Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Musings of a Nurse

Sometimes it is very frustrating to be knowledgeable.
As a former nurse, and a today-parent, I have often found myself during Ricki’s hospitalizations, on the “other side of the fence”. I have found myself waiting ten minutes for a staff member to come and do something (like take an IV out) that I could do in a moment. I have been told condescending things by staff who don’t realize that I am just as knowledgeable as they are. So if I inform them that I am a bonafide nurse, they will usually treat me with a bit more respect.

It’s a bigger problem when you are NOT of the same profession, but you STILL know more. I have probably read more books and articles on Down syndrome than anyone else (or almost anyone else) in Israel. And I try and keep up with the latest news and practices. So imagine my frustration when an educator tells me I am not being “realistic”, about something that is known and accepted in England or the US at the major Down syndrome centers. So I tried telling them my credentials:
-Registered nurse
-Writer of two published articles on Down syndrome in an international magazine

It didn’t help too much, at first. I became the crazy mom who doesn’t realize that her daughter is retarded.

So now I state right off at the start that I KNOW she has serious problems, is not on the class level, etc.
That helps some….

But you know, some people (rarely- rarely- rarely) DO get it. One lady official who I have had fights with over the years, who years ago was pleading with me to have pity on my daughter and put her in special education, is today willing to help me see that Ricki gets the treatments she is entitled to in the school. Gee, I guess not only kids with Down syndrome can learn, so can administrators…..

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