Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm washing my hands every 4 minutes!

We are only 2 weeks into the school year and I already need a frequent visitor card for our pediatrician.

When I picked up my 7 year old from school on Tuesday I noticed he looked really upset, I asked what was wrong and he broke down, "I feel really bad!" One hand to his forehead told me he definitely had fever.

I gave him some Tylenol and it came down a bit, but he still had chills and felt miserable. I knew we'd likely be at the doctor the next morning.

He started throwing up in the middle of the night and the next morning his fever was nearly 103 degrees. We went straight to the pediatrician (remind me to one day write a post about how much I love our pediatrician; they always see us right away!). While at the doctor I noticed a rash starting on the back of my son's neck. He tested positive for Strep., but the doctor also did a CBC because my son was so sick. The blood test showed that the bacteria causing the Strep throat had gone into his blood stream, causing the more extreme symptoms of vomiting and rash. The doctor gave my 7 year old 2 shots of antibiotic, prescribed oral antibiotics, told me to call and update him on my son's condition that evening, bring him in for a re-check in 2 days, and keep him out of school for the rest of the week. "Wow, this is serious!" I thought.

Little did I know the doctor was actually sugar-coating the whole thing for me with the description of "Strep that has gone into the blood stream".

The name for that is Scarlet Fever!

This morning when the fever was gone but the rash was still there, now covering much of his body, I did a little Internet searching to see how long I could expect a Strep rash to last. And guess what? Every site I looked at said Strep with a rash is Scarlet Fever.

I know the pediatrician was trying to protect me from that scary term because um, don't people DIE of that? Wasn't it Scarlet Fever that made Mary go BLIND on Little House and the Prairie?!!!

Clearly he knew, I couldn't handle the truth.

But, while the internet may be an alarmist, it did set me straight with the statistic that yes, before antibiotics 20% of people did die of Scarlet Fever, but since the advent of antibiotics the mortality rate is less than 1%.

The good news is, just like the doctor said he would, my son felt a whole lot better just a few hours after getting the antibiotic shots, and now is just rashy but feeling mostly fine.

The bad news is, we learned that when the kid who sleeps on the top bunk starts throwing up in the middle of the night, it is not pretty! And you really don't want to be the kid on the bottom bunk!

To wrap up this very long-winded story, today I salute the finer things of my carpet cleaning machine, antibiotics, and our pediatrician!

Find more Finer Things Friday here.


  1. The name "scarlet fever" is scary. My son and grandson both had it and did really well.

    As far as being on the bottom bunk....yuck! I'm glad he's feeling better.

  2. Scary.

    My son had scarlet fever last year. It was really hard--he's very allergic to penicillin and wasn't able to take 3 of the 5 antibiotics that they use to treat strep. Then, the strain that he got was resistent to Zithromax. Then the only antibiotic left was so powerful that they don't like to use it. They used it to clear up the infection and then removed his tonsils and adenoids.

    I know why people died from scarlet fever. In the course of 6 weeks he went from an active boy to losing almost 10 pounds (and when you start at 42 pounds that's a ton). Thankfully, he's been fine ever since his surgery. I am so grateful for medicine and doctors.

    I am glad that your son is feeling better. I'll say a prayer for him.

    And, lol, I remember that about bunkbeds from when my oldest girls were young.



  3. Yes, I learned (practically the same way) Strep throat gone to the blood is Scarlett Fever. Scary, but soo treatable. Antibotics usually clear it right up and FAST....I hate the viral infections where you just have to ride them out. I had soo many upper buck incidents...hahaha....this brought back memories that are funny now, but surely weren't then. Have a WONDERFUL holiday week-end....Hope he's feeling himself today...

  4. So glad he's feeling better! I didn't realize Scarlet Fever was so serious. I had it as a child at least once. Since then, when I get strep, it quickly goes to mono (since mono is in my system, I have relapses every few years). Not pretty! Strep is just nasty stuff! It drove me CRAZY when parents would tell me that their kid had strep and wasn't being treated yet but they had been in school all day anyway. Thanks for infecting everyone!

    Anyway, thank goodness for carpet cleaners! Your pediatrician sounds fabulous!

  5. i would have wanted to know the truth. anyway, so glad he's feeling better. not fun to clean throw up off the top bunk. or to change the sheets for that matter.

    have a great weekend :)

  6. I actually had that as a child! I was like 10 yrs old and we'd taken a trip to Oklahoma to visit family. Day 2 or so I developed a BAD sore throat and couldn't swallow, followed by a fever. The hospital admitted me and the doc diagnosed me with "scarletina"...a form of "scarlet fever". I had a rash all over my body and was in the hospital for 3 days. Lots of IV meds and I was good as new in time to enjoy the rest of vacation! Weird...I've never heard of anyone else having it til now! Glad your little guy is feeling better! :)

    And I TOTALLY hear ya on the bunk beds...why oh why did I put the daughter with the weak consitution on the TOP bunk!? ha ha

    Take care!
    (Stranger who reads your blog because we have so much "chaos" in common...I have 4 kiddos and identify with so much of what you post!)


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