Friday, August 10, 2012

Complex medical needs final exam

In order to survive parenthood with a complicated child, you're gonna need some special skills. This final exam is based on real experiences, not all of them mine.

It is likely that without experience you will fail this test, but that's ok - this special needs parenting gig comes with on the job training (by which I mean sink or swim). The smiles are worth it though.

Question 1: child's pulse ox reads 30 points higher than normal, with no other symptoms. Do you:A. Try re-adjusting pulse ox
B. Administer some sort of pain reliever
C. Call pediatrician
D. Increase oxygen
E. Go to ER

Question 2: your nurse for the night was supposed to arrive 15 minutes ago and hasn't called off yet. What do you do?
A. Call agency to complain (again)
B. Start praying because you haven't had a nurse any of the last 4 nights and you desperately need sleep
C. Know not to bother checking the schedule because Nurse X is always late (but has never missed a shift) so it's probably just her night

Question 3: your child has "loose stools" as they say due to being on their 2nd antibiotic in 10 days for an infection that won't clear. His diaper comes off while still inside his onesie, resulted in him being covered in poop from toes to armpits. Do you:
A. Pass out from the stench
B. Strip naked & carry child into the shower, figuring you can keep the water out of his trach if you're careful
C. Leave a tub full of toys for the nurse to clean - she needs something to keep her awake anyway
D. Change vent circuit rather than trying to clean corrugated tubing

Question 3: your child is sick. Do you:
A. Put on a movie to help them feel better
B. Refuse to put on a movie because they will have a meltdown even if you put in the movie they ask for

Question 4: it is IEP time. What percentage of the things agreed to (on tape) will actually be implemented?
A. 100%
B. 75%
C. 50%
D. Hahahahahahaha! OMG you fell for that stuff they said?
E. Depends on how much you're paying your advocate

Question 5: your child is sick. How long will it take you to get a doctor to see them?
A. Within a day
B. Sometime this week
C. They're now (August) scheduling appointments for January
D. Depends on how crowded the ER is

Question 6: you catch your night nurse sleeping. Do you:
A. Fire her on the spot
B. Tell her not to let it happen again and then set your alarm so you can check
C. Tell agency to warn her
D. Nothing, because you're already short a night nurse and how would you manage with one less?

Question 7: your pediatrician tells you to go to the ER. What happens?
A. Chest x-ray and they send you home
B. Admitted to PICU

1. A, B, or D
2. Any answer is acceptable
3. You're screwed either way. Good luck.
4. I'm going with E
5. Depends on the doctor, but it's probably not today.
6. Depends on how many other times you've caught this nurse sleeping.
7. Whichever you think they should do, the hospital will do the opposite


  1. All I can say is WOW! I wish this wasn't what your life was really like! I can't imagine how you work and cope with 2 little medically fragile miracles. When my daughter was in hosp. for brain cancer there was a little boy in ICU that had been there for 9 months attached to all kids of tubes, bells, and whistles. I know you say you are a pagan, but I hope you won't mind if I pray for you guys! Anyway- I found you on the Love That Max Special needs link up. I am # 28 on the list. I invite you to check out my blog.

  2. You duplicated 3. I'm thinking the poop one is all of the above.

  3. Ooops! completely missed that (that's what I get for posting while trying to get a little girl fed).

  4. Hi Sylvia! Thanks for stopping by.

    Sadly, much of this really does happen around here...just usually not all on the same day.