Category Archives: Sick-oh

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.

2009 002

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.

2009 043

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

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.

RASH (’cause I can’t come up with a more clever title)

Did I mention here that ZGirl has another rash of some type or another?

After her week off from daycare while Mr. DD was in Boston, the Sunday before her return back to daycare (this is important), I noticed little tiny bumps under her chin, but lots of them. A couple were even on each of her cheeks, above her mouth, and on her sweet little eyelids. Her EYELIDS.

We took her to the see the pediatrician right away who diagnosed her with a teething rash. Try some hydrocortisone and vaseline, he said. Since he’s not ZGirl’s regular pediatrician, I was skeptical. He’s always been off on her past diagnoses.

The days passed and they got worse. As I described on facebook last night, she looks like a PMSing, 15 year old girl. She’s a wreck. A hot mess. Not only that, the rash has spread to her trunk, groin and upper back. Like a prickly heat rash.

The daycare noticed that when she first shows up in the morning, she doesn’t look bad. By the end of the day? See the “Hot Mess” comment above.

HOWEVER, I have to admit that I don’t think this is daycare related. Remember how I said they started showing up after her week off from daycare?

It was suggested that it might be a yeast rash, which it kind of looks like. Another suggested was hand, foot & mouth infection, which I don’t think it is because the sores don’t open and she eats well (no inside mouth sores) and no fevers.

I’d post pictures for you M.D.’s out there (or M.D.’s via Google), but I haven’t had much time to do more than eat supper when we all get home for the day. I’ll try to later as once we figure this out, it might be helpful for the next person.

I did get some new detergent, dye and perfume free, and rewashed the clothes and blankets she was going to use today. We’ll see what happens.

OOOH! I just had another thought: she on whole milk exclusively. Could that possibly be it? Regular formula and she drank whole milk in limited quantities before. Her colon has been on overdrive as well, going from one regular BM to now at least 4 to 5. Thoughts? Opinions??

BTW, in 30 minutes I’ll be at the dentist’s with XBoy. I’m going to find out if they can give him something other than (or in addition to) nitrous since I think we will go ahead and get those baby teeth pulled, but not today.

RACING EBAY VAN TO SPECIALIST FOR ADHD

I’ve been pretty irritated with my husband lately. Actually just on the weekends. He’s been racing* every weekend for the past 4, which goes against what I thought we had agreed to when racing*season started: he’s races* one weekend; I get to do what I want the next weekend. Easy, right?

When I whined to him about it, he told me I “need to get a hobby.” So tonight when I sat down at my laptop, he asked what I was doing. My “hobby”, Mr. Observant.

* as in radio-control electric car racing

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I have been dealing with a nightmare on a simple $15.00 ebay purchase. I found the seller (who won’t respond to my emails or send me my mofo purchase) on another site via google, because some people are stupid and use the same username all over the web. If it wasn’t for the fact I used my husband’s ebay account, I would be all over that bitch like a fly on shit. My husband says that’s harassment. I say it’s internet justice.

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Speaking of crappy service, wait until I tell you about my foray into warranty work on my vehicle. It’s a comedy of errors compounded by two survey phone calls. The last survey caller even had the gall to make up excuses as to why the dealership screwed up not once, not twice, but three goddamn times. I just don’t have the energy to talk about it now.

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More service problems: I took a two hour drive down to The Metro to see a specialist for ZGirl. Long, long, LOOOOONNNGG story short? She’s fine.

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What people who don’t have children with ADHD don’t understand is that a child who suffers from ADHD isn’t just one who is “overly active”. XBoy’s ADHD is not manifested in physical over-activity. It is him being constantly on mental overload. Like having a power plug with every outlet being used plugged into ANOTHER power strip. That’s XBoy’s brain.

For a “normal” child, you can tell them, “It’s bedtime. Please get ready for bed.” and off they go. Fifteen minutes later, you can walk into their room and they’ve changed, completed their nightly toiletry, and might even be in bed.

It doesn’t work that way with XBoy. If I tell him to take a bathroom break, sometimes he’ll get up from the living room couch walk into the hallway and then turn to his bedroom. From the time he heard the request to the time he’s walked to the hallway, he’s forgotten what he’s supposed to do, maybe due to a distraction of a toy laying on his bedroom floor.

To get him ready for bed, it’s simple commands that have to be repeated a couple of times before the task gets completed. The nightly conversation goes a lot like this:

Go take a bathroom break, please (follow him into the bathroom, and lean against door jam).

Lift the ring, please.

Flush, please.

Put the ring down, please.

Wash your hands, please – use soap.

Shut off the water, please.

Dry your hands, please.

Brush your teeth, please.

Put away your brush, please.

Shut off the lights, please.

Go get dressed for bed, please (follow him into the bedroom).

Put your clothes in the hamper, please.

Get into bed, please.

Each command must come separately or else after the first one, you may find him 15 minutes later playing in the bathroom sink with a hairbrush and q-tip and water pooling up not only on the counter but the floor as well.

We are tired of it. He’s certainly tired of it. Unfortunately, we can’t leave him to his own devices. There are times, more often than not, that in the morning, we can tell him to get dressed for the day and we’ll walk into his room ten minutes later and find him standing there buck-naked and playing with his Star Wars action figures. If we ask, “What are you doing?!” he’ll respond, “I’m just playing!” as in “duh! what does it look like I’m doing??”

So yeah. If a friend tells you that their child has ADHD, don’t just think it’s a kid acting like a rabid weasel on meth.

If only it were that easy.

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Feel free to pick a topic, any topic, and advice away. Sorry about the schizo title.