consists of getting to the school at 8 or 8:30 am, just in time to hit the cafeteria and hand out the day's candy of choice: Wellbutrin, Strattera, Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta (all which beat that horrible Depression or ADHD to a bloody pulp). Waiting to give the meds, I can't help but admire the 5th grade girls outfits (obviously having a Coach face off, where each one wears or carries a different accessory which they got from their movie producer parents to celebrate an older brother's Bar Mizvah). I have to watch some of the older girls who are anorexic to make sure they eat all their toast, eggs, and yogurt. The boys come in to eat next and, without batting an eye at the girls (I guess $250 flip flops turn them off) manage to eat their way through the rest of the food. So goes my breakfast.
After breakfast (of course, it's called 'brunch' on the weekends, sans Mimosas), the kids are off to their activities as I venture on back to my post at the health center, where I immediately begin getting faxes from mothers worrying about their child's medication consumption that read something like this: "Dear School Nurses, please take my son X off of his Concerta and instead give him 4 Red Bulls a day. Of course, I will be sending money so that you can go shopping for the Red Bull. FYI: The FDA just showed in a study that Concerta causes heart palpitations in youth. I think that the caffeine regimen will work fine. Thanks, Mrs. X". And I think to myself- what a load of crap. I want to send her a fax back that says what studies have indicated about caffeine use in adolescents. But I won't, not today atleast.
Next, I wait in the 90 degree heat. I wait for mosquito bites, bee stings, splinters, scratches, and burns. I wait for homesickness, chapped lips, allergy attacks, and possible broken bones. In between all these kids (adding up to 30 visits a day) I read books. I have read 4 books since June 24. Even I'm impressed.
I mentioned the kids activities earlier. Let me tell you, these aren't the normal "let's paint by numbers or make potholders" camp classes/activities. Oh, no. We have a buffet from which the little rich kids can choose from (just so it feels more like their own backyard). We have archery, rock climbing, equestrian, woodworking, yoga, martial arts, tennis, and performing arts. I have worked on injuries from each of the above activity categories (even yoga).
In between giving the 12, 3 and then 4 o'clock doses of psychotropic candy, I do some paperwork but also read some more. I'm done by 4:30 and walk out to my car which is in the nasty gravel parking lot by the horses. I take a big whiff of mountain air (horse crap) and get into my Bug, ready to head off down the mountain back into the real world.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. It's fun and funny at times. I like that the nurses and counselors I work with are down to earth and are great people to be around. I think that we act as stability for those kids whose lives are more messed up at home than we could ever imagine. Still, you have to wonder about their parents. Caffeine instead of Concerta? Give me a break! How about spending some time and giving attention to your child? I love those kids and it's all sad to me. It's so sad.