To start, I should say while many times in life I struggled with my confidence, I never struggled with determination. Somewhere, somehow I learned to believe that I could do anything (Well, except maybe sing.) Now, I must also say that I am one for random, crazy ideas. Therefore, even my most outlandish, “seem-impossible” ideas are worth a try in my eyes. What do I have to lose but have a few more people think I am crazy. =)
With that being said, after our meeting with TJ’s daycare on Friday about his current allergies, skin conditions, and emergency action plan, everything seemed to end on a positive note. That is why when they called me up yesterday afternoon with major concerns, I was initially caught off guard and upset. Hearing, “have you considered a nanny” from the people who care for your son when you cannot (but wish you could) is a bit alarming. Since I had been in the middle of setting up my classroom for the upcoming school year, my focus was super thrown off, my strength and confidence that everything would be okay suddenly questioning what would happen next. On the phone, I admit I got slightly upsetting, shedding a tear or two as I asked for clarity on what the director was alluding to. I asked, “Are you saying that you can’t have TJ at your facility this school year?” She just answered that they were very concerned for TJ’s safety and gave a couple major concerns without much detail. Our conversation then ended when I asked if I could speak with my husband and then plan to talk again through and about all their concerns. (Epi-pen/Avui-Q storage, shots, contact reactions, art supplies with allergens present, etc.)
On my way home, I started to have an overwhelming sense of anxiety. To start, I was scared for TJ’s safety every single day even when I am with him, but even more so when I am not. Now, I was more frightened if they weren’t confident about being able to care for him. (Wait, Jen, there are days that you too feel like this.) However, I love him beyond words and pray all the time for God’s guidance with everything I do and decide regarding my “Cutes.”I wanted the people watching him to be fully educated on his current conditions and how to react. I think in sharing our doctors’ letters, emergency plan, and requests, they did learn about the severity of some of his allergies which was a great thing, except for the fact they were now doing what I do every day, over-analyzing everything. I need TJ with people who not only adore him like I know they do, but plan to do as much as they can to keep him safe.
Secondly, what would we do if they were telling us to go elsewhere? The new school year is literally around the corner, less than two weeks away. That thought made me so angry because
TJ is such an amazing little guy. However, after allowing myself some time to be upset and angry, I soon turned to praying. I prayed the remainder of the evening and into today that God would guide us to do whatever we need to do. I admitted to Him that I have no idea where this is leading us and what to do, but instead trust that He is guiding us to exactly where we need to be, exactly where TJ needs to be. With all of this, I prayed that God is leading us to making the best and safest decisions for TJ.
Today, I woke up fired up and determined to figure out our options, and I didn’t even need to go on my morning run. (Today was a forced day of rest.)
Here is a timeline of thoughts/ideas/actions/emails:
- I looked into home nurse care practices and insurance – Could TJ receive a one-to-one nurse for part of the day at daycare? Do they even do things like that? Would he qualify and what are the steps in doing this?
- Reached out to two nurses, one being my sister to find out whatever information they could provide me. Thanks girls!
- I drafted a letter to his allergist(s) requesting them write a medical necessity letter to our insurance company asking for a one-to-one nurse for daycare. What do I have to lose by asking? Go for it, think I am crazy, but even if it is shot down… I am okay with that…because I know I tried.
- My husband contacted daycare via email asking for specific straight-forward concerns and a time to discuss further.
- Daycare emails back with an extremely detailed, concerned, and genuine email. I understood and respected everything they were explaining and sharing. It appears evident now that we painted the world of food allergies to be the truly terrifying picture it is. So now, we are left with a lot to discuss.
Everywhere I look and read people are giving advice on how to send your children with multiple food allergies back to school and I do find these articles helpful. However, where were the people when their children were toddlers? Did anyone have to send their children to daycare? What accommodations were made? How did things turn out? As we continue to work out the best plan for TJ, I continue to pray and remind myself to Keep Calm & Smile On…