Why didn't someone call me or go get Holden? Why did that mother think she knew what to do? I imagine she's never seen an insulin pump in her life."

"I know, someone should have called you."

"Yes, they should have." My face was warm with anger.

"I'll call my mom now and see what his sugar was when he got home from school."

"If you don't mind, will you call me back and let me know? Otherwise I'll worry all night."

I called my mom.


"How high was Riley's sugar when he got home?"

"I don't know. I haven't checked it."

"Why not?"

"He told me he ate snack at school so he didn't need to eat snack when he got here."

I told her what happened. She said she didn't know that he didn't get any insulin. She checked his sugar. It was 277. That's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

She gave him a correction dose.

I called Riley's teacher.

"Riley is fine. His sugar is 277. And, as you know, it's been much higher than that before. But, I'm glad you called me because my mom wouldn't have checked his sugar otherwise."

"OK. I'm so sorry this happened."

Mistakes happen. I understand that. We all forget to do things sometimes. I've forgotten to give Riley insulin before. Remember
his first day of school?

But, what makes me mad is that they stood there and debated if Riley needed insulin or not and yet they never consulted me. Heck, they could have asked Riley and he would have either told them, yes, I need insulin, or I don't know, you need to ask my mom.

The thing that angers me the most is the RN who chose to make a decision about my child's medicine without ever consulting me.

Riley's teacher said she told the sub never to listen to that lady because "she's a dingbat".

I told her that even if she was brilliant, just because she's a RN doesn't mean she knows everything about everything. I'm a RN and the only thing I knew about Type 1 when Riley was diagnosed was that people with Type 1 couldn't take pills, they had to take insulin.

I have typed out a letter to distribute to all the parents telling them more about Type 1 diabetes. I put some things in there about how they don't need to bring anything special for Riley to eat and that he can eat whatever the other kids are eating.

I explained a little bit about carbs and that the amount of insulin that Riley gets when he eats is based on the amount of carbs he eats and not the amount of sugar.

I also put that Riley must have insulin ANYTIME that he eats. Maybe dingbat RN will learn a little something.

Riley's teacher called me this morning to let me know she was feeling better and that she would be at school today. That makes me feel better.

Yesterday was a learning experience for everyone. I just hate that Riley is the one that is affected by it all.

This is reason 1,500,555,784 why I wish I had diabetes instead of Riley. It's very hard to be a pancreas for someone when you are miles away from them. If it was me I would have kindly told DRN that she was clueless and I would have eaten the regular ice cream and bolused accordingly.

I hate this stupid disease.


Shannon said...

That RN-mom had me incensed that she thought of herself as being so self-important that she felt justified in making a health decision concerning Riley.

If a child has ANY kind of health issue, an RN of all people should know enough to consult the parent on how they want things to be handled.

Jillian said...

That is so ridiculous. None of them have a daily hand in Riley's care, so they have no authority to make decisions without consulting someone who actually does. Holden is right there in the same school and they could call you. Ugh.

landileigh said...

i wish people would keep their noses out of medical issues of other people's children. i had the same thing happen when my daughter was young. She is severe ADHD. i was constantly told how i should be treating her by parents that saw some 20/20 or Dateline report.

i think the letter will be very valuable to other parents.

Lea said...

Riley's got a great support system in place. It sucks that when one link of that chain is missing, it gets kinked and tangled and communication just goes *poof*.

Dingbat RN indeed.

Carey said...

Wow! Crazy! This ordeal is a bit of a wake up call for me. We'll have to reinforce that the school always doublecheck with us in situations like this. Blood sugar definately could have been much worse. Stinks nonetheless.

Does the RN mother know yet of her huge error in judgment? I'd be interested in her reaction. I imagine she feels pretty horrible.

Allison said...

Penny, I agree that the substitute should never have asked for the advice of another parent, but I think this shows that you should write a standard letter of care for substitutes and anyone else who might be taking care of Riley in the absence of a typical caregiver.

This is an excellent book that has info sheets that you can copy and fill in each time Riley goes somewhere that you are not. I saw the first edition and I thought it would have been great when I was younger!

Donna said...

Wow! I can't believe that RN made a decision regarding Riley's care without consulting anyone. I wonder how she would like it if someone did this to her child.

I think a standard letter to everyone is a good idea. Riley's regular teacher sounds like such a sweet lady. I'm glad she called to let you know what had happened. She seems to take it so personally when something is happening with Riley. That is such a blessing. Other teachers might not be so attentive.

Ernie B said...

Find out who this ER MOM is, and tell her like it is. and since she took responsiblity and it was wrong she could be held liable. She could kill the next kid she offers her advice to!

Me = Liz said...

Your comment "This is reason 1,500,555,784 why I wish I had diabetes instead of Riley. It's very hard to be a pancreas for someone when you are miles away from them." definately struck a chord with me! This is exactly how I feel!

I work in a nursing home and I can see most of the RN's at work doing this exact same thing, I am always having to educate them about diabetes.


Naomi said...

How incredibly frustrating. I feel sometimes like we have to walk a fine line between educating people very nicely and throttling them until they get it. *sigh*