Monday, February 25, 2013

Slapped Cheeks


As I was telling you in this post, Charleigh started running a fever last Tuesday the 19th. She had a temperature of 103.3 when I took her to the pediatrician's office the next day. He checked her white blood cell count, said the problem appeared to be bacterial, and put her on a high-powered antibiotic.

Which didn't do a durn thing. She's run a fever for part of every day, since.

Not that I use a thermometer, or even own one. My mommy hand detects three grades of fever:
  • mild - kid is teething; don't worry; consider fever-reducing medication only for one's own comfort (i.e., if kid is annoyingly fussy at bedtime)
  • medium - kid is fighting something minor; try not to worry too much; give kid fever-reducing medication throughout day for fussiness; take kid to pediatrician after a couple days
  • hot - serious, scary problem; try not to completely FREAK OUT and make things worse; pump kid full of fever-reducing medication and give kid cool bath for lethargy; take kid to pediatrician or ER ASAP
Charleigh ran a medium fever off and on from sometime Tuesday the 19th until this morning. When she woke up feverish with bumpy, red cheeks, I told Jim: "She's GOT to go back to the pediatrician."

In my (new) experience, four is the magic number of kids when it comes to dealing with pediatric  healthcare professionals. I'm not trying to dog anybody; I'm just sayin': the phrase "I have four kids" carries some weight.

Today, I said: "I have four kids; I don't really take temperatures. She's been running a fever off and on since you saw her last," and all I got was a nod of thoughtful acceptance.

Later, I said: "I have four kids, and I'm not a particularly nervous mom, but I'm worried about this child," and things happened, up to and including a blood test for my sheer peace of mind.

But anyway. Charleigh seems to have turned a corner. The fever and redness were gone before we got to the pediatrician's office (leaving only the bumpy part of the rash), and she hasn't run a fever, since. The lymph node in her neck isn't swollen, anymore, and everything checked out with her blood test.

The doctor said something about "Slapped Cheek Syndrome" (another name for Fifth Disease or Human ParvoVirus B19), which confused me because he'd indicated, last week, that the problem was bacterial and not viral. Explains why the antibiotic didn't do squat, though.

I spent some time reading up on Fifth Disease, today, and think it's what we've all had but that it's  manifested itself in different ways. Earlier, I said that Charleigh was the only one who'd gotten a rash, but I don't know what I was thinking; Clementine had rosy, bumpy cheeks off and on for days. (It's all a big blur, by now.)

The pediatrician said a person with a rash like Charleigh's isn't usually contagious, anymore, but I decided to avoid our friends for the standard 24 hours after a fever and, instead, endanger strangers at Wishing Well Park and Cici's Pizza.

Nah, it was pretty cold outside; she kept her distance from everyone she didn't know; and she really is so much better. I'm thankful. I'll be honest: I was starting to worry! Who has a fever after six days on an antibiotic; right?

Thank you for your prayers!

This morning at the pediatrician's office. You can barely see the rash.

Classic Charleigh


  1. Saying a prayer for your Charleigh! I bet "I have four kids" is helpful. I know my second and third deliveries went better with the nurses since I wasn't a first timer. But four really means something, as in not your first trip here. Glad it worked to help out today. My temperature-taking method is my cheek to the forehead:)

  2. charleigh and you are so beautiful and I hope by wednesday we can all have a semi normal outing....... complete with biscuits and gravy... but lets go to creekside....... my new favorite breakfast place, my waitress moved there .. :) I SEE that face in "classic charleigh" and I think all is well........ again for you........ my E is getting this now tho, I cannot wait to get to the salt air and "air out my house" ......... for real......... I don't think YOU or I had this ? I think the things in my palette tell a different infectuous story...... ? I love you and all of those little young uns and can't wait to snuggle them..... and I have surprises :)

  3. She is so sweet, and glad that she is on the mend. Fifth's disease in NO fun but I must say, I am so glad that you weren't in the first few months of your preganancy when she came down with this it was a very scary time for my sis who got it at that time from her daughter and it was really scary. So, the positive, all are on the upside of things it sounds like and thank you Jesus for that! She is precious though... those curls and red hair absolutely adorable.

  4. i was praying for her yesterday. I'm glad things are looking better. Slapped cheek is no fun! I totally laughed at the endangering strangers thing. I do that ALL THE TIME! mwahahahah! :)

  5. Prayers for your little Charleigh. Fifths disease is certainly annoying. I remember that one. There's always something when your a mom. I'm glad you don't panic. I'll bet those red cheeks on that fair skin looked quite alarming. God bless you sweetie. A mom of four kids deserves a lot of respect a the pediatricians office. Hold your head high, girlfriend. :)