So my baby boy has scarlet fever!
Oh my... there are no visions of sugarplums dancing in my head anymore! No siree, . As soon as the doctor bounced back into the exam room, waving her just washed hands in the air, I knew something serious was up.
Son had a mild fever for 2 days starting Thursday night. The fact that he had a fever made me very nervous. As a baby he had 2 episodes of Febrile Convulsions... convulsions from the sudden onset of high fever. That is harmless the doctors assured me but even the memory of those two episodes has me trembling. Holding him in my arms while he shook with convulsions, the frantic 911 calls, the ambulance and police cars screeching into our driveway to whisk us to the hospital. I have never been so frightened in my life. Horrible!
So ever the vigilant mother, I rearranged my work schedule, got a friend to transport Daughter to school and back and afterschool activities and I devoted my time to Son.
He stayed home from preschool on Friday. He played videogames and we did endless "art projects" involving copious amounts of glue and glitter and every string and paper in the house. He bounced and jumped on the couches until they were creaking for mercy. He wouldnt eat a thing, except for drinking copious amounts of lemon flavored Gatorade (a electrolyte sports drink). But he did not seem "sick"... none of the usual clinginess, crying, and temper tantrums that kids specialise in when sick. He had no other symptoms. No swollen glands, no sore throat... nothing! It seemed like one of those mild viral fever episodes that the kids bring home from school on a regular basis.
Sunday we went to the movies! He fell asleep during the movie and when we got home I noticed that he had a faint rash on his neck. I figured he was just wearing too many layers and was hot. He seemed just fine and and had not had a fever for 24 hours so I sent him off to school on Monday.
When I picked him in the afternoon he was covered in a red, sandpaper feeling rash. I mean just covered all over with rough red skin! Every possible inch. Just awful. I called the doctor and described the symptoms and she was all... come here right away!
A throat swab, culture and 5 minutes later, the diagnosis... a bad case of scarlet fever.
The room dimmed around me for a few seconds! Every Dickens book that I ever read had people falling dead from scarlet fever. So many books, written even in the first half of the twentieth century had people suffering irreparable damage or death from scarlet fever! Look at the references to scarlet fever in popular culture. I actually have an uncle who has a weakened heart from rheumatic fever/scarlet fever in childhood. The ground fairly shook under my feet. Like a Victorian mother given this diagnosis, I was a blubbering mess.
I was quickly brought to life by the doctor waving a SINGLE precription in my face. A prescription for a 10 day dose of Amoxicillin. Thats it! A single prescription for a disease that claimed lives just 40-50 years ago. A disease that had people quarantined for months if they even recovered!
The doctor assured me that it was ok to send him to school by Wednesday and that 3 doses of the antibiotic would render him non contagious. Imagine that! So simple.
Ofcourse she also said to make sure that he finished the 10 day course of medicine and to bring Daughter to see her if she develops a fever in the next few days. She said Husband and I will probably also develop some symptoms from exposure because Scarlet fever is so contagious. I was hardly listening to all that. My heart was just pumping joyously now. A single prescription and he was going to be okay!
Ofcourse today, I have to call the school to warn them that Son had come in on Monday in a contagious state. They will have to send letters out warning other parents to look for symptoms in thier kids and will have to disinfect all the toys. I am embarrassed about this. But really, how could I have known?
The wonders of modern medicine! Over and over I am thankful we live in todays day and age. I know our rapid technological advances have allowed us a greater ability to destroy and self destruct but we also have greater means to protect lives. So it is all good isnt it?
I for one dont exactly view the past in a Golden Hue. It was what it was, but today and tommorow is even better!
Warsmaking ability or not, a mother thanks technology!
In Gauri and Nainika
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