Yesterday I had to take my son, Alex, to the doctor to get a note for school. It wasn’t for a high-risk field trip; it wasn’t because of some strange sort of disease the school needed to be assured he was free from – nothing like that.
I needed a note to say that he was allowed to eat. The first conversation on the phone with the doctor’s secretary went something like this:
Me: Hi. I need an appointment to get a doctor’s note.
Secretary: Okay, what is it for?
Me: Well, you see, the nurse at his school won’t let him eat until he has an all-clear from the doctor.
Secretary: Soooo, when was the last time he went to school?
Secretary: How long has it been since the school didn’t allow him to eat.
Me: It’s been about a week.
Me: So can I get an appointment soon? Or…
Secretary: I don’t understand.
Me: Neither do I.
All of this, of course, came about because he aspirated (inhaled and had lodged in his right lung) a piece of food on Christmas Eve. For the most part he is tube fed, but the school wants to make sure it’s safe for him to eat before they’ll let him do so.
So today I went to the doctor. That conversation went as follows:
Doctor: Sooo… what do you want me to write?
Me: Just say he can eat. OH, and drink. I don’t want to have to bother you again in case they decide that’s against the rules as well.
Doctor: And he’s been fine when he eats at home, right?
Me: As fine as he’s ever been.
(She starts typing.)
Me: I guess this isn’t something you write a note for every day, eh?
Doctor: Err, no.
Today, Alex went to school with the note in his backpack. After not being allowed to eat with the other kids for a week, he’s a happy camper.
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