Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Creeping Crud

Well, we found out in fairly short order what it was that got Super Boy sent home from school sick on Friday: My baby has strep throat. :(

Here's how it all went down...

Friday afternoon: Phone call from school saying Super Boy had been to the office twice with the bad headache, but when they checked his temp at the first office visit (around 1pm), there was no fever. After I got Super Boy home, I checked his temp because he looked glassy-eyed and flushed, and his temp was 100.5. Gave him some Jr. Motrin, had him lay down, and about an hour later he was looking and acting much more like himself. Was fine through our late dinner and had a 99.0 temp at bedtime, but I gave him another dose of Motrin just in case, and I had him sleep in the guest bedroom with me so I could monitor for fever.

Saturday morning: Was very fidgety from about 6am until about 6:30am, when I felt his forehead to find him burning up. Checked his temp and it was 101.5. Woke him up to give him another dose of Motrin. Super Boy was very congested - head and chest - and looked miserable. The Motrin eventually kicked in, but instead of holding him steady for several hours, the fever broke through again within 3 hours, so I started alternating with Children's Tylenol.

Saturday midday: Had a pretty active midday, ate a decent lunch and seemed relatively okay. Also, when my Super Dad and Super Stepmom and Super Sister-in-Law arrived, was VERY active and rough-housing with my Super Dad. I kept cautioning them both to take it easy, but that fell on deaf ears (big shock!).

Saturday afternoon: Super Boy crashed hard around 4pm - was very tired and glassy-eyed, fever wasn't being controlled by the Motrin/Tylenol, and Super Boy was complaining of a sore throat. He also lost his voice. Fell asleep around 5pm and didn't want to wake to eat dinner.

Saturday evening: After I'd cooked dinner and cleaned up, I went to check on Super Boy again to find him burning up yet again. Temp was 102.5 and he was very lethargic. When he spoke, his voice was a croak and he was coughing. Suddenly occurred to me that he looked and sounded EXACTLY like Super Girl had a month earlier when SHE had a raging case of strep. Called the pediatrician's office to talk to the doctor on call. Their first reaction was - like mine - to think that it must be the flu, but when I said he'd had a flu shot (we get them every year) and that his older sister looked and sounded EXACTLY like this with strep a few weeks ago, they suggested we take him in to be cultured. Didn't feel like sitting and waiting for several hours at Children's ER, so went to another hospital's 24-hour Urgent Care around 9pm.

Wee hours of Sunday morning: Finally left Urgent Care after midnight with a diagnosis of STREP and a prescription for amoxicillin. As we were driving to Walgreens to get the script filled, Super Boy said he felt sick to his stomach, and proceeded to puke. (Thankfully I was holding him and had a puke bucket ready and waiting just in case.) Sadly, Super Boy had eaten and drank so little in the hours immediately preceding that there wasn't much to throw up, but the poor baby was miserable. We filled the script, got him home at 12:30am, and had to make him eat something so he could take his medicine. Like a champ, he choked down some french toast sticks and water, took his first dose of medicine, and fell immediately to sleep.

Sunday morning: Woke up at 5:30am with fever raging (103.1) and threw up again (thankfully I was right there with the puke bucket ready again). Gave him some Motrin and let that settle for 20 minutes and then had him eat breakfast and take his next dose of antibiotics. That all stayed down, and Super Boy seemed MUCH better once the fever was under control again.

Sunday afternoon: Ate a small lunch, took another dose of antibiotic and then took a two-hour nap. Woke up feeling MUCH better, and fever only reached 100.5 for the rest of the day.

Sunday night: Super Boy slept great after his last dose of antibiotic and Motrin, and no more puking (amen!).

Monday: Kept Super Boy home from school. His fever only reached 99.1 all day, so I didn't give him any Motrin, figuring his body was doing its thing. I also didn't want to upset his stomach by continuing any medication he didn't NEED, since I knew the antibiotic could do that all on its own. Sure enough, on Monday afternoon, Super Boy had a few bouts of diarrhea, but no vomiting and his appetite continued to improve. (I just made him eat more bananas, cheese and yogurt to try to bind him up a bit and get some healthy bacteria back in his gut!) He still had significant head and chest congestion and coughing, too, so I figured we'd see how he was Tuesday morning and make the call then regarding school.

Tuesday: Decided to keep Super Boy home again for one more day, both to see if he had anymore diarrhea and to give him another day to get some of the congestion out. Had to make a quick trip to school early in the day to drop off items I had signed up to bring for their "Green Tasting Party" for St. Patty's Day, and Super Boy's teacher told me that he was one of EIGHT KIDS out sick yesterday (zoinks!). He was very sad that I wouldn't let him stay at school and insisted he be able to go back today (Wednesday). Anyway, he felt MUCH better with a normal temperature all day, more energy and a normal appetite, and only had one soft BM in the evening after a normal one right after lunch. We even made a trip to a local park in the late afternoon for a little bit, after a serious talk about NOT picking or wiping his nose with his fingers/hands and coughing into his elbow so he wouldn't get the other kids sick.

Today: SUPER BOY RETURNED TO SCHOOL - HOORAY!!

I still don't know if my Super Dad and Super Stepmom have ended up sick, or if they've passed the germs on to my niece and nephew, but I'm assuming no news is good news!

Unfortunately, we have since learned that our friends' daughter ended up with it, too (she and her younger brother - who is the same age as Super Boy - were at our house for about an hour last Friday morning playing with Super Boy, as I was taking them to school for our friends), and now it looks like her brother might have it, as well. There are SO many kids sick with it at the kids' school that she could've gotten it from any number of kids, but I still feel bad. I hate having the infectious kid! ;)

I've gotta say, it's times like this when I'm glad that I'm a bit of a germophobe. All of my weekly doorknob/lightswitch/remote control/phone disinfecting and occasional compulsive cleaning isn't for naught in a case like this! And so far - knock on wood - Super Man and I haven't come down with it. Here's hoping our luck holds out!

Stay healthy, friends!

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