If I’ve seemed to have fallen off the grid over the last week or so, there’s a reason, and as I sit up at 3 am typing this – miserably sick – I’m pretty sure that reason is strep throat.
The household illness began last Wednesday night – Thanksgiving Eve – when G seemed puny, out of sorts, and unlike herself. By early Thursday morning she was running a fever, miserably unhappy, vomiting and barely eating.
Thanksgiving 2012 was officially “off” for Jon and me, and the two of us spent the next 4 days in the house tag-teaming 24-7 care for our sickly toddler while also entertaining a very bored 5 year old who was NOT sick, and who had no one to play with for those 4 days because her little sister was sick, her older sister and brother were away for the holiday, and her cousins were out of town.
This situation around Casa Hickju translated into almost zero time for me to sit at a keyboard over the long holiday weekend to do any blogging.
Here’s poor G during the holiday break, feeling just awful. I think this may have been on Saturday.
I did call her pediatrician, and spoke to his nurse who obviously told me that if G got at all worse, or if she quit taking in enough fluids that she’d need to be seen without delay. I think that both the nurse and I assumed that this was some kind of virus.
Well, as sick as she was, she did remain willing to take her bottle and sippy cup even when she wouldn’t eat. And she did start to turn the corner after the first 72 hours, so we never ended up taking her to the pediatrician.
By Monday, when I returned to work after the holiday break, G was mostly recovered, and Jon took her to his office with him. By Tuesday, yesterday, I’d say she was 99% back to good health.
Then, late yesterday afternoon I started to feel what seemed like a cold coming on. By bedtime Tuesday I had a very sore throat and generally felt rotten. I didn’t necessarily connect it to what G had had. She’d never mentioned a sore throat (although now I realize it must have hurt and that’s why she wouldn’t eat but only drink), plus she had been throwing up, and I didn’t feel sick to my stomach. But I was definitely too ill-feeling to do much of anything productive Tuesday evening, meaning that my LBA (Low Blogging Activity) streak continued unabated.
On Wednesday morning I still didn’t feel great, but maybe some better, so I went on to work. However, before I went to work for the day, I fussed at C a bit because she was saying she didn’t want to brush her teeth for school because her tummy “felt sore.” C does not love brushing her teeth, so I assumed she was stalling.
As it turns out, however, her tummy DID feel sore, as evidenced by the call from her kindergarten teacher explaining that poor C had thrown up right in the middle of class, meaning she needed to be picked up and brought home for the afternoon. When I heard this, I felt absolutely awful for having doubted her when she’d told me she felt sick before school that morning.
As for me, I didn’t feel great in the early part of the day on Wednesday, but as my workday went on, I began feeling progressively worse. By 6 pm tonight, I was as sick as C, although she’s still having tummy problems and I don’t seem to have that particular symptom (knock wood). Both of us are achey, feverish and have sore throats.
J and E stayed clear of C and me all evening tonight as the two of us lay in the bed together being miserable. Both J and E are hoping to be spared getting sick. And Jon was awesome, taking care of G, getting E from basketball practice, etc. while I lay in bed feeling like my throat and head were on fire.
As I was lying there next to a sleeping C Wednesday night (definitely still on my LBA streak for the week), I could literally feel the heat radiating off her feverish little frame. And as she breathed in and out, whimpering now and then in her sleep, I suddenly realized that every time she exhaled, I was definitely getting a whiff of…. the dreaded sick breath. In fact, not only did C have the sick breath, she seemed to have a particular type of extra notable sick breath that I know all too well from years past.
Oh my gosh,” I thought to myself. This isn’t some virus that G had, and that C now has. Plus, I don’t just have a nasty cold. This is STREP THROAT.
It’s been a while since strep throat made an appearance, but there were a couple of times when Henry, J and E were all little that strep throat tore thru our family one child after the other, refusing to go away for up to two weeks of successively sick children. And as the mother of five kids, I’ve certainly come down with strep throat a time or two myself after one of my offspring brought it home from school. It’s a truly unpleasant illness.
I definitely remembered the distinctively yucky breath that kids with strep throat often get, but I couldn’t remember whether strep throat can also cause vomiting in children. So I googled it on my iPhone and sure enough, along with all the other ways strep throat can make a person feel rotten, in kids it very commonly includes nausea and vomiting.
So now I am pretty sure that this bug we’ve had moving through our family over the last week is indeed strep. In fact, I will be really surprised if when C goes to the pediatrician in the morning, and I go to some walk in clinic, our respective strep tests don’t turn up positive. Of course I could be wrong, but I really don’t think I am. The only good news about strep as opposed to some unpleasant virus is that strep, being bacterial, can and should be treated with antibiotics, meaning that it can be knocked out relatively quickly.
So that’s the plan: strep tests and bed rest for C and me tomorrow. And if I happened to see you in person on Tuesday or Wednesday, I apologize in advance for having potentially made you sick. I never would have left the house or gone anywhere near anyone else in the past 24-48 hours if I’d had any clue that I was coming down with something contagious like this.
So how about you? What’s your personal experience with strep throat? If your kids have gotten it, do you usually get it too? Have you ever had it yourself when you haven’t been around any sick children? Is strep making the rounds in your neck of the woods at the moment?
Also, do any of y’all have any great home remedies that might knock out this wicked sore throat? If so, please share. At the moment, I can’t sleep a wink because swallowing and breathing hurt so much, and ibuprofen + throat lozenges don’t seem to be making much of a difference.