Welcome to MacGill School Nurse Supplies!


Fitful Fifth Grader

Enjoy the latest story in our “Henry Street” blog series inspired by our book “A Long Way from Henry Street.”

School nurses just like you are sharing stories about their experiences keeping children healthy and happy.

Read Nurse Bastian’s story …

A fifth grader came into my office, out of control and seething. She said she got her first period that morning and she didn’t like it. “I AM NEVER GOING TO HAVE IT AGAIN!” she yelled.

Her eyes were red from crying, her face was all puffy, and her hair was all messed up. I tried to explain that I could see she was upset, and that many girls became distressed when they got their first period. I gave her supplies for the day. She stomped out of my office.

An hour later as I was walking through the gym, I saw her sitting on the floor, literally pulling her hair out. Another girl ran over to her and said, “Hey, Mary, come and be on our team.” She looked up at her with a hormonally-induced rage and said, “Sure, NOW you want to be my friend—no way!”

I had never seen a more tortured soul. I stopped, scooped her up and said, “C’mon, you are coming with me.” I told the gym teacher that the girl needed to come with me as we left the gym. I was headed to another building to work with some senior citizens and instructed her to follow me.

“I don’t want to talk to you!” she said. “No need to talk, just stick with me; it’s not about you,” I replied.

She quietly followed as I made my rounds with the seniors and accepted the tissues I offered for her drippy nose. The crying eventually stopped, and she was able to get control of herself. Later that morning, I returned her to class.

On my way out of the building that night, her teacher stopped me and said, “I feel so bad about Mary.”

“She will be okay; she was just surprised and overwhelmed,” I said.

The teacher said, “No, I feel bad because it is my fault she got her period. She has been premenstrual for so long that every night I have prayed Please God just let her get her period! But now she is even worse!” I assured the teacher she really didn’t have that much power and we would all weather this storm.

That was five years ago. Mary grew up, graduated from our school, and now comes back to volunteer with the little ones during the summer. She is a beautiful high school student and although I haven’t asked her, I’m sure she has had a few more periods.

Sam Bastian, RN, MS, APNP-BC

Post your comment