Saturday, August 27, 2011

EpiPen Bag Tag

At Abigail's school, 3rd graders switch classes for math and reading. The kids will eat snack in one of those classes.  Her EpiPen needs to go with her. In the past years, it was kept in the teacher's first aid backpack. Middle of last year, it became her responsibility to grab the backpack and take it to the cafeteria. This year, we think she is responsible enough to also keep up with her medicine during class change. To make it easier, I found this cute leopard-patterned shoulder bag with a pocket for her water bottle and snack and a separate pocket for her EpiPen, Benadryl, medical forms and Peanut Action Plan.

Worried that a teacher or other care-giver might not realize that her bag doubled as a medicine bag, I needed something to identify it's contents. Lately, she's become self-conscious, and while I would have liked a flashing, neon sign, we compromised. I made a bag tag which I hooked to the zipper of the pocket that contained her EpiPen. I like the way it turned out. She personalized the tag by picking out the pattern on the back side of the tag.

Here she is on the first day of school carrying her bag.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

She's Ready! I think.

Backpack sitting by the door, lunch packed, snack packed, water bottle filled, outfit laid out, alarms set, school supplies dropped off at Open House, teacher meeting regarding allergy held, Peanut Action Plans printed and posted in classrooms, Peanut Action Plans printed and laminated and attached to inside pocket of backpack and medicine bag, EpiPen and Benadryl tablets packed in medicine bag, new EpiPen bag tag made and attached guessed it...medicine bag, medical authorization forms dropped off at health room, EpiPen and Benadryl tablets packed and ready to drop off at school health room, special "Hope you are having a great day, miss you, love you" note written and tucked into lunch box, nervous jitters calmed before bedtime, prayers said asking for a successful first day, camera ready by back door...I think we're ready for Abigail's first day of 3rd grade!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just in time for school....

Well, the missing-in-action blogger is finally back at her desk. Just in time to complain about the amount of work it's taking to get Abigail ready to enter 3rd grade. I'll spend the rest of the evening filling out emergency action plans, packing medicine and making sure all "i's" are dotted and "t's" crossed. Tomorrow morning we meet with her teacher to discuss her peanut allergy. How easy it would be for us parents of allergic children if all we had to do was purchase school supplies and maybe a couple of new outfits at the start of each school year.

Speaking of meeting teachers, I'm a touch puzzled with her's. I reached out four times in 8 days using 3 different forms of communication in an effort to schedule this meeting. It wasn't until Open House last night that she acknowledged receipt of my messages and asked what time was good to meet. I'm hoping that's not an indication of things to come. She did present an excuse. She was busy unpacking and prepping the classroom.

We don't have a 504 in place for Abigail. Up until this point, her teachers and the school administration have been super easy to work with and very accommodating. Do you guys have one? We're so close to the end of the trial. Just one more school year. I don't want to permanently label Abigail if we can get through this next year without one. I've got an e-mail out to our doctor at Duke to see what they are advising their trial participants. I'm anxious to hear back and see if they think Abigail should have one even if she is considered "peanut allergy free" next summer. However, depending on the outcome of our meeting tomorrow, I might be filling out the paperwork. I'll keep you posted.

I have several tools that might be of some help in back-to-school preparation. Links to classroom letters, safe snack lists, etc., are in the right hand margin. I've used Google Docs. Let me know if you have trouble accessing them. I also have an Allergy Action Plan that I give to each teacher to hang in their classroom and a smaller version that I laminate and put in her medicine bag, backpack, etc. I haven't been able to save those and keep their format in tack so if you are interested in those documents, e-mail me, and I'll send them over.

There is still a lot to be done this evening. I've made an allergy tag for her EpiPen bag that I'd like to share. I also have a ton to catch everyone up on. It's been a very busy summer. Thanks for your patience. Thanks also for continuing to support my efforts with this blog. You guys are great!