Things Dr. Weekend could have mentioned that might have kept us from spending nine and a half hours in the emergency room last night:
1. The rash might explode ("erupt" was the word aptly used by the nicest doctor in the entire world in the emergency room) and cover Charlie's entire body with bright red dime-sized craters.
2. He might get a high fever, this is normal. Give him Motrin.
3. Ooops! "Did I say 'Give him a half-teaspoon of Benedryl if he's having trouble sleeping?' Because what I meant was 'Give him a whole teaspoon of Benedryl every six hours until the rash looks less like leprosy.'"
So, yeah. After Charlie woke up from his nap yesterday there were many more spots and they were huge and his skin looked like the surface of the Moon. Saturday I would have described the rash as looking like mosquito bites. In contrast, Sunday I would describe the rash as "call the CDC." And he had a fever of 101.2. The on-call nurse told Ryan we should take him to the hospital because he probably needed steroids (to me this sounded like "blah blah blah hospital blah blah blah" to Ryan my reaction sounded like "You don't NEED shoes! Get in the $#@$ing car!"). I grabbed Phent and an assortment of pacifiers and my mom packed up a banana, a Snacktrap full of Cheerios, and some Nilla Wafers and slid them into my bag on the way out the door.
By the time we got into the triage room his temperature had risen to 103 something, so they gave him some Motrin and we were admitted to the second waiting room and given a beeper. When the beeper went off we were led to a private room. The spots looked horrible, but the Motrin had started working and Charlie was feeling ok. We found "March of the Pengins" on TV and waited for the doctor while Charlie alternately watched the movie and tried to jump off the bed all while pulling at his diaper and clothes because he was so itchy
He was a really good boy during the exam but things went downhill quickly when we had to force feed him a huge dose of Benedryl and oral steroids. The nurse was awesome and waited until he opened his lips a tiny amount while crying to get the dropper into his cheek and release the medicine.
Our doctor was also wonderful. After a careful exam of Charlie's rash, he checked his ears, mouth, and diaper area to make sure it wasn't affecting his mucus membranes (which would mean potential breathing trouble). Charlie signed "all done" after having he mouth examined, he hated that! The doctor left to make the orders for the drugs then came back and said gently while looking me right in the eye "I know I'm probably being too conservative, but I would like to do some blood work to make sure we're not missing something important." I wanted to hug him.
Watching Charlie have his blood drawn was a truly horrible experience. He laid on the bed, Ryan at his feet, me at his head, one arm outstretched for the blood draw, the other arm clutching Phent, furiously sucking on his pacifier. When the tied the tourniquete he began panicking. All I could do was stroke his hair and kiss him and tell him he was being a good boy. He screamed when they rubbed the alchohol swab on his arm and felt for the vein and totally lost it when they stuck him. They drew out the blood they needed and I had to hold the cotton ball against his arm while they got the bandaid ready. His blond hair looked white against his bright red face. He calmed down quickly after it was over and I was able to pick him up but when the nurse came back into the room to prepare the culture he tensed up and watched her warily until she left.
Soon after that the Benedryl started to make him sleepy and he and I curled up on the bed together. Charlie fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep the rest of the time there. Awesome Doctor came back to check on the rash after about an hour and gently lifted Charlie's shirt without waking him up, looked at the rash, then gently pulled his shirt back down and pulled the blanket back up to his chest (all with me laying on the bed behind Charlie). He told us Charlie's white blood cell count was elevated but the specific way it was elevated meant it was nothing to worry about. He told us it would take a couple of days for the blood culture results to be available but that he didn't expect to find anything. He gave us very specific instructions about what to watch out for and what to expect and said the rash could take up to a week to go away. He gave Charlie a prescription for steroids and a teaspoon of Benedryl every six hours at first and then as needed for itching.
The rash is still there this morning but has faded from bright red to a pinkish brown color. He's fussy, but I think that is because he didn't fall asleep at the hospital until almost 11:00 and we didn't get him home until 1:30 am. He's napping now.
I cannot say enough good things about the children-only emergency room where Charlie was treated. The waiting room is bright and fun with toys and books. They have someone who pushes a cart around and delivers coloring sheets, crayons, construction paper, glue, and toys for younger kids. When we were waiting in the exam room someone brought Charlie a fun shape sorter to play with. The nurses and doctors were experienced with treating young children. It made all the difference.
OH!! While I was describing Charlie's recent medical history (which Awesome Doctor actually wanted to hear) he said "This was his third course of Augmentin in his life?" I said "No, his third course since October." Awesome Doctor said "Have you guys seen an ENT to talk about tubes yet?" Weekend Doctor got TOLD.