Big Family Woes: Multiple Kids Sick with Multiple Illnesses

When you think of sickness in a big family, you probably think of: “[Insert child’s name] has [insert illness], so, naturally, everyone in the house is going to get it.” I usually think that too, and I have a big (-ish) family.

Today, however, it is two sick children with two different illnesses — and both are contagious. It has been a hectic day.

This morning, Lucy came out of her bedroom crying. This isn’t unusual. She likes to play the “I’m too tired for school” game and/or the “my tummy hurts” game to try to stay home. I said, “Lucy, I have to work today. Since you are always so tired, maybe you need to start going to bed earlier.” (They go to bed at 9:00.)

Lucy said, “My throat hurts,” and then she let out a barky cough. I know that a cough is uncommon with strep throat, but I always have one when I have it. So I called her in sick to school and made an appointment with the pediatrician.

Jude has been coughing at night for a couple weeks. He has asthma, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it. I just figured we need to be more diligent about nightly nebulizer treatments. However, it wasn’t letting up, so I went ahead and scheduled him for an appointment right after Lucy’s.

While Jude was being examined by the doctor, Jameson (who stayed home ‘tired” but clearly wasn’t tired after the older kids went to school) said, “Jude has goosebumps.” I asked if he meant Jude’s eczema, and he said, “No, the goosebumps.” It turns out he was referring hives on Jude’s arm. Juded  ended up having them on his back, stomach, and arms, so he was given a dose of benadryl in the clinic. The doctor said strep can cause hives. Two throat swabs were ordered.

The strep tests were negative.

The doctor listened to Jude’s lungs and said it sounded like “more than just asthma.” A chest X-ray was ordered too. Jude the Dude has walking pneumonia, and I feel horrible for not taking him in sooner and assuming it was asthma. I do, however, feel a little better for the fact that his teacher said it was so weird because he seemed perfectly fine at school yesterday.

So he is on an antibiotic for the walking pneumonia and a steroid for the random hives.

And Lucy was tested for whooping cough. I really hope she doesn’t have it. (Obviously.) She is vaccinated. We all are. But she started antibiotics for that today anyway. And it sounded like we will all be treated if the test comes back positive? I guess we will see.

Until then, I had to miss work yesterday, and I traded out of my shift on tomorrow. If Lucy does have whooping cough, she is home from school until Monday — because she started the antibiotics last night. Without those, she would have to be off for 3 weeks. Yikes!  (I am sure she would enjoy that.) As it is, no school for today at least.

Update: Good news! Lucy does not have whooping cough.