I think it is normal to have anxiety and nervousness when preparing to send your first born out the door of home and through the door of that big yellow school bus. We have attended the “Meet the Teacher” and “Parent Orientation” events. I stayed up past my bedtime of shortly-after-the-kids-are-asleep to shop, kid-free, for all of Cody’s school supplies. I have signed up to volunteer in his classroom. And I have filled out paperwork. Lots of paperwork.
It is the paperwork that has distracted me from the normal concerns parents have: will he get to his classroom alright, will he remember that he needs to use the boys bathroom and not the girls like he is used to doing with me, will he make friends, will he get off the bus at the right stop. Of course, now that I have typed all that, I realize that I am worried about those things too. But I have been focusing mostly on getting the paperwork just right for his Individualized Health Care Plan. It is a plan that several key people at the school will use if/when Cody has a seizure during school hours.
In my About section of this blog I gave a brief history of Cody’s premature birth and the long-term medical issues that derived from that. When Cody turned three, he started attending preschool in a public school with an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) focusing on occupational and physical therapy services. Yup, he even got to ride the short bus. At that time we did not have any concerns about seizures; he had only had two of them. He has had four of them this year alone.
Watching your child seize – eyes rolled back, completely non-responsive, begging him to squeeze your hand or look at you – all the while watching the clock because after three minutes you have to administer the anti-seizure medicine rectally, is terrifying. Husband and I have become better at dealing with this and no longer freak out and call 911. We have a system. We have a seizure action plan on our fridge where I see it everyday. Among other things, it reminds me to breath and stay calm. So this is what I am thinking while filling out the paperwork to send my five-year old off to Kindergarten. The possibility of a shunt failure or the fact I have not yet met with his new OT/PT takes a backseat to the real chance of him having a seizure during school hours. Yup, pretty scary stuff right there.
I do want to say that I am excited for him. His teacher is wonderful. His best friend from preschool will be in the same class. I have done my best to keep my fears about what I secretly think of as the little black cloud in his head, to myself. He is looking forward to it. Kindergarten is a big milestone and Cody is going to rock it.
I just need to remember to breath and stay calm…