Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scarlet Fever

We've all been taking turns being sick with one thing or another. We get over it, but never get back to 100% before something else hits. GL stayed home from church Easter Sunday because he was just getting over yet another bug. That morning, an unusual rash suddenly appeared near his right eye. By Monday, its appearance had changed. He seemed to be feeling better, but we called the doctor's office just to be on the safe side. They gave him a Tuesday appointment. On Tuesday, the doctor looked at the rash and said it was nothing to worry about—just an infected scratch—so put some antibiotic ointment on it, and it should be fine. Tuesday evening we had family pictures taken, rash and all. They came out great. More about them soon.

Wednesday, GL slept most the day, and when he was awake all he would do was moan and say, "No." No fever, no obvious symptoms, so what can you do? Today (Thursday) he woke up at 4 am with a fever, and in obvious distress. Tylenol allowed him enough relief to go back to sleep, but when it wore off, he began moaning again, and his fever returned. By 10 am, it was 104.8, and Tylenol only brought it down one degree. By this time, his rash had completely scabbed over. He's been known to run high fevers that turn out to be viral, and all we can do is ride them out, but we called the doctor's office. His regular doctor was out for the day, but another doctor from the clinic was able to see him at 4. He refused food and only took a few sips of water and a little juice all day.

She could see he was sick, and mentioned the possibility of IV hydration if he continued to refuse adequate liquids. Of course we'd do that if necessary, but I don't think she had any idea what the person giving the IV would be in for! Nothing definite turned up on his exam, but she took a throat culture—I had to restrain him—because strep has been going around. She said to give him Motrin and suggested a follow-up appointment with his regular doctor if he didn't improve, but we left without a diagnosis. I felt she didn't know what he had, but figured he'd either get better or show clearer signs of the particular illness.

Before we got home, her nurse called Mama Bear's cell phone. The strep test was positive. She went on to describe the exactly the original appearance of his rash. "Yes," said Mama Bear, "How did you know? Did PB tell you?" "No," said the nurse,"That's the classic appearance for Scarlet Fever. But don't worry. Nowadays it's easily treated with antibiotics. We'll phone in a prescription. He'll be contagious until he's been on it for 24 hours. Bring him in tomorrow if he shows any new symptoms, or Monday if he hasn't markedly improved by then."

GL, the way you worry your mama sometimes!


Blogger Bob Wingate said...

I hope GL gets completely over the Scarlet Fever right away.

April 19, 2009 at 8:37 PM  

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