Strep, Scarlet Fever, Impetigo questions

Discussion in 'General' started by dtomecko, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    The more I google, the crazier I get.  So maybe there's someone on here that knows about this stuff.
    I have strep throat again.  Third time in three months.  9/26 I was put on amoxicillan, 10/30 I was put on omnicef and 12/6 I was put on penicillin.  I feel like the antibiotics worked each time, since I felt ok in between each case.  Every week the kids come home with a strep throat note in their folders saying kids in their class have it.  But I seem to be the only one getting it.  Except for the first time.  We all got it then.
    So I'm a little crazy obsessive about germs and my kids and I'm always over-analyzing them. Mainly because of my stomach virus fear, so this time of year I'm completely panicked all the time and on high alert looking for signs.  I notice things most parents probably wouldn't think twice about.  I want to preface this with that because I really don't know if I am overreacting and I don't want to take my daughter in for a strep test if she is totally fine.  But here's why I'm suspicious:
    Wednesday she came home from school and was freezing.  Couldn't warm up under blankets.  Which is unlike her and usually means the start of a fever.  She didn't have much of an appetite but wasn't acting too out of the ordinary.  She slept well and seemed fine in the morning so she went to school.  Never got a fever.  She was a little sniffy and had a little bit of a cough, so I figured it might just be that.  Every time I ask if she's stuffy she says no, and her nose doesn't seem to be running, but she just keeps sniffing.  Thursday she complained about being chilled again in the evening, but not as bad and she did have an appetite.  This was when my strep symptoms started.  She seemed fine again on Friday and went to school.  I went to the doctor got a positive strep test and antibiotics.  She has been ok, just seems to be tired a little earlier than usual in the evenings.  But then I started thinking maybe she was fighting this off? And would it be bad if she really did have it but didn't get antibiotics, because she never got the symptoms?  (When she had strep in September, she had a slight fever and no other symptoms on a saturday. She tested negative at first. The fever was gone sunday, acted totally fine, I sent her to school monday and then I got the call that the test turned positive. So maybe she doesn't feel the symptoms as bad?).  Then I started putting things together like her skin has been so itchy and dry.  I keep catching her scratching her back under her shirt.  And she has the itchy red patch on her leg.  And her face was very dry - especially her eyelids - which actually looked a little purpley.  So I've been using my face lotion on her face, but this is unusual for her.  There are still some dry patches around her eyes because I don't want to get the lotion too close.  And finally, I noticed this blistery looking thing on her scalp, just at her hairline.  Could have been a bump, maybe she stood up under a table or something, but she didn't remember bumping it.  So I started googling all this and am wondering if I missed the scarlet fever rash and now it's at the dry itchy skin phase?  Or maybe the itchy scaly patches are impetigo?  They both seem to be in the strep family.  Bottom line, I don't know why I keep getting it.  And reading about leaving a case untreated sounds scary!  But she never had a fever or complained of a sore throat.  So would I be a lunatic to take her out of school to go to the doctor?
    She is so bad about the doctor.  She's normally this shy sweet thing.  But when you take her there for a shot or a throat culture, she screams and cries and thrashes around and you have to physically restrain her to get anything done.  Her last strep test I had to hold her down, but she still wouldn't open her mouth or sit still. Luckily I had a lollipop with me and I bribed her with that.  It was the only way to get her mouth sort of open and her hands away from it.  We used it as a tongue depresser. But she it was a nightmare with the screaming and wanting to cooperate for the sucker but not the swab.  I hate to put her through that again when she is acting fine with no real symptoms.
    Does anyone know about these illnesses and how/if they work together? What would you do?  
  2. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    Don't google. I find that I usually just make myself crazy when I google things. 
    The dry skin could be from the colder air. I know this time of year I battle dry skin more than I usually do. 
    But all that said, if you are concerned, bring her in. I got scarlet fever in college and didn't really have a sore throat. I thought I had a little sinus drainage until I woke up with a rash all over my legs and stomach. Went to the on-campus clinic and that's when they diagnosed me. I had a friend who'd had strep throat, but didn't really think much about that or know to think much about it really. 
    I hope it turns out to be nothing! 
  3. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Strep is a normal bacteria that is everywhere; you get strep throat when your defenses are down. So it's not really contagious, and the fact that you have had recurring episodes of it doesn't mean that she's been exposed to it.
    Can you look in her throat with a flashlight and see what you can see? Usually you'll see white spots or inflamed redness in the throat and tonsils if she has strep or something otherwise going on in her throat. I would agree the skin could be from dryness.
    Basically she is having enough symptoms and seems out of sorts enough for long enough I would want a doctor to evaluate her symptoms. It would probably alleviate your concerns too. I also have a lot of anxiety about my kids health so I can totally identify with those concerns.
