Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cookies and Scalp Infections

Today I made ginger snaps, which I have made a million times before--and I left out baking soda!  Fortunately that did not make them inedible, but they are certainly not going to be eaten anywhere outside this house.  That doesn't really have anything to do with anything, except to say that even though I always think my summer will be totally relaxed and stress-free compared to my school year, obviously that isn't true.

It's okay though.  Micah and I were doing some reading and math this morning, and he sat on his pencil, breaking it. He really wanted me to get up and sharpen it, and I told him he could do it.  "How come you don't do very much around here?" was his response.  Haha!  Clearly I have no reason to ever be stressed at all, because I am just lazing around on my rear, not sharpening pencils when they break!

After our math lesson, Jonathan and I headed to Bethesda for our 4th and hopefully last trip in a week (hopefully in a long while, actually!).  Usually that many trips in a week means I am in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but I am happy to say that was not the case here! This saga began about a week after we got home from camping, when Jonathan mentioned that he had these two weird lumps on the back of his neck.  I palpated them and could tell they were just swollen lymph nodes.  In fact, I clearly remember his having 2 swollen lymph nodes on the back of his neck many years ago, and I rushed in to the doctor, thinking the worst ("Tumors on his neck!").  But as the doctor said, he had just fought off some infection, and they would eventually go down.  They did, and so I wasn't too worried this time.  Then, last Thursday morning Jonathan showed me a large swollen lump on his scalp.  It was on the left side of the back of his his neck, but under the hair.  It was painful, and he was complaining about having to move the strap of his swim goggles.

Hmmm.  Well, clearly this was the infection those swollen lymph nodes were attempting to fight off, and they were not doing a very good job!  I couldn't get an appointment Thursday, so Friday we made our first trip to Bethesda.  After waiting 45 minutes in the exam room for the doctor to finish up with her previous patient, she finally came and examined Jonathan's neck. She said it could be bacterial, perhaps from an infected spider bite, or it could be fungal (although we could never figure out where a fungal infection on the scalp could have come from). So she started him on Keflexand told us to go to the ER if there was no improvement by Sunday lunch.

We had a great Saturday, with Faith's last 2 softball games in the morning, and a graduation party for Isaac McC in the evening.  But there was no noticeable improvement in Jonathan's neck.  In fact, the redness and swelling seemed to be spreading.  Sunday morning we could definitely tell things were worse.  The swelling and redness had spread to around his left ear, as well as to the hairline on the right side of his neck.  There was at least one more swollen lymph node as well.  I took him in while Bob took everyone else to church. That ended up being a great decision, because it turns out with all the excitement we had COMPLETELY forgotten that Bob, Luke, and Caleb were on to work in children's ministry that day!  Oops!

We didn't have to wait too long, just long enough for me to finish a delightful book about an owl named Wesley and the wildlife biologist who raised him and cared for him for 19 years.  Very interesting!  Also we watched the reports of the tragic shooting in Orlando that had just happened, and we just so shocked and saddened.  Then Jonathan was put on Clindamycin, and we went home.

I could tell by the next morning that his neck was much improved, but the peds clinic called at 8:30, and they wanted him to come in for a follow-up appointment. Sigh. Okay.  We headed back in for a 10:20 appointment, although I neglected to tell Luke.  As we were parking, my phone decided to let me know there had been texts--several of them, in fact, as well as a call--from Luke, wondering where I was.  He was supposed to pick up a guy from church who had just had knee surgery and take him to his check-up and therapy.  Aaaaahhhh . . . he couldn't very well take the big van, but I was stuck . . . fortunately the McC's came through and let Luke borrow their minivan.  It was stressful there, though!

The doctor agreed that Jonathan's neck looked much better.  Whew!  When we were there on Friday, that doctor had noticed that Jonathan hadn't technically been in to see the doctor in like 6 years.  That's what happens when you are in a big family and you are healthy!  I always try to get the younger kids in for well-baby checks, but the older kids just kind of fall off my radar screen, unless they need things like epi-pen refills, a la Caleb.  I do want to point out that at 13, Jonathan is only about 75 pounds, which is around the 5th percentile . . .  fortunately the doctor didn't say anything at all about that, which, as I said a million times to Verity's doctors, is perfectly normal for our kids!

So he needed a tetanus booster, which I really wanted to get done before he goes to Camp Caleb this year.  The doctor didn't want him to get shots on Friday, when a fever from vaccines might have confused the scalp infection issue, so I had been planning on getting that done on Monday.  But with Luke needing the van to pick up his friend from his therapy, we rushed on home.

Which led to our final trip today, to get those shots. Jonathan should now be good to go for awhile.  And hopefully no one else will need to go in, because there is nothing like spending 4 hours away from home for a 20 minutes appointment to really make you feel like you accomplished nothing in a day!  I was so thankful I no longer have to drag all the little ones to every doctor appointment.  That would have made for an even longer, more stressful week!

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