They march into my heart like little soldiers. There are lads and lassies, rich and poor, sporting bling and brawn. Sometimes they leave the bus and walk into my office as soon as they get in the front door. The litany continues daily.
“I don’t feel good.”
“My stomach hurts.”
My responses follow the pattern.
“Did you tell your parents you didn’t feel good?”
“Did you eat breakfast?”
“Were you up late last night?”
The thermometer comes out. Triage begins. Some came in under the power of suggestion.
“My mother said if I didn’t feel good to come to the nurse’s office.”
Children always think that’s a free ticket to get out of the remaining school day. The sick ones are directed to cots in the back part of the office. Some will rest awhile. Some will have crackers or granola bars to offset the empty stomach they came to school with. Charts come out. The search begins. Some phone numbers are accurate, and parents can be reached. Some, sadly, can’t be contacted. The phone messages become trite.
“The person at this number is not taking calls now.”
“This number is no longer in use.”
I have to put my Sherlock hat on. I search all sources to see if there is a parent or relative who can come and pick up their child per protocol because they just […]