The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. Little Miss woke up Sunday morning covered head to toe in red spots. What a shock that was. It looked like we had a case of the measles on our hands even though she is up to date on all her immunizations. She had a slight fever, but wasn’t in any pain or itching, so we opted for a mid-morning doctor appointment instead of an emergency room visit.
Little Man read to her while we waited for the time to leave.
We made it to our appointment, but since we didn’t know if she was contagious or not, we had to sit and wait in exile until our room was ready. And then waited some more when we finally got into our exam room.
We saw a couple of doctors that morning, but none of them could really tell us what was going on. They ruled out measles, because she didn’t have any of the other associated symptoms (conjunctivitis), but they all agreed that she had a very impressive rash. We were sent home with orders to give her one dose of Claritin and to call if her fever progressed. Well, it did. Her fever went up and down with the help of acetaminophen, but the on-call nurse said she’d earned herself a trip to the emergency room when her fever reached 105 around 8 p.m. Sunday. By this time, her rash had evolved into big, blotchy, angry red patches. Poor girl.
She and I headed for Swedish Hospital in Issaquah. (We love this hospital! The staff is amazing and the facility is gorgeous.) Little Miss was in fairly good spirits and I was a bit relieved to be headed for some more doctor input on whatever was going on with her little body. Upon arrival, we were escorted to an exam room and Little Miss was given a cute little kitty Beanie Baby to keep her company in bed. 🙂
Again, doctors were a bit stumped by her rash. Pictures were taken so they could be sent to experts for additional input, and a number of blood tests were requested. Little Miss was very brave and strong during a painful blood draw. She didn’t even flinch as she watched the big needle enter her arm. She cried to me only after all the nurses had left our room.
The good news: all her blood work came back clear telling us we had a seemingly healthy little girl on our hands. And doctors were able to diagnose her rash as Erythema Multiforme — a condition that causes red spots on the skin, usually caused by an infection or reaction to medication (none of which seemed to be the case in this situation, however). The bad news: EM is on a spectrum with Stevens Johnson Syndrome — a deadly disease resulting in sloughing skin around the mouth and other areas. So Little Miss was hooked up to an IV and we were admitted to the hospital for overnight monitoring.
We had a pretty uneventful night, thankfully. Her fevers were still up and down and she got really puffy as a result of the IV fluids. That was really the most heartbreaking part of it all. She just didn’t look like her little self with the overly puffy eyes and cheeks. Her rash continued to change — not really any better or worse, just different shapes, but she didn’t form any open sores, so that was great news. She was bothered by her IV, but it didn’t keep her from enjoying on-demand movies, craft time with a lovely hospital volunteer, or playtime with another new Beanie Baby — this time a horse. While she wasn’t really interested in eating what appeared to be delicious hospital food, she was drinking enough to get the doctor’s permission to head home a little after 6 p.m. Monday.
Once home, she chowed down a small bowl of spaghetti (nothing compared to the amount she normally eats, but we were super happy that she was eating something!). I guess the hospital’s chef-prepared food was a little too refined compared to the jarred sauce we usually serve. Haha!
While she is still a bit puffy and covered in a head-to-toe rash, it is continuing to diminish in intensity and we are comforted with daily in-office visits with our regular pediatrician. Her temperature is consistently back down to normal as is her overall behavior. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever know what triggered the rash, but we are thankful that it is nearly behind us and hope to never see it appear again.