Kaylen arrived home from school Tuesday happy and excited. She had faced her fears and ridden the bus alone - without Kelton - for the first time. (Kelton had stayed after school for a Science Olympiad training session.) I met Kaylen at the end of the road and walked with her back down to the house. She chatted my ear off the entire way. She couldnt' wait until the next time Kelton stayed late at school because she had SO much fun without him. It was all girls on the back of the bus. Blah blah blah. So, so happy she was.
Fast forward an hour. I'm getting ready to go get Kelton and asked if she wanted to go or stay home with Stephanie. "Stay home." came a small, weak response. "I'm cold." The house was chilly so I put a big fluffy blanket on her, kissed her and went on my way. By the time I got back, 20 minutes later, she was completely under a blanket playing on the iPad. I couldn't even tell she was there, except the lump moved when I called her name.
A half hour later, she came to me complaining of being cold. She looked sad. Not the bubbly girl I had chatted with on the way down the road not even 90 minutes earlier. Hmmmmmmm. Mommy alarm bells started going off. Was she getting sick? I changed her into a fleece sweatshirt and had her put on her shoes. Dakota was minutes away from arriving to take them for her Tuesday visit. Kaylen was getting grumpier by the second. I needed to take her temperature but just then, Dakota arrived.
I alerted her to Kaylen's status and said "I think she might be getting sick. I was going to take her temperature but I haven't had time." Kaylen, of course, said "NO I'M NOT!" Off the three of them went.
Two hours later, right before they were to return, I get a text that says Kaylen has a fever of 100 degrees. *sigh* Chalk one up for Mommy intuition. They arrive home and Kaylen melts when I tell her she won't be able to go to school the next day. I back off and tell her we will decide in the morning. It will probably be ok. Hey - a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do when a sick child is losing it. I knew good and well that if she really was running a fever, she wouldn't be going to school. I let her believe what she needed to though.
Dakota left and I went about getting Kaylen settled in and changed into pajamas. I took her temperature which came back as 99. She was a whiney, clingy mess. She said she needed to do her reading homework. I told her she didn't have to, which resulted in more tears. Then she looked at me and said "I don't wanna read. I just wanna go to bed." I tucked her in and she fell to sleep immediately.
"Yep." I thought to myself, "Here we go."
I heard her get up at midnight to go to the bathroom. I got up and tucked her back in. I heard her get up at 4am to go to the bathroom. She quietly came into my room and said "Mom. I'm not going to school today. I just threw up a little bit." I asked if she was ok, she said she was and then went back to bed. Stephanie and I stayed awake and talked for a while. I didn't go back to sleep. I got up and got ready, Kelton woke up and got ready. Kaylen slept on.
Around 7, she woke up and came into the living room and asked why I hadn't woken her up. "Because," I said, "You need to sleep." She crawled on the couch and huddled in the corner. I went to put a blanket on her and she said "I'm hot!" I took the blanket off, got the thermometer and lo and behold - her temperature was over 101. I got her comfy, took Kelton to school and then came back. She hadn't moved an inch.
And that's how the rest of the day played out. She didn't talk much, she didn't want to watch TV, or play on the iPad, or eat, or talk. Stephanie and I got some Otter Pops and water down her but mostly, she just layed on the couch. Poor girl. :( I kept Tylenol and Motrin onboard all day and yet every time I took her temperature, it was still over 101. I broke the news about no school the next day. She didn't care.
It was early release so Kelton was home by 1:30. He tried to interact with her but she wouldn't engage. At 2:30, with Mortin still onboard, I took her temperature. 102.5. Well now - this was going in the wrong direction!
I called the school to let them know she wouldn't be in on Thursday and shared the rising temperature information. The secretary said "I think I should tell you that we have had several confirmed cases of strep in the 2nd grade. There are no cases reported in her class but there have been in a couple other classes." I thanked her for the information and hung up - as alarm bells start going off in my head at record speed. The kids have never had strep before - it wasn't even a blip on my radar!
I picked up the phone and called Kaiser. They got a message to her clinic and within 10 minutes, I had a return call. After talking over what had happened in the last 24 hours (and the fact Strep was in the school), they suggested bringing her in for a Rapid Strep Test. I bundled up my lump of a child and off we went.
She was a champ. Didn't whimper when it was time for the throat culture. The nurse told us stories of 12 year olds who had to be held down. One was there just that morning. Kaylen weakly smiled when the nurse told her how strong she was and how brave.
The results took hardly any time at all. The lab tech came out with a pink sheet of paper with the word POSITIVE stamped all over it. Off to the pharmacy we went.
Because of Kaylen's severe allergy to Keflex, it took quite a while for the pharmacy to research the drugs. They have a standard go to list: First line of defense is Penicillin and the second drug of choice is....Keflex. Ok then. Penicillin, right? WRONG! Penicillin is, apparently, a third generation relation to Keflex. The pharmacist came over to talk with me. It was too close for her comfort and she wasn't inclined to fill it. There was another option: Clindamyacin. The catch? It tasted awful. The pharmacist warned that it was one of the most vial tasted medication out there. She needed liquid because the pill form was huge.
What could I do? We had to do it. The pharmacist told me to give her a popsicle to numb her taste buds, have her take the medicine and then follow up with the rest of the popsicle. I needed to get two doses down her before bedtime.
Thankfully, this is Kaylen. She doesn't like it, but she does it without a fuss. I was a nervous wreck. Two doses were all it took for Keflex to almost kill my daughter. I had to Epi Pen in sight all night. I put her to bed about 20 minutes after her second dose. She was only running a 99 degree temp and declined more Motrin. I checked on her a couple times and then at 10:30, I woke her up and had her show me her tongue and lips. She looked ok. No hives. She felt hot to the touch. I took her temperature, it was 103.9. I got Motrin down her and let her go back to sleep. I felt fairly confident that we were out of the woods for a reaction to the medication.
Stephanie checked on her a couple hours later. Still good. Thank God. I was up at 6, and checked on her. All was well and she was cool to the touch. She got up about 45 minutes later and said, in a happy voice, "I feel MUCH better!"
Without meds, her temp was 99.7. Yes, indeed - you ARE much better, Little One!
She is home again today and can return to school tomorrow (as long as her fever doesn't go back up). Kelton is crazy jealous over her being home again and tried like crazy to convince me he was sick. He wasn't - so he is at school. :)
I'm so happy to see her bright eyes again. And Strep? I'd be happy to never, ever see your face again!