Home. Exhausted.

We arrived home early this afternoon, but this is the first chance I’ve had to update.

Big Boy is MUCH better. The antiviral medication they were giving him in the hospital – and which we will continue to give him for the next three days – seemed to really turn this illness around. The angry red bumps have – for the most part – weakened to a general blotchiness. And, more importantly, Big Boy is feeling better. His fever was down yesterday, and gone today. He’s almost back to his normal, happy self.

Final diagnosis: erythema multiforme (EM). According to the literature the nurses sent home with us, “The cause of EM is not completely understood but appears to involve a hypersensitivity reaction that can be triggered by a variety of causes, including bacterial (germ), viral, or chemical products.”

It’s unlikely that Big Boy’s EM was a reaction to the antibiotic he was on for the ear infection, since he had been on the Amoxycillin for eight days before the rash started. If it had been an allergic reaction to the medicine, it probably would’ve started much sooner. It’s more likely that Big Boy had a reaction to whatever virus made him sick last Thursday. They ruled out strep with a throat swab, and, although the herpes simplex virus is the most common cause of EM, they ruled that out, too, since he didn’t have those herpes-related sores. (That was a relief to me, since I won’t have to start questioning Big Boy’s after-hours activities with the local Ladies of the Night now.)

A few pictures, to let you see what we’ve been dealing with the last few days:

BigBoyEMlegs11-05-05
Saturday. The bumps started out looking like mosquito bites, then got wider and flatter.

BigBoyEMhospital10-07-05

BigBoyEMhospitalfront10-07-05
Monday. (I didn’t get any pics Sunday. I was too busy freaking out, because my baby had just been hospitalized.) This was the weirdest rash I’ve ever seen. After the bumps got wider and flatter, they got dusky red in the middle – sort of target-looking. (You can see some of those on his inner right thigh.) Then, as the redness faded, they left purple bruising under the skin, which also eventually faded. Of course, as some faded, more were appearing. They were never open lesions, just red bumps on the skin, progressing to the multi-colored phenomena under the skin. Strange.

BigBoyEMhospitalarmcloseup10-07-05
Monday. Close-up of arm and swollen hand. The orange stripe on his right wrist is a stain from the popsicle the nurse gave him.

BigBoyEMhospitalswollenfoot10-07-05
Monday. Poor widdle swollen foot.

BigBoyEMhospital10-08-05
This morning. Much better. And it’s faded even more since then. Pardon the dirty feet. We kept his socks off, since his feet were so swollen; and he did a lot of toddling about, once he was feeling better.

Thank you all again SO MUCH for your thoughts and prayers. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. Love and hugs to you all.

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