Category Archives: ZGirl

Scarlet Fever is in This Little House on the Prairie

Aitch had been running a fever off and on this past week, plus she complained of a sore throat. I chalked it up to a cold, what with the occasional wet cough and drippy nose that’s been incessant. I’ll admit I was just hoping she wasn’t going to throw up in the car seat (again!) or on the carpet (again!) or the couch (again!!).

She wanted to join her brother at the local Y for Family Swim Night, which was just an extended open swim from the after-school program. I went through the rushed steps of getting her undressed from her clothes and getting her into her swimsuit as quickly as possible so we could make the most out of what little time we had left. I was also distracted by the fact I had to get in the water with her and was no mood to be in a swimsuit without an opportunity to shave.

I slid into the cold water and turned my arms to reach for Aitch who stood at the pool’s ledge arms crooked to her body like a tiny t-rex and I pretended the water felt great. It didn’t. Normally she doesn’t hesitate to just jump in, but once her feet touched the water, she tensed up and would have climbed up and sat on my head if physically possible. I peeled her off me and sat her back on the ledge, annoyed. I had been in such a hurry that I had forgotten to have her go to the bathroom so she stood there, quaking with cold and doing her version of the “potty dance.” I climbed back out of the water, grabbed our towels and we trotted back into the locker room.

As she was sitting there, I noticed how red her hip looked. I lifted the top of her swimsuit and the rash ran all the way up her back. And even though she was shivering violently, she was hot to the touch. It was then she told me she wanted to go home. I knew it was time to take her to the urgent care.

The doctor diagnosed her with strep throat. I asked if he was going to swab her throat to confirm (I think “strep” is just code for “sore throat”, it’s not as common as most think), but he said that the scarletina was confirmation enough. I had never heard a rash described with that word before and didn’t think much of it. We were given a script for antibiotics and we went home. Of course I googled rash and strep throat when I got home and I was surprised to find out that “scarletina” is actually Scarlet Fever.

She has all of the symptoms:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • rash
  • bright red tongue and throat
  • headaches and body aches

I was expecting it to be just another unexplained rash like when she was a baby. Honestly, I didn’t even think Scarlet Fever was a thing nowadays. By the way, she’s feeling fine. Today both her and Doodicus BEGGED us to take them into town to go sledding down the dam’s hillside, which we did. The girl is a trooper. That’s all I can say.

RASH (no pictures this time) UPDATE

This is a follow-up to the post about my daughter’s rash since I’ve had many hits on it and queries as to how she is not doing:

It’s been what seems like an endless parade to and from a medical office of one kind or another lately. After waiting literally months for ZGirl’s dermatology appointment, it came and went and left me feeling a bit fuzzy in the brain – like I hadn’t ever been to a specialist before – and went away with more questions than answers.

Dr. Eyebrows, the junior of his now retired father who we originally saw last year, took one look at ZGirl and exclaimed how her condition and symptoms were exactly like his own son of the same age. I felt relief. He gave us a script for a cream, advised us to try an OTC antihistamine when things got bad, and swabbed her to see if she was a carrier of nasal staph.

Did you just go reread that last part?

Yeah. That’s where I got derailed at the appointment and failed as a parent to ask WTF. A couple weeks later I got a call from the clinic to confirm that she was positive. We’ll come back to that in a sec. At the time we were to start a nasal antibiotic right away.

For several days, we squirted an ointment up both nostrils of one very pissed off toddler. It would piss me off too.

After the treatment, her skin looked beautiful! I mean enviably gorgeous! And then a week later she was sick again with something viral (aka “cold”) and the rash and redness returned with a vengeance. Then the daycare told us that there were two confirmed cases of staph (I hadn’t told them about ZGirl’s appointment). And then the coughing and wheezing started. And then she threw up. And then the blizzard snowed us in and the in-laws out. And then Christmas came and went. And then this past Sunday Mr. DD bundled her up right away in the morning because she was getting worse and took her to the urgent care: ear and respiratory infection and the beginning of more antibiotics, this time the kind that taste like ass, even when flavored with grape, which resulted in a taste of ass covered in grape jelly.

