i know what you mean!

notes about Roseola

Posted on: August 2, 2010

I’ll probably remember this episode without the need for notes, but maybe my experience can help you in the future.

May had a slight cough (dry cough) on Monday night around bed time, and then coughed a bit more in her sleep, but nothing persistent or consistent .  I thought maybe it was because of the excessive saliva due to teething.  Then in the early morning hours of Tuesday morning, the fever came on very sudden.  One moment she was cool lying next to me, the next moment she was hot.  And then she got restless a bit, but not too badly.  I took her temperature and she registered at 102.8.  That was the highest temperature I have ever seen in May.

I kept her hydrated and watched her throughout the day.  Her fever waned in the late morning hours and early afternoon, but came back on around 5-6pm to about 103 on Wednesday evening.  No other symptoms, appetite was still ok, no more coughs, no runny nose, no rashes.  Except for one thing – when I tried to take her temp in one ear, she cried and pulled away, something she usually doesn’t do.  That night her sleep got worse, she was crying and tossing around the bed.  Early Thursday morning she got really hot, so I took her temperature and it was at 104.8.  I kept to her left ear with the thermometer because she seemed ok with that.  I gave May 1 dose of infant tylenol, which lowered her fever in 1/2 hr and May went back to sleep.  Thursday morning May had an appointment with the ped at 11am, and her temp. as 102.8 .  She was more irritable and clingy than usual.  The ped said one of her ears was red, and the fever is probably due to the ear infection.  Ped was surprised because there were no other symptoms besides the fever.  We went home with 10 day antibiotic, but the pedi told me it was ok if I wanted to watch and see for up to 2 days before I start May on medications.  She told me if the fever worsen or if May seemed more lethargic and irritable, then start the meds.  I was reluctant to start the meds because I just had a feeling that whatever that’s giving her the fever – at this point, ear infection – is viral, not bacterial.

By Thursday night,  fever shot back up into 104, and I had noted out loud that May’s fever tends to worsen at night.  i also  noted some start of a body rash, but just a few bumps (typically May doesn’t have any bumps on her skin, it’s nearly 100% clear).  I gave her 2 more doses of Tylenol throughout the night and by Friday morning, her fever seemed to have subsided down to a 102-101 range.  May was still clingy, irritable, and she spends more time sleeping than usual (3+ hours of naps + 12 hrs of intermittent sleep at night).  Friday evening, May’s fever shot back up to 104 again.  I was really torn at this point, because she seemed to have gotten more irritable, more clingy, appetite was clearly diminished, and her fever, which I though had broken, came back.  I really wanted Son to check May’s ear to confirm whether it was really the ear infection that was causing all this problem – maybe it’s getting worse in there?  If it looked different?  What was going on ?  Son was upset at me for holding out this long instead of giving May the antibiotic.  He was also upset that I wanted to risk bringing May into the hospital (where the otoscope was) when her immune system is already weak.  So I gave in and administered the antibiotics, then sent her to bed with more tylenol to lower the fever and ease the pains in her ears, if any.

Saturday morning, her fever lowered during the day, but spiked up to 103.8 again in the evening.  I continued to give her one dose of tylenol (and the antibiotic of course)s before bed time, but that was the last dose I gave her.  By Sunday morning, her fever went down to 100.  A rash appeared all over the upper trunk of her body, upper arms, neck, and face.  The rash was slightly raised and pinkish, nonirritating.  If you google roseola rash, that’s exactly what May’s rash looked like.  Son examined and confirmed that it was not a drug reaction.

From what I read,  Roseola can sometimes cause ear infection.  The symptoms of Roseola = sudden on set of high fever for 3-5 days, with a rash at the end.  Coughs at the beginning.  Babies tends to fare pretty well through the fever of Roseola, considering how high the temp could get. Fever tends to worsen at night.  In retrospect, all symptoms pointed to Roseola; if it hadn’t been for the dx of ear infection, I probably would have suspected Roseola and probed further. Would have saved May from taking the antibiotic.  It makes her very gassy.

Lesson learned: if one dx is dolled out, one shouldn’t just focus on that dx alone if other symptoms are noticed.

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