Picking kids up from school sick – and what counts as sick?
Every day this week SD’s school has called DH and told him SD (16) is sick and he needs to pick her up – which is impossible for him since his current jobsite is 1.5 hours away and there’s no way his boss will allow him to leave.
SD isn’t actually sick. She complains all the time that she’s dizzy, lightheaded and tired. It’s the side effects from all the medications she takes. Her doctors have adjusted the meds as much as they can and its at the point where she needs to learn to live with the side effects. Her primary psychiatrist doesn’t think the side effects are so severe that she can’t cope with them (and significant effort has been spent building a plan of action to cope with the side effects). But she doesn't want to cope with them. She wants to use them an excuse to do nothing.
SD is in a Special Ed program and they have an area where students can go if they are feeling overwhelmed and lie down. SD has learned that she can tell her teacher or aide she’s too dizzy to sit up or too tired or not feeling well and she gets to lie down in the quiet area and doesn’t have to do anything. Every day for the past month she has done that and her teachers are fed up and want her to go home if she can’t sit at a desk the whole day.
My mom has gone and picked her up a few times, but DH has told them he isn’t going to come get her if she’s just dizzy because she’s always dizzy. The threat is that if someone doesn’t pick her up, the vice principal said they will call an ambulance. I’m not even sure an ambulance is going to take her to the hospital if she’s only vaguely dizzy and drowsy due to psychiatric medications.
The main problem is SD doesn’t bother trying at all. She has an excuse – I’m dizzy, I’m tried, my mouth is dry, my stomach hurts – and she uses that as an excuse for why she doesn’t have to do anything. And she isn’t doing anything to cope with the side effects. It’s all an excuse to do nothing.
The whole partial hospitalization last summer was wasted because she slept though most of it since the meds completely knocked her out and the only thing they really dealt with was trying to adjust meds and find ways to counter the side effects (like when she takes the meds, taking the meds with food) but a lot of coping methods was how she can respond to feeling that way – take a walk and get fresh air at lunch time, trying to not think about it, writing in her journal how she feels so the doctors have more information, etc. She is allowed to have a water bottle at her desk to deal with the extreme dry mouth, but she never does and she complains about drinking water.
I hate that my mom is the one who we’re going to have to dump this on because I can’t leave work to deal with SD and neither can DH.
DH is essentially a single parent and I know there are a lot of single moms that struggle with sick kids in elementary school or day care, but these seems overboard to send SD home when she’s dealing with a chronic condition that there’s nothing we can really do anything about.