When you have five young children, healthy is a relative term. After all, someone is always sniffling or coughing or complaining about how their stomach or their head or their right pinky is just killing them. Last week was no different. Just three little girls with runny noses using a ridiculous amount of tissues and dropping them all over the house. But then Saturday something changed.
Celia got the sick eyes.
I’ve got no idea how a few little germs can completely alter the shape of a child’s face, pulling the outer corners of their eyes down until they look like those creepy Margaret Keane paintings, but it happens every time. Sure enough, when I picked up Celia, she was on fire. So I did what any self-respecting mother of many does in such a situation: I dosed her with Ibuprofen, gave her a hug and a kiss, and sent her on her way.
Sunday she was no better. Monday she started complaining about her throat and her stomach. I hauled out the trusty iPhone flashlight, looked in her mouth, and there it was: a bright red swollen throat with white patches. Strep.
I sent her off with Mike to the doctor (turns out there are a couple advantages to having an unemployed husband) to pick up some yummy pink medicine. The rapid strep test came back negative, but the doctor sent them home with an Rx anyway while we waited for the 3 day test to come back. After all, that throat looked nasty. We fed Celia the medicine three times a day with surprising diligence. Still, Tuesday there was no improvement. Wednesday she started complaining that her teeth hurt any time she tried to eat. Her lips were swollen and covered with what looked like suck blisters. And still, the fever. My faith in the pink stuff was shot. And then the doctor called.
It wasn’t strep.
My three year old has the kissing disease. Seriously?
The doctor said not to worry too much. She should be feeling better by Monday. And it’s not really all that contagious. Mononucleosis is not airborne. It’s only transmitted through saliva. So, as long as no one shares cups or food or toothbrushes or does any kissing we should be fine.
In other words, we’re screwed.