And then finally, her follow-up appointment with Dr. Eyebrows. One I was determined to get to the bottom of with this staph infection carrier business. I spent free time googling “nasal staph infection carrier” needlessly. The nurse who called to confirm ZGirl was positive did not clarify that she was positive for another kind of bacteria – but NOT staph. Awesomeness.

Basically, ZGirl just has very sensitive baby skin and moisture followed by sudden dryness (like snot dripping and then subsequently being wiped away with a sleeve) will cause her extreme irritation. The prickly rash she gets on the rest of her body is her skin’s reaction to infections, which really does make sense when you consider the skin is the largest organ of the body. She should outgrow it eventually. Until then, if she gets really rashy about the face, we are to slather her with A&D ointment at bedtime. And that’s it.

If you are still seeking answers to your child’s unexplained rash, ask about getting a culture for staph done. Try A&D ointment, generously applied. Ask about steroid creams or try a mild over the counter cortisone cream. As for the body, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Aveeno for baby works great. Avoid highly perfumed lotions. If nothing else, vaseline after a bath. Good luck.

SKIN DEEP

As ZGirl’s pediatrician predicted, ZGirl’s rash on her body cleared up within a week as did the other symptoms of a viral infection.

Unfortunately, her facial rash, which he suggested was contact dermatitis, a catchall for “hey, we don’t know what kind of rash it is or what the root cause is” kind of rash, has – as you can see – only proceeded to get worse.

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See how it’s even on her eyelids??

The picture captures one of the worst days. In the morning it looks less inflamed, but it’s definitely there. I try to put on a light coat of 1% hydrocortizone cream with a bit of vaseline over that, per doctor’s order. However, I haven’t seen any improvement whatsoever. I don’t know if it itches or burns as she doesn’t seem to scratch or rub at her face, except when she’s tired and she rubs her eyes, which is probably how it is getting transferred in the areas it is. At the onset of these symptoms, I did a little inventory of whatever I have changed. As I said in my first post about the rash, nothing has changed, except she’s on more regular foods and whole milk now.

We have her 15 month check up in a month. I’m not sure whether to ride it out until then or try to get an appointment with another dermatologist (which could take a 3-4 week wait anyway). I keep thinking tomorrow she’ll wake up and it’ll all be gone. And then I think it again the next day, and the next. It doesn’t seem emergent, but how long do we let this go on?

Thank goodness those gorgeous blues distract me.

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(BTW, the picture immediately above was taken August 24th while the first one was taken September 14th)

NINE

It’s getting late and I’m crazy-ass tired and yet – I am compelled to post. Let’s keep it brief and get to the points I wish to cover, shall we?

1 – My MIL wasn’t able to get around very well this weekend, complaining of pain in her legs. Monday a.m. she was admitted to the hospital. She needs to have her hips that she had replaced 15 plus plus years ago replaced. Mr. DD has spent every evening at the hospital as now she’s been running an unexplained fever. Once she recovers from the fever, she then will spend the next couple of weeks in a nursing home until the scheduled date of her surgery since she can’t go home as the FIL is also recovering from a surgery from a couple months ago. Getting old sucks.

2 – XBoy has brought home work every day from school that he refuses to finish in school. This on top of the regular homework, which includes 20 spelling words, like “autumn” and “September”. Is this normal for 2nd Graders? In the three weeks he’s been in school, we’ve already had the note about pushing another kid as well as the initial note about XBoy’s belligerence in refusing to do his work. How many more weeks before school’s out?

3 – ZGirl received her one year vaccinations including the first half of the flu (regular flu) shot. Mr. DD and I spent that night alternating between holding and comforting an arched-back, screaming hysterically, and feverish baby. Remind me to tell you how the next morning I opened the door on her head. I’m sure it’ll be funny in a week or two.

4 – The next day I stayed home with ZGirl since she was still running a low-grade fever. I was in the middle of getting her lunch in the microwave, running a load of wash, running the dishwasher and we lost electricity in the house. A car accident somewhere down the line. I called and bitched to my husband since he has some sort of magical power to make it come back on again if I get screechy enough with him.

