The answer is… Patrick’s throat!
And it’s been that way since at least Thursday afternoon. Honestly, I think he started getting sick at least as early as Wednesday. But Thursday is when I first noticed the spots.
I picked him up from school and he was telling me all about his day. I knew from dropping him off that they had a mock doctor’s office set up because their subject has been community and careers this month and he’d tried to go play in it. So I asked him if he’d ever gotten to and, in his own way, he launched into a narrative about how he and his other friends had played and he’d checked them all out with a stethescope. And then he said “AAaah.”
And, without any extra light, I spotted the spots. I grabbed my cell phone flashlight and made him show me again. Yup. White spots all over his throat.
So I finished putting him down for his nap, then called the school to tell them his class had been exposed. And I called the pediatrician to get him checked out.
Because white spots are almost certainly strep, I said “sure” when they asked if I’d like to see their Nurse Practitioner. After all, I only needed a strep test and some antibiotics, and they only have one form of injectable antibiotic, so it should be pretty straightforward.
It seemed to be. Patrick was angry and fought hard against having his throat swabbed. But with two MA’s, it seemed we got the job done. He certainly seemed to have that post-swab sensation in his throat, as moments after they left the room, he gagged at the memory and threw up green nastiness all over both of us.
But the rapid strep test was negative.
And because he wasn’t acting sick and didn’t have a fever.. and because injectible antibiotics are kind of a big deal.. the NP said that she didn’t want to treat something that wasn’t really there and opted to wait for the strep culture to come back before prescribing anything. She said it was most likely viral.
And so, we came and we cancelled all the rest of our plans, and we waited.
And the culture came back negative. And Patrick’s throat has continued to swell more and more each day. It’s a really good thing he doesn’t need to eat, because I’m really not sure he could. And when he napped today, he woke up with one eye all puffy and red for no apparent reason, and it stayed that way for a couple of hours and then got better.
And because sore throat bugs are actually all-digestive-system-especially-the-gut bugs and without an immune system, Patrick is lacking the crucial part of the immune system that fights those off, he has a very sick tummy that needs drained several times a day and is making me worry that it will get distended if I don’t keep it empty.
We are all going a bit batty from having to keep Patrick home in case he’s contagoius. We are all really wishing that we could do something, anything to help him feel better.
But, short of making him take all of his other antibiotics and antifungals by mouth in the hopes of them crossing his throat and treating something that way, I’m out of ideas for now. I mean, he doesn’t eat and he does’t drink so he can’t have soup or lozenges or herbal tea.. He most certainly can’t gargle.
He can just wait.
I was feeling rather overwhelmed by all of this this morning. Coming on the heels of our trip to Omaha, I just didn’t think it was fair. We were only just starting to feel normal again. And now here he is stuck inside again. And when we go out, it’s just to more doctors.
And I still haven’t had many quiet moments to sit down and process the information we gained on that trip and the doctor’s recommendations. I haven’t been feeling much peace or direction yet about the options presented to us.
And that is one of the tender mercies this illness brought for us. Because Patrick wasn’t able to go to church, Brian and I decided to take turns with church today. So, I snuck into the sacrament meeting of the other ward (congregation) that meets in our building. I got to sit all alone and take the sacrament, renew my commitments to Christ, and then listen to a wonderful talk by one of my very favorite men about our Heavenly Father’s Plan. (You know, where we came from, why we’re here, where we’re going. All things I needed reminders of this week.) He talked about trials and conversion and discipleship and resurrection. And I had a good little cry and regained some of my courage.
And then I came home with a committment to make sure my home felt like a temple and house of God for the rest of the day. Patrick and I even had a miniature primary lesson and played singing time.
Our exhausting, stir crazy, sick-at-home day was a bit of a day of rest after all.
Which is good, cuz I’ve got some serious momma bear work to accomplish tomorrow.