Roseola Anyone?


Emma woke up screaming with a 103.4 fever at four thirty in the morning last Sunday. She had some sniffles, but other than that, no other symptoms. We controlled the fever with Motrin and wiped her down with a cold washcloth to bring her temperature down. Elena had been ill for a week at that point herself, and her condition was not improving. She was in desperate need of bed rest and the only way that was going to happen is if I stayed home from work for a couple of days to care for the little Monkey. So that’s what I did. On Tuesday I took Emma to the Doctor because she actually had a fever the previous week as well, which lasted until Wednesday. We thought she was better and then it started again on Sunday so we were concerned she had something more serious. This was the first time since Emma’s birth that I took her to the Doctor alone. It was really an honor and a privilege for me and Emma cooperated completely. Like she knew her Dad was going to take just as good care of her as Mommy. When the Pediatrician examined her she did not see any other symptoms until she looked into her mouth. Then she shrieked, as if she had found gold, and said Emma’s throat was covered with white spots and her glands were swollen. She took a throat culture and we discussed the Doctor’s findings. I told her I found it odd and perhaps even inconsistent that Emma has an apparently very bad throat infection as we have not observed a diminished appetite. In fact, I told her, in the waiting room and on the way to the office, Emma hadn’t stopped eating. The doctor then asked me if she had anything “white” to eat and I responded, “yes banana cookies”. The expression on the doctors face suggested that that was probably the cause of the white spots but I felt comfortable that she took the culture anyway since her glands were swollen. It’s better to be safe then sorry. In any event, Emma’s culture returned negative and on Wednesday she still had a fever. Elena called the Doctor and she advised us to get blood work. Since poor Emma had a nightmarish experience in the past with blood work we decided to hold off until Friday if things didn’t change. In the meantime we were hoping traces of the Z-Pak that Elena was taking would find its way into Emma, through her nightly nursing, and perhaps kill whatever it was that was causing her illness. On Friday Emma woke up with a rash on her neck and upper torso. I was on my way to work when Elena discovered this and was terrified of what she might have. Clearly she was reacting to something. Elena took Emma to the Doctor and right away they diagnosed her with Roseola. Roseloa is a very common viral infection that typically occurs once in children. Its symptoms are swollen glands, and an unexplained fever that lasts five to seven days followed by a rash all over the body for three to five days thereafter. It is typically non life-threatening although the accompanying fever has to be monitored closely and controlled to avoid the possibility of a seizure related death. I can’t tell you how relieved Elena and I were to learn that what Emma was going through was a common childhood illness. Not knowing what your child is afflicted with can strain your nerves. As a parent, like it or not, you are always thinking of the most horrific and terminal of possibilities (ebola, leprocy, etc.). As of this writing, our little Pink Panther is doing well and should be in the last throws of this bout with Roseola. We are going to continue to let her rest and keep her hydrated until she is back to 110%.

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