Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A slapped faced

Twelve days ago I got a call from little lady's preschool. Calls from school or aftercare are never good things. Never "your child just recited the opening lines from Hamlet with brilliant phrasing". It is always, always "your child is sick, come get him/her."

So I was greatly relieved when little lady's teacher immediately started the phone call with "She's fine. Just fine!" and even regaled me with several tales from the day. Then she broke the news.

Little lady had a rash. All over her body. The teacher thought it was hives. Which didn't make sense. She does seem to have a pretty significant allergy to cats (like her dad, Amazing Guy) but otherwise nothing in her life would give her a reaction. The teacher just wanted me to be aware of her rash.

When I picked her up at the end of the school day it was amazing how red her cheeks were. As if someone had hit her. But otherwise she was happy, hungry and her usual self. A bit itchy elsewhere on her body but she slept well, had no fever.

She awoke the next morning with red cheeks. I took her to the doctor and she immediately suggested Fifth's Disease - as in the Fifth Childhood Disease.

Do you know them all?

Measles, rubella, scarlet fever and Dukes' disease (yeah, I never heard of it either) and the very originally named Fifth's Disease.

While normally I don't look to have blood drawn from my kids, apparently Fifth's Disease can be dangerous for pregnant women in their first trimester. I thought it was important to let other folks know if Little Lady was sporting such rosy red checks thanks to the parvovirus.

And today I got that second call on the cell phone. From the pediatrician. Now they never call just to check in. Or to say that results from blood tests are negative.

No, doctors only pick up the phone to call if the results are positive.

So little lady had Fifth Disease about two weeks ago. The Fifth Childhood Disease.

Who knew that existed?

11 comments:

CableGirl said...

Wow. Poor thing. How's she feeling?

soccer mom in denial said...

Thanks for asking. You would've never known she was sick. She certainly wasn't sickly when she was considered contageous. She fine.

Such a weird little illness.

Patois said...

Glad to hear she's fine. My daughter always had bouts with very red cheeks -- more so when she was younger -- and other parents would always be concerned that she had "slap cheek fever," which I guess is another term for Fifth Disease? Anywho, it never was. (Or it's the longest running case of the disease ever!)

Ambassador said...

Strangely enough, there was an outbreak of Fifth's during my freshman year of college - luckily it passed me by, but none of us had ever heard of it prior to that.

Conspiracy theorists actually posited that the campus authorities made it up to help curtail "co-ed" activities...

Jami said...

If you had asked me I could have told you! Both my kids had it and when Pink Guy had it, he was fine except for the slapped-face look. His parents, however, also apparently got it and in older folks there can sometimes be some other symptoms. Feeling like you have had broken glass injected in all your joints, for instance.

Alex Elliot said...

I hope she's feeling better! I remember when OS was about a year it seemed like a ton of kids I knew had it. Fortunately not us though. I asked my dad about it since he's an ER doctor and he said that the name makes it sound a lot worse than it is and that kids get rashes and fevers all the time meaning that I probably had it too as a kid and no one remembers it.

Heather said...

A few years ago a friend's daughter had it when my friend was newly pregnant. She did lose her baby, I'm not sure if that was the cause. So sad though. The last 2 times I was pregnant I heard of kids possibly having it when I was newly pregnant and I was terrified.

gapeach65 said...

When my now 20 year old son was about 4, he also had Fifth's disease, the doctor said it was only contagious to pregnant women, I worked with one, I told her to talk to her OB/GYN, he had NEVER heard of it. I hadn't heard of it until then either, but I sure have heard more about it in recent years.

soccer mom in denial said...

Hey! Welcome Georgia Peach!!

And beloved Jami, I had only heard of one case, 10 years ago from a friend who got it from her son. She was in pain for MONTHS!!!

Blessedly, everyone else was spared.

Jenn in Holland said...

I did! I did! We've had the slap cheek monster around here more than once! (three kids, ya know)
The last round for Andrew I asked the doctor if he needed to stay home from school. I told him I was concerned about it being contagious and passing it on. His response? Well, he got it from someone else didn't he? Take him to school.
I kept him home. I wanted the home day...

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, and being the person who makes those phone calls to parents from school, I understand! Try being on the end though where you feel like the bad guy because you called! (ah, some parents...)