Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pink Eye Rant

I am a little annoyed right now and must dump my vent somewhere.

Last week, the school nurse called us to come get Max saying that he had Pink Eye. When we got Max home, even I could see that it was nothing more than allergies and it cleared up within an hour. The frustrating thing was that the school wouldn't let Max come back until he got an "all clear" from a doctor and/or came back with drops. But when we tried to bring him into Minute Clinic, they were closed for lunch and Dennis had an appointment later that day, so we didn't have any way to get Max in and seen and still make it back to school.

So Max got to stay home for nothing that day. Not a huge deal, because we're in the last days of school anyway.

Then Anna got Pink Eye. Now this time, it was definitely Pink Eye. She woke up looking a little bleary eyed and within one hour, she changed into this:

I brought her into Minute Clinic (which was open this time) and it had spread into both eyes. We got the drops, and for the rest of the day, we were dealing with burning eyes and a small fever. Her eyes never stopped running with tears pouring down her cheeks (from the Pink Eye).She was miserable.

The next day, Anna looked like this:

We washed her face continually, and washed all her sheets, blankets and pillow cases.

Three days later, it is much better and she gets to go to school, which all Field Day today.

But now Lucy has Pink Eye and we are starting all over again. She was looking forward to going to school today to participate in the games but when I told her she had to stay home, she burst into tears. This is the frustrating part.

Lucy: But Daddy said I could go to school!
Me: You can't. You're contagious for the first 24 hours.
Lucy: No, Daddy said as long as I have drops that I can go!
Me to Dennis:  Why did you tell her that?
Dennis: Because that's what the school nurse told me.
Me: She meant that you're not contagious until after you take the drops for 24 hours.
Dennis: No, she said that I could bring Max right back  to school right after I got the drops from the doctor.
Me: The same day?!
Dennis: Yes.

I realize that this is only Pink Eye, not the flu, not some life threatening disease. But it is miserable just the same, and let's face it, disgusting. It confines you as it is so contagious and so gross that no one wants you touching anything. So I was a little annoyed to hear this news.

Still, I wanted to make sure it wasn't a misunderstanding.

When I dropped Anna off at school, I decided to bring Lucy into the school to report her absence. Rather than confront them on what I learned, I decided to play dumb to see if the school truly thought it was ok to bring Lucy back the same day with Pink Eye. I also wanted them to see Lucy's eye, so there would be no question that she had Pink Eye.

Me: Hi, can I get a permission slip so you can give Lucy her drops later today? She has Pink Eye, and we're on our way to get the drops right now.
Nurse: Sure (hands me the permission slip)
Me: And it's ok for me to bring her back today, right? Even if she still has the Pink Eye?
Nurse: Yes, as long as she has at least one dose. Maybe after an hour or so. But as long as she feels up to it, she can come back to play! (Like I said, it's Field Day at school. Nice to know she would have spread her germs all over the balls and bats, huh??)

In the meantime, there is an outbreak of Pink Eye sweeping through the school. At first, I thought it was uninformed parents sending their kids to school still contagious. But now I realize it was the school!

So I sent the Principal an email explaining what I "learned" about Pink Eye and that I was told by the doctor that Pink Eye is contagious for a full 24 hours. I hope that it came off informative rather than confrontational. I don't really want anyone to get in trouble but I also want the school to be better about enforcing some of their rules on health and safety.

Because of them, Lucy doesn't get to go to Field Day today and she's been talking about it for a week. But I wouldn't dare think of sending her to school to spread her Pink Eye, even if the school allows it. There are still a few more fun days ahead at school and I know she would be sad if her friends had to miss it--because she gave them her Pink Eye.

1 comment:

  1. I think that it is great that you use your website as place to release your frustrations and vent. Boy, there is nothing like having to deal with a child that is ill. No matter how small of a problem it is, it is always an major issue. I am so sorry to hear about Max getting pink eye. That is never fun.