Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Moms Were Right

Seeing your child sick is one of the worst feelings ever. Luckily we haven't had much experience with this, but boy did Nicholas get hit hard this week. On Saturday night, Nicholas refused to eat any more dinner, saying he was sick, his mouth hurt and he wanted to watch Toy Story. Sounds like a good way to get out of eating broccoli, right??

Well on Sunday, while I was working, Bill called to say Nicholas passed out while watching Toy Story. This should have been a huge red flag, but I dismissed it, thinking naptime was always easier with Daddy. I hung up and then BOOM all of the pieces fell into place. There had been a note on Nicholas' locker last week saying that one of his friends had strep. Ms. Rhonda even told me about it and how suddenly it had come on. I had been my relaxed mommy self, saying I'm not worried and that I try to be relaxed about these things, convinced that my healthy little man was not at risk.

So strep at school, mouth hurt and uncharacteristic sleeping...I figured it out at 12:01, just a minute after the pediatrician closed for the weekend. Proud of my detective skills, I called Bill to report my diagnosis, only to hear that Nicholas woke up throwing up. Hmmm...strep causes vomitting??? I didn't think so...I quickly Googled it and yes that is very common in toddlers, but I also learned strep rarely strikes children under 3. Nicholas was unlucky enough to be struck at 2 and 9 months :-( I got home as quickly as I could...every sip of water and nibble of cracker caused Nicholas to cover his mouth and one of us to race him to the bathroom. He is actually the perfect height for throwing up in the toilet because he barely needs to bend over, but it's still something I hope I don't have to see again for a very long time.

While I waited the next 12 hours for the doctor's office to open, I completed several more Google searches, trying to assure myself that this was all normal and he would be fine through the night. He was and we were lucky to get a morning appointment. Nicholas clung to me while the doctor lifted his shirt to listen to his lungs, he proclaimed that he had scarlet fever. What?!? I thought that was an eradicated (very deadly) disease of the past, but the doctor assured me it was just strep throat with a rash. Okay, I thought, but he still had to take a throat culture to be sure. Try sticking a giant Q-tip down a sick toddler's throat. It took 2 of us to hold him down and get his mouth open and then less than 2 minutes to get a positive test result. While we waited for the doctor to come back and write the prescription, Nicholas began screaming that he wanted to go home, which woke up his brother, which led to both of them screaming even more while I listened to the doctor tell the nurses about the first case of scarlet fever of the year. As we spoke about the very slim possibility of Tyler catching this, the doctor told me Nicholas would probably develop strawberry tongue and how cool it would be. Cool?!? I almost rolled my eyes.

Waiting for the antibiotics was another adventure, but I never imagined how difficult it would be to get those meds in. I'm not sure if it's the sore throat, the taste or the idea...but I am proud to say I have mastered the bear hug and dump procedure. 3 doses of antibiotic later, he is ready to tackle the world (dressed with shoes on, but no socks before 7, ready to go to store), unfortunately I'm trying to keep him quarantined for the rest of the day.

So....scarlet fever is alive and well. Thanks to Nicholas it will probably make a nice little run around Putnam county, but thank goodness it doesn't have the same outcome as it did in the past. And yes seeing your child sick is one of the worst feelings ever.

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