Strep Throat: a Logbook of Discomfort

Tuesday, July 8:
Wife takes 19-month-old son to Babes in the Library, a sing-along program for toddlers, which has resumed after a four-week hiatus. Walk after work home the long way from the bus stop and stop at the St. Vincent de Paul store; score two big bags of Mega Bloks and Duplo for under 7 bucks. Make sure to wash them.

Saturday, July 12:
Wife notices that toddler doesn't quite seem himself; asks him if he has an owie. Toddler nods. Knowing that nodding doesn't necessarily indicate affirmative reply, wife asks where the owie is. Toddler points to tummy. Wife pokes toddler's tummy in various places, stopping when toddler cries out. Wife calls walk-in clinic.

Visit walk-in clinic with wife and toddler. Doctor asks some questions. Doctor shows stethoscope to toddler. Toddler is unaffected. Doctor listens to toddler through stethoscope. Toddler continues to be unaffected. Doctor attempts to peer into toddler's throat using tongue depressor. Toddler becomes very affected and strongly objects; doctor only gets a subsecond glance. Doctor pronounces toddler's throat very red. Doctor suggests Tempra for fever, prescribes amoxicillin if things get worse, and suggests toddler visit own pediatrician when possible.

Am amazed at doctor's skill. If the shutter of a camera had been open that long, the photograph wouldn't be blurry.

Monday, July 14:
Wife makes appointment with toddler's pediatrician. Toddler's pediatrician is on vacation. Wife makes appointment with pediatrician who shares office with toddler's pediatrician. Wife and toddler visit pediatrician's office, and find out that pediatrician who shares office with toddler's pediatrician is on vacation too. Replacement pediatrician diagnoses toddler with strep throat, despite toddler's continued opposition to having throat examined for any length of time. Replacement pediatrician prescribes amoxicillin. Wife reluctantly gets prescription filled.

Meanwhile, and curiously overlooked by replacement pediatrician, red spots have started appearing on toddler's hands, feet, and buttocks.

Wife calls and gives account of visit to pediatrician and diagnosis. Remember appointment to donate blood; call Canadian Blood Services, inform them that toddler has been diagnosed with strep throat, and ask if rescheduling is necessary. Rescheduling not necessary as long as donor feels fine.

Toddler takes medicine, mixed into applesauce.

Tuesday, July 15:
Feel fine. Donate blood. Feel fine afterwards too. Only junk at St. Vincent de Paul store today though.

Wednesday, July 16:
Still feel fine. Go to work.

In evening, become dizzy. Throat starts to hurt. Neck feels stiff. Tummy feels funny. Lose appetite. Feel shaky. Head doesn't feel good. Have trouble sleeping.

Thursday, July 17:
Call in to work sick. Throat hurts. Take a lot of Tylenol. Food is unappealing. Wife suggests visiting doctor. Don't feel like being bothered; throat hurts but doesn't feel sore enough to be strep throat. Sleep most of day.

Toddler is happy daddy is home. Wife and toddler and toddler's friends and their mothers meet for a play date at one of their houses. (Diagnosis of strep throat had been broadcast via email.) One of toddler's friends' mothers whose daughter catches everything remarks just how much the red spots look like hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Notice raised red spot on finger. Pick at it when bored but too weak to break skin.

Friday, July 18:
Call in to work sick again. Throat hurts more today. Rest of body is not so achy though. Still put off visiting doctor. Sleep a lot.

Toddler is happy daddy is home again. Wife remarks how toddler is back to acting like his old self.

Notice more red spots on hands, especially fingertips, which feel discernibly sore playing toy piano in impromptu ensemble with toddler on toy xylophone and wife on toy drum. And one red spot appears on sole of foot that sends a tiny shooting stab of pain up leg with each footstep.

Saturday, July 19:
Throat feels fine. Got haircut, look snappy. But fingertips still hurt when used. More spots appear on the soles of feet. Walking feels aggravatingly unpleasant. Research condition on Internet; Internet says infection is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges or stool. Have no appetite to lose at this point.

Sunday, July 20:
Many more spots appear on soles of feet. To walk is to step on little shards of glass, or just the points of upturned thumbtacks.

Monday, July 21:
Back at work. Am convinced soles of feet are on fire when walking. May still be contagious, but Internet says otherwise healthy adults should rarely be affected, if at all. An adult can get the virus and feel ill, although they wouldn't get the rash.

Thank goodness for Google!