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Transplant living and school.

posted Aug 22, 2012, 7:21 AM by Becca K.   [ updated Aug 22, 2012, 9:21 AM ]
Natalie is a 3rd grader.  Can you believe it?
But for the Grace of God...

I just look back at some of those old posts -> see Archived Journal Entries...the ones from the summer of hell.  (That's 2005 if you are keeping track)  I didn't know some days...typing about it is hard.  Heck I don't think I have even brought myself to finish the merge of files to this site from that time...There were some days when I didn't know if all 3 of use would come home from the hospital.  There I said it.  There weren't many of those days, thank God.  But the 2 or 3 are enough to haunt me for the rest of my life.

And yet, here we are.  I am the mom of a 3rd grader.

For those wondering, Natalie does not have an IEP.  Nor have we requested a 504 medical plan from the school.  We haven't needed to.  Her school has been fabulously accommodating!

Each year, the school nurse sends out a letter to the parents in Natalie's class.  The letter was originally crafted by another "Liver Mom" that I met at Liver Families.  Here is a copy:

Letter for school.doc


And then in addition to that I always begin each year with an email to her teacher.
As you already know, she had a liver transplant when she was 17 months old (getting part of my liver). She had cancer shortly after that. She lived with a tube sticking out of her tummy for over a year. And then had H1N1 in kindergarten. She has portal vein thrombosis (blockage in a major vein) and hypertension as a result.

But none of that is who she is:
· She is spunky and full of energy.
· She is a rule follower and thinks everyone else should be too.
· She is fair and thinks everyone else should be too.
· She talks. A LOT.
· We (her dad and I) refuse to let her use her prior medical stuff as an excuse for anything. She can do whatever she puts her mind to.

I promise (hand on my heart) to do my best this year to be a good parent and not give you any trouble; I promise not to be that parent. I promise to let you do your job as the teacher. But as I have worked hard just to keep Natalie here with us it is hard for me to give up control sometimes.

Issues we know of to look for:

Portal vein thrombosis.

a. Portal vein is blocked but at this time there is only the potential for varicies – i.e., bleeding. (if ever she mentions blood is her stool, she knows to find [nurse].)
b. Portal vein hypertension (her doctors have said that she may have limited attention span – but we saw no such thing last year).
c. Enlarged spleen – only activity limit, per her transplant team, is no "contact" sports. I guess football is out :)

And then, well, having sent the letters and communicating all the fear, I have nothing left to do but pray for another fabulous year!

PS - I know I owe you all (if anyone really reads this :) ) first day of school pictures and pictures from the county fair pageant.  Look for those, soon.



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