Saturday, May 26, 2007

Biological Warfare

Having a passel (three) kids is hard work, especially for my dearest Ellen. We've been especially challenged over the past couple weeks since the kids have been passing the strep throat around. The Typhoid Mary was the two year old. She started it a couple weeks ago. A few days into that episode, the 15 year old started with symptoms. My dearest took them both to the pediatrician for treatment. The Nurse Practitioner and a Student Nurse saw them. Big mistake. The two year old was diagnosed with strep because of a positive 5 minute test. However, the 15 year old's sample did not test positive. We've since figured that the Student Nurse who took the 15 year old's sample didn't do it right. Even so, the fact that the two year old had it and was most likely passing her germs on to the whole family should have been enough to prescribe anti-botics for the whole fam-damily, right? WRONG! "Oh, your older daughter isn't showing that she has strep. It's probably just a cold" claimed the NP, even though my oldest was showing outward symptoms of strep.
Fast forward a couple days to where the oldest was on a softball tournament outing with my dearest Ellen and the 10 year old. Well, the 10 year old comes down with it bad, including some vomiting. The missus manages to keep it together that weekend and bring it all back home. Meanwhile, the oldest is getting sicker. She has a bad cough and has broken out into a rash. Another visit to the doctor. This time, both kids have positive strep tests (yay!). We actually saw a real doctor this time. Since I'm with the kids this time, I point out the cough and the rash. The doctor downplays the cough and the rash as unrelated. I asked if she could get a shot to combat the hives and Z-pack, a powerful antibiotic I've taken in the past. She prescribes some ointment and antibiotics, but not Z-pack.
A day later, the oldest comes home from school saying that she is having trouble catching a full breath and her coughing is disrupting her day. We keep pumping her full of meds, thinking that it's just a matter of time. Overnight things get worse and we decide the next day to call the doctor. In the morning, the oldest faints twice. Immediately, the missus takes the oldest over to the hospital and has her seen. Lo and behold, she has strep induced pneumonia! Lovely. The ER doctors ask all sorts of questions related to the two weeks of symptoms and the related treatment by the pediatricians office. My Ellen was given the impression that the pediatrician's office (two medical practitioners mind you) pretty much botched her case. The ER docs pump her full of fluids (she was somewhat dehydtrated) and recommend she see her pediatrician again. We were already on antibiotics, so it was not necessary to get more. The next day the missus tots typhoid Mary (the two year old who started all of this mess) and the oldest down to the doctor for a follow up. All the ER records were transferred over. New antibiotics and a breathing treatment program (including a machine to do it all) were prescribed INCLUDING a steroid for the rash. Guess what antibiotic this doctor prescribed? You guessed it, Z-pack!!

At this point, everyone is doing much better. The two year old is on the last few doses of her meds. The 10 year old is a close second. The oldest is missing the first day of a big three day softball tournament, but the doctor said she might be able to play on the second day, depending upon how she felt. Given the breathing apparatus, the inhaler, the steroids, and the anti-biotics, she should be able to fight off just about anything.

Sadly, my dearest Ellen and I are exhibiting cold and sore throat sympoms. It might not be over yet!!


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