It’s somewhat unfortunate that it’s taken a plague to bring me out of (unintentional) retirement, but I’m not one to question inspiration.
For nearly two years, we’d avoided the doctor (outside of all the routine check-ups and shots) and we were feeling pretty good about it all. Maybe even a little smug. Our child is invincible! Our kid has only had 1 or 2 colds in her 18 months at dayhome! Behold our genetically superior offspring!
And then: the cheek splotch. It looked like a lipstick mark , actually. Which wasn’t super weird after a day split between dayhome and Gram Gram’s house. It was only when I was getting her ready for bed that I realised I couldn’t rub it off. It also felt like it had a little bit of plumpness to it, under the surface – maybe swelling from a scrape/bruise? I Googled my butt off into the wee hours and wondered if it could be something I found called cellulitis. In the morning, I was slightly more worried when it felt a tiny bit firm – though it still didn’t really look like much of anything. But when I picked her up from dayhome after work and it felt decidedly firm (like there was a semi-solid blob of something underneath her cheek) I drove straight to my parents’ house to ask, basically, “wtf is this?!” My mom’s answer was basically, “duh, that is an infection, take her to the doctor.” Whose assessment (at the THIRD clinic I drove to because why wouldn’t walk-in clinics all close at 5pm?) was also, basically, “duh, that is an infection.” Twas indeed cellulitis – an infection in the skin cells that happens when bacteria gets in via a little surface cut. It’s no big deal, you know, unless it gets into your blood stream and KILLS YOU. Or into your eye and BLINDS YOU. Thanks, Google.
It cleared up with 10 days of delicious (I’m told) bubblegum-pink antibiotics. Shortly after, whilst running like a lunatic between our couch and armchair, she smoked her face off the arm of the chair and got an instant black eye. Ice packs and some icy stares in the mall saw us through that one. Then, a couple days later I get a text at work that Sloane has smashed her face into a plastic playhouse and gashed her cheek. That cut had JUST about healed when, last Sunday, she spent the entire day lying on the floor. Like, ALL DAY. She didn’t want to eat, play or even be snuggled much. She just wanted to lay on a pillow with her Nenna and a blankie and stare into space while periodically dozing off. It was worrying. In the afternoon, she had a bit of a fever and then there were a few tiny red dots around her mouth. Time to call Gram Gram again. Lukewarm bath, double dose of Tylenol and the fever broke so fast it was shocking. It was good to see a little bit of spunk back in her and we hoped that would be all. It was not all.
The spots started popping out in other places and off we trotted back to the walk-in clinic on Monday night. At least this time I headed straight for the one I knew stayed open late (bless them). It turned out to be what we figured/dreaded – and in retrospect, something contagious that we should probably NOT have brought into their clinic – the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Which just sounds gross, right? Dirty or something. Not just off-putting, the name is also a pack of lies. Those spots show up anywhere they like. She actually didn’t get any on her feet, but she had them on her butt, legs, arms, hands and inside (and around) her mouth. Viral, like chicken pox, there’s no treatment; it’s just something uncomfortable and inconvenient that has to run its course. It’s also something that MOST adults don’t get, on account of having usually developed immunity to the many strains that can cause it over the years. USUALLY.
Join me tomorrow for Part 2: The fun spreads…