Friday, July 11, 2008

Nonspecific virus

That's what Campbell has - a nonspecific virus with a fever and a rash. I love when the doctor can't provide a clear diagnosis.

Thursday afternoon Campbell was out of sorts with the world and only wanted to be in my lap, which is growing smaller by the day. As I was holding his hands and playing our silly clapping game, I noticed that his hands felt warm. I took his temperature - 103.3. Eeek. I felt like the worst mother for not noticing earlier that he was feverish.

I gave him tylenol and a cup of watered-down Gatorade, which he downed in about three gulps. Once the tylenol kicked in, he was back to his usual self, jumping on the sofa and crashing his trike into the furniture on purpose. Four hours later, though, he cratered again when his fever went back up.

He woke up twice in the night fussing, and each time his fever had spiked again. Every time I took Campbell's temperature, he fussed at my touching his ears to use the thermometer. Usually, he loves having his temperature taken - if he finds the earscan thermometer lying around, he'll bring it to me so that I can pretend to check his ears. Because of this, I assumed that he was starting an ear infection.

I called the doctor's office first thing yesterday morning and they told me to come in at 11:00. The receptionist, who has worked there for as long as we've been patients there, was out on vacation, and boy did her absence show. Forty-five minutes after we arrived, we finally saw the doctor.

Campbell's ears are just fine, but I felt like a terrible mom again when the doc asked me how long Campbell had had the rash on his back. I had noticed the red bumps but had assumed they were heat rash rather than a sign of something more serious. Oy.

The doc did a strep test because Campbell's throat was slightly red, but that came back negative. I was a bit disappointed at that news. The girls* have both had strep, and I know from experience that 24 hours after starting antibiotics, they have both been on the mend.

But no, Campbell has a nonspecific virus that just has to run its course. The poor little guy is just so miserable. He's been asleep for two hours, and I hope he stays asleep a while longer. It can only help.

Last night his fever spiked to 104 at midnight. I sat with him in my lap and a cool cloth on his head while I waited for the tylenol to do its job. Fortunately, he woke up this morning relatively fever-free. But he still had to miss going to the airport to pick up my mother, who is visiting for the weekend, and a birthday party for one of his big-boy heroes.

I'm hoping we've turned the corner at this point and that no one else gets it. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

*A funny story about Ella's strep - 24 hours after she was diagnosed and began taking antibiotics, she broke out in a rash of tiny, red bumps. I looked it up in Dr. Spock, and discovered that the rash matched the description of scarlet fever. I called the on-call doctor in a panic. She explained that some forms of strep also cause the scarletina rash, or scarlet fever. I started crying into the phone, "But Beth in Little Women DIED of scarlet fever. And Mary in the Little House on the Prairie books went BLIND from it." The doctor, who was obviously trying not to laugh out loud, said, "Mrs. Gardner, that was in the days before antibiotics. I promise Ella isn't going to die or go blind." And she was right, so far Ella hasn't.


Memarie Lane said...

From my experience, if you had noted the rash and brought it to the doctor's attention he would have said it was heat rash. Or maybe a "non-specific rash." It's only of consequence if they notice it before you do. :P

Shamelessly Sassy said...

I hope he's doing better now. :)