Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Unclean! Unclean! (Part II)

Guess how many of my kids have strep. Go on, take a guess.

Did you guess three? You're right!

And Ethan's got Scarlet Fever to boot.

He was horrifically sick on Sunday. So sick that he was scaring me, which is actually really hard to do. Usually I'm of the dose-them-with-Tylenol-and-see-what-happens camp. Except, when a kid is throwing up medicine and fluids as fast as you can administer them, and won't move, and cries when you try to pick him up, that method needs rethinking.

So we headed off to DirectCare, where we were ushered into a pediatric room with a table disguised as a school bus, and Nickelodeon on the TV (blech). And we were there for roughly 3,567,398 episodes of iCarly because - guess what! - it was an iCarly marathon! Yay! (I finally couldn't take any more and I muted it.) Ethan couldn't have cared less. He just laid there looking frighteningly pale and red in all the wrong places. He suffered indignity after indignity, and finally we left with the diagnosis of strep and a prescription for antibiotics.

When he came home, he continued peaked until roughly 8:30, when he asked for a drink of water and a popsicle and then proceeded to talk nonstop for the next two hours, and would have talked all night if we hadn't finally whisked him off to bed. I guess if you are Ethan, and you wasted the whole entire day not talking, you have a lot of ground to make up. But I tell you, I've never been so glad to hear him prattling away about everything and nothing.

And Dave and I put up the gate in the doorway to the hall and quarantined Ethan in that wing of the house. You know, so as not to spread it to the rest of the family.

Ha. Ha.

So then he was practically clawing his skin off with all the itching he was doing, and I didn't know whether the rash that cropped up Sunday was due to his strep, or if it was "unrelated" and he picked it up from his brothers, who have had a rash like that for a couple weeks (but not itchy), or if he was having a reaction to antibiotics (which he's never taken until now).

Today I called the Dr., who of couse wanted to see us, so I loaded up all three kids and (thank goodness) Dave met us there so I didn't have to take all three of them in with me.

She checked Ethan over, and pronounced her diagnosis of Scarlet Fever (commonly related to strep), but then I mentioned that Dylan still had that same rash, which he'd had now for probably three weeks, and Aidan also had the same rash, which he'd had not as long but still for a long time.

I was sent to the van to fetch the children.

Both were swabbed, even though strep is VERY rare in children Dylan's age. She said "if you get dogmatic, you are stupid" and she wanted to make sure.

Well, lo and behold.

Who knew you could have strep and be asymptomatic, or at least not have typical, classic symptoms.

And here poor Ethan was sequestered from his brothers, to keep them from catching it, when it is probably where he picked it up in the first place, since if you go by who came down with the rash first, it was Dylan that introduced it to the rest of us.

All kids are acting fine now, you'd never know any of them were sick at all, which is good. We're out of the woods on that count.

But I have never had strep before, and I'm guessing my chances of coming out of this unscathed are slim to none.

Wish me luck.


Kerrie said...

I'm so glad everyone's well now!
I think the diagnosis "scarlet fever" strikes terror into the heart of any mother who grew up reading the Little House books! :-S
I had it as a toddler and it left me with a mild heart murmur.

Would you believe we have *never* had strep here though? I have no idea how we've managed to avoid it, every single family I know has encountered it multiple times!
I wonder if my bad brush with it left us with some weird genetic immunity - LOL!

Jamie said...

Kerrie...I thougt the same thing about LHOTP!

I had strep several times when I began teaching but my children haven't...yet.

So...have you beat it or did it strike you too?

Mommy said...

So far, I haven't gotten it, which is actually making me a little skeptical. How on earth can I be on the receiving end of all the kisses and slobber from all three of them every day, and not catch it? I'm debating getting swabbed anyway.

And it's funny you should mention the Little House books. Aside from that, when I thought of was the Velveteen Rabbit, and had visions of a huge bonfire of blankets and clothes and toys in the back yard. Until now, I just assumed scarlet fever was an old Victorian-era literary device that in reality had long since been eradicated, like smallpox, or measles, or mumps. Who knew?

And Kerrie, a heart murmur? Should I worry? Should we go back to the Dr.? :S

Kerrie said...

I'm pretty sure you only have to worry about heart valve damage if it advances into "Rheumatic Fever".
Unfortunately being too little to remember the whole thing and having a mum who's largely incoherent most of the time, I'm not exactly sure how you know if it's done that.
(But I'm thinking that he likely would have gotten sicker rather than better so you probably don't need to worry!)