The Writing of the Contract
It was within the week that Mr. Foresman called me in to the school for an appointment with him and the school psychologist to write Anna's contract. I recall perfectly the woman looking at me and telling me that someone must have been searching pretty hard to find that there were contracts like this one. I told her that it was a crying shame that I needed it.
She also told me that she felt that the school meant to help me & that
she felt that there was just a lot of lack of communication & misunderstandings. I
looked at her & told her that there was no lack of communication on my part, that I
had been trying to work with the school, and I looked at
That brings something to mind that I want to bring up: The new bell system
at that school is truly a
We decided what was to be on the contract. The only thing extra that was
added that we had not discussed, and I could figure out easily who had wanted that, was
that I call the school every day my daughter was absent. Now mind, I would call & not
know who I was going to speak with.
He wouldn't even say wheelchair for goodness sake. Anyone talking to him would know what I speak of--especially other mother's who have children with handicaps. You know, us mothers have enough struggles trying to cope, work with our children--trying to get them to school when they can make it, besides being harassed, ridiculed, and told to send our kids to school sick or not for that almighty dollar. It's disgusting!
Now, I want you all to know that by law the school is to provide services
for a handicap child.
My daughter's elevation turned into being, in fact, her own bookbag & crutches. I do not blame her teachers, because they did not know. I had never talked to her teachers after the contract was written, because they were to be informed by the trio for one, and I was not sure what her treatment would be until I came home from Boston with her in January.
I thank Mr. Miedel for letting Anna be his secretary, because it did help boost her self-esteem. I hold nothing against her main teachers. They were great with her. They cannot be blamed for not being informed what my daughter needed.
Our Trip to Boston--January 23rd: After writing back with Linda Shannon (malformation expert), making decisions as to what State would best deal with my daughter's problem, we went to Boston. There are only a handful of hospitals in the world that have teams trained to deal with this problem. I prayed that I was making the right choice for my daughter. Anna and I flew to Boston, what we called our "Wings of Hope" trip. We sat side by side, and smiled at each other as the plane raced down the runway.
My heart was pounding, as I was praying that I had made the right decision for my child, but was wanting to be brave for her. I knew she was scared, she had been through a lot, and I just shut my eyes and prayed that I was doing what was right. Boston is a big place. We flew in at night. The lights in the city are beautiful. We went to the hotel, tried to rest, and got up the next day for our appointment.
We walked into the doctor's office the next day, nervous, but also excited about finding some hope for her foot. The team of doctors took us into a room. It was at that time that Anna was properly diagnosed with what we had thought her problem was--A vascular (venous) malformation. Hemangiomas and Malformations run hand in hand, are often misdiagnosed for the other, but are not the same. A vascular malformation drains, fills, and is very painful. They had Anna lift her foot up above head level. I watched the growth on the bottom of her foot soften (bump remaining but not as full). It was amazing to me. I knew at that point, that this team was the right ones. Everything felt good to me. At that time, the team decided that they felt a surgery would help her problem. They told us to go home, have an MRI done of Anna's foot, send it up, and they would see us the next month. I made sure to get an excuse to show that we had been there, even though it was a Saturday appointment, BECAUSE Mr. Notto insisted that we had to have an excuse. I humored him and got the excuse, as we had nothing to hide.
Monday, January 25th
We came home that Sunday evening, and I called the school Monday morning to make an appointment with Mr. Notto so I could discuss the situation of Anna's foot with him. Mrs. Baum put him on the phone, and he proceeded to cut me short, telling me that he knew that Anna was at Boston. I told him that we still needed to talk & insisted that he needed to see me.
He set up an appointment for 1pm that day. I went out to the school that day, showed him a copy of Annie's MRI order from the radiologist, and an appointment card to show that we were to go back. I also gave him that blessed excuse that he just had to have & explained to him what had taken place in Boston. I stressed to him that Anna's foot was getting worse, that she was on crutches & would not be off them any time soon, as she was beginning to experience severe cramping and pain in her foot.
I told him that they were possibly going to be operating on Anna in the
future, and asked how to go about making arrangements for a tutor. I also asked Mr. Notto
if I could get homework at this time for Anna, as she needed it. He told me that with the
9 weeks soon starting that it was
Tuesday, January 24th: I took Anna to the hospital to have her MRI's done.
I stood at the doorway the whole time watching the screens, being sick as I saw how much
the malformation had grown. We waited afterwards for the hospital to make copies for us so
I could send them to
Wednesday, January 25th: I called Mrs. Walker and told her that I had Anna's MRI's to show her, and I wanted her to see them so she could see how bad they were. She was excited, and told me to come out. I sat and told her about our doctor appointment, what plans were being made for Anna's foot, and talked to her about my frustrations why I couldn't get Anna's schoolwork. She told me to write it down on a paper that I would be picking up Anna's homework on a certain day, and she gave me a homebound paper to have Anna's doctor fill out. I told Mrs. Walker I would be in Monday to pick up Anna's work. I took the homebound paper home, faxed it immediately to Anna's doctor, and Mr. Notto had it in his lap, completed that day.
It was a 6 week homebound order that the one of Anna's physicians wrote until we could get back up to see the Orthopedic surgeon. I looked in the school manual, and saw that it should only take up to 2 weeks.
Thursday, January 26st:
Anna's radiologist (doctor) called. She told me that as soon as they got the MRI's, they had a meeting. They decided that the malformation in Anna's foot was too big a mass throughout her foot to operate on.
She told me that they were going to try monthly to bi-monthly visits &
injections to try to shrink down the growth, with a possible surgery to remove it later. I
was disappointed & frustrated, as I had hoped for a better way. But, I guess that is
the things us parent's learn to handle. I understood that it was too dangerous to operate
& if they operate, they take more good tissue than they want--a lot of times the foot
remaining just as bad or worse.
Comment: I also want to add something here--Mrs. Slicker has been very nice to me through all of this. I truly like this woman. She has been around to see what I speak of from the Middle School up through the High School. Only if some of these secretaries could talk. I do give credit to this woman, however, for being kind to me & genuinely meaning it. Thank You! This School District could use a lot like you!
Wednesday, February 3rd:
I called Mrs. Slicker to see if I could pick up Anna's report card. She told me that Anna had all incompletes on it. I was speechless, as Mr. Notto had told me the week before that he had checked Anna's grades, and that they were good. I went from speechless to furious. I called Mr. Foresman's office, told Mrs. Slicker to have him call me regarding the incompletes. I then called Mrs. Walker, explained the situation to her, and she told me she would write a note & put it in his mailbox--since he was out for the rest of the day. I told her to tell him that he had better call me by noon, or I was going to call an attorney. I was truly sick of this.
Continue with Trip to Boston
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