    And mama.. take care of yourself! Three bouts of strep in a couple of months is a lot, and that tells me you're run down. Get some sleep, take your vitamins, drink lots of fluids, build yourself back up. Big hugs.
  4. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I called the doctor's office today and spoke with the person that answers the phone and fields all the questions.  I don't think she is an actual nurse.  She started out by saying they don't do preventative treatment, which isn't what I meant.  She said if she wasn't experiencing symptoms then she was probably fine.  The more I explained how I just worried she was symptomless, or just fought it off and we didn't realize, because last time she had strep it was a slight fever and it went away on it's own before we got the positive strep test result over the weekend.  That's when she said maybe I should bring her in if it would make me feel better.  I decided to wait and see how she was after school.  She was totally her usual happy self, so I figured I would just stop obsessing and leave it alone.  If it was something, maybe it would get worse.  Then a little bit ago she asked what this bump on her neck was.  I felt it and it's swollen on the side of her neck, like the size of a golf ball!  And she is still crazy itchy.  So we will be visiting the doctor tomorrow!
  5. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Oh jeez.. hopefully it's just a swollen gland! Sometimes they can take a little bit to go down after an illness. I hope you get a good report tomorrow.
  6. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    Thanks. It's just weird because I wasn't really sure she was sick, other than the occasional chills, being really itchy with scabby patches a couple places, and the fact that I had strep throat.  This is my big clue that she must have had it - or something else, too.  
  7. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    My boys have PANS.  It started with one of my boys testing positive for Lyme in June and then because of an acute behavior change and facial tics and OCD patterns, we ran a ton of blood work.  Their strep titers were crazy high (along with a number of other infections).  I was blown away because as far as I knew, they never had strep.  In their 7 years, all they would get was a fever when they are sick.  Never sore throat, never ear infections.  So I guess my guys are strep carriers. 
    One of my guys had a rash about 2 months ago that looked just like scarlet fever.  I brought him in because I was sure it was.  He had like 3 of the 5 markers you need to have.  They ran an EKG (I think that is the test) to rule it out as that would be a main part of it and it came back fine.   He has had two rashes a few weeks apart since then.  I think I may be discovering a pattern because when he has the rash, is when he gets in a behavioral flair.  But I did take him in for a culture and it came back negative.  The rash is slightly scaly.  It kind of looks like ringworm but it is not itchy.
  8. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Lila once ran a weird low grade fever off & on for about 10 days before I took her in to see the doctor (every time I would think I should take her in, she would seem better, so I would wait).  She had no other symptoms.  Just a fever & she was maybe more tired than normal.  When he lifted her hair to check her glands, I could see them all the way across the room.  Seriously, the size of golf balls.  I don't know how I had missed them.  So, he swabbed her throat, but said he didn't think it was strep because her throat looked fine and if it came back negative we would need to run more tests to see what was going on with her.  Two days later, positive strep test.  So, yes, they can have a low grade strep infection & fight it off just enough to have few symptoms.  With her glands swollen, I would probably get her checked.
  9. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    This sounds like my daughter.  I never would have noticed the swollen gland if she didn't ask what it was.  And after she told me and I said I think we needed to see the doctor, she said "now I wish I didn't tell you!" So I'll have to make sure I'm checking her neck in the future!  The doctor said her throat was red and her tonsils were very inflamed.  He said the lymph node could be from that, or maybe the tonsils were inflamed from the lymph node.  He said the lymph node could also be from the scaly patch I showed him on her head.  Her skin is very rough and dry all over.  He thinks that part is due to eczema.  The strep test came back negative so far, but it would make so much sense if that's what it was.  I wonder if it will turn positive over night like it did last time.  In the meantime he said to give her ibuprofen 3x a day for the inflammation on her throat and gland.  He measured it at 3 cm x 2 cm.  If it doesn't shrink in a week we need to do blood work.  Good news is he didn't find any others inflamed in any other areas. 
  10. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    One of my boys went to school just fine.  No fever.  No swollen neck.  3 hours later they called me and he had a fever and swollen neck.  When I picked him up I was shocked at the size of the swelling.  No way I could have missed it getting him dressed that morning.  He had tennis size balls on each side.  Went immediately to the doctor for a strep test and it was positive. 
    Since you have had it 3x in 3 months you might go in after this round to get rechecked to make sure it has cleared.  It could still come back of course but I'd have it rechecked.  And if it does come back you might see an ENT. 
  11. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    Wow, this sounds like a lot for you guys to have gone through!  Lyme disease and PANS - in both boys?  Have they gotten better?  I've had OCD as a child - associated with my fear of vomiting (a fear I still have) and it is so debilitating, especially as a child when you have no idea why these compulsions come over you.  I hope they are doing better.
  12. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have an appointment scheduled this time for a re-check in a month. 
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