5 – AND THEN tonight Mr. DD announces that we have no propane. Even though our contract with the natural gas company is “keep full” (which means to come in every month and top of the tank). The company has done this not once, but twice before. Instead of calling them tonight and fight with them later over the emergency service charges, he will call and have them deliver during normal business hours. No hot water for a shower or the endless dishes or ZGirl’s or XBoy’s baths.

6- My own post requesting advice on how to get rid of violets garnered less response than a post I didn’t even write. I’m wounded.

7 – Mr. DD and I had a huge fight. Huge. It was about money. Or should I say the lack thereof? Not being able to find a new job is wreaking havoc on our marriage. Is that oversharing?

8 – We received news a couple weeks ago that one of Mr. DD’s nephews and his wife were expecting their first baby. This weekend we heard she miscarried. Now instead of sending the congratulatory card, I need to find a sympathy card.

9 – I’ve caught a cold.

Excuse the multiple updates if you get this through a reader. I blame life right now.

TASTES LIKE SUMMER

Mr. DD brought home sweet corn tonight. Even though it’s getting late in the season, many vendors around here plant in shifts about a week apart for several weeks so they don’t end up with one or two good weeks, but can sell corn for almost eight or more.

ZGirl has taken quite a fancy to it. It doesn’t even need to be cooked for her to enjoy. We can hand over an ear of corn freshly husked, and she’ll gnaw on that happily for some time. Of course, it’s much better (IMHO) cooked with a little butter and seasoning, but she doesn’t mind either way. She even stood up on the tippiest of her toes trying to grap the ears Mr. DD had just cleaned, and when she realized she just couldn’t quite reach them, threw herself into a tizzy.

cornmore

corn

 

corncheers

(Gotta wash it all down…)

cornsalute

 

Viva la corn!!

Did you notice the Husker shirt? You didn’t?

NOW did you??

BABY JEAN, THAT’S MY GIRL

I embarrassed to admit that I am a sucker for baby girl’s clothes. The tights. The baby dresses with matching undies. The shoes. Oh, yes, the shoes! OK, so I’m actually not a sucker for BUYING the clothes, but I find myself weakening considerably when I walk past Baby Gap. And she only has three pairs of shoes.

It wasn’t that long ago that I found a pair of these jeans for ZGirl. Cute, right?

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But jeans can be stiff and scratchy and hot and just…ugh! for the little goobers. Still, cute.

But these jeans aren’t really jeans. They’re stretchy leggings, boot cut. I love boot-cut. They make the diaper butt look smaller. True for adults as well.

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I loved these “jeans” so much that I went back to the store and picked up sizes 24 mos (really? 24 mos? What’s wrong with 2T?) 3T and 4T.

The price for such an acquisition?

$16.

FOR ALL FOUR.

Here’s the secret: the store is unfortunately The Mecca for the Mental; A Bastion of the Bat Shit Crazy; The Interior Designs Supplier for the Double Wide.

WalMart.

Don’t judge.

Let me distract you from my brief lapse in sanity. Look! Cuteness that is my little Rocker Girl!  And yes, that is a drum stick in her hand. We start ’em young here. By the way? Shirt, courtesy of the Baby Boy’s department at Target.

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IF I HAD TO HAVE PAID FOR THAT VISIT OUT OF POCKET, IT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WORTH THE $100 FEE. GOOD THING I HAVE INSURANCE, HUH?

Well, it’s not…

  • Chicken Pox
  • Fifths Disease
  • Hand, Foot & Mouth
  • Roseola
  • Shingles
  • Molluscum Contagiosum

But he does think it’s viral, especially since at the last visit a week ago to the pediatrician, the other guy said she had an ear infection (but I’m still rolling my eyes at that one) and the loose stools.

The rash on her face is most likely contact dermatitis, a.k.a.: Drool Face.

I know. The suspense was killing you. But now you know as much as I do about ZGirl’s rash, which really if you were to sit back in your chair and gaze up to your ceiling and contemplate, it wouldn’t be much at all.

So, uh, yeah. Carry on with your weekends, people.