Friday, September 14, 2007

Miracle Drugs

One of the 6th graders on my spec ed caseload is "Charlie." Picture a tiny little boy with bright brown eyes, clean-cut hair, and freckles, about 4 feet tall. Charlie has a lot of issues, and today I witnessed one of them "first hand." On my way to the lunchroom, I saw him in the hallway, walking slowly, cradling his hand. His face red-eyed and tear-stained, a large knit cap pulled down past his eyebrows and a tiny, child-size backpack strapped fully to his back. Ignoring the hat (no hats in school, you know) and the backpack (more gradeschool than middle school), I asked him what was wrong. He ignored me. I followed him down the hallway, asking and then demanding that he stop. He did not. When I decided to stop following him and turned in a different direction, he saw that he was about to lose my attention, and wailed, "I think my hand is broken!" I walked over and took a look at his tiny hand, which looked completely normal, except for the carefully placed bandaid (clearly applied by the school nurse with TLC). He explained what happened (playground collision), wiping his running nose on his sleeve. I assured Charlie that his hand, while sore, was probably not broken, but he doggedly refused to accept my diagnosis. It soon dawned on me that Charlie was immersed in the drama of his "broken hand," and that nothing I could say during this, my lunch hour, was going to change his mind. I finally talked him into going outside for the rest of his recess with the promise that I would call his mom.

After lunch, a much calmer Charlie arrived to my classroom while I was on the phone with his mom. I told her (within his earshot) that he appeared to be fine now. I hung up the phone and gave him a math assessment paper that his teacher needed from him). Each pencil stroke of the math exercise was punctuated with much moaning, groaning, and wincing, which I tried to ignore but could not (he was so darned cute!). I called his mom again and asked her if I could give him an ibuprofen. She asked if I thought he needed it (was his hand swollen?, etc.). I said I thought he needed it emotionally. She gave her blessing, and we hung up. I sent Charlie out to the water fountain to take the pill. Immediately upon entering the room 30 seconds later, he exclaimed, wide-eyed, “I think it works instantly! Look at this!!” He then displayed his miraculous recovery; demonstrating how he could now bend his whole hand and each finger, without pain! "Wow!" I exclaimed, incredulous. Charlie then sat down and enthusiastically tackled the test, plugging away with a smile. It's amazing to me how this lad went from abject trajedy to elfin cheerfulness in a matter of one minute, all with the help of a little pill. Just thought I’d share this cute story and the miracle potential of Ibuprofen.


  1. The "drug" was NOT Ibuprofin... it was the powerful, extremely potent medicine called Compassion. The drug you so freely dispense every day as their 'Mother' away from home. Another example of why you so deserved the Golden Apple!

  2. Like your ibuprofen, I often use moisturizing cream as the cure-all!
    - Alan


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