Saturday, October 2, 2010

Holy hives, Batman!

Emily without hives.
Poor Emily. She's had the worst spate of bad health in the past two weeks.

First, she started complaining of a sore throat a little over a week ago. After a few days she came to me and said, "Um, Mom? Can you look at my throat?" I took one glance and said, "Okay, let's go to the doctor," and immediately grabbed my purse. She was a little shocked because usually, I take a little time to get in gear. But this is what I saw when she opened her mouth:
Sorry about the picture quality. It's HARD to take a picture of tonsils!
See those tonsils? They're almost touching! I was afraid they would enlarge so much that she wouldn't be able to breathe.

The doctor (when we finally found one - it took three clinics and a couple of hours!) took one glance and said, "Wow! She'll need antibiotics. Is she allergic to any?"

A couple of days later, her throat was feeling better and the swelling was oh, so gradually going down. Yay, antibiotics!

Then, on Friday, she texted me to say that she was itchy all over. When she got home after co-op, she noted that she had a slight rash. Okay, hives. They were worst on her trunk and chest, but they were spreading everywhere.

So we made another trip to the doctor to confirm that she is, in fact, allergic to Amoxicillin and that this wasn't something like Scarlet Fever. It was an allergic reaction; bring on the Benadryl!

She went to bed early and slept late today, not getting up until after noon.

And overnight, she had gotten worse! The hives were pretty severely all over her body, and her lips were quite swollen, and she said the inside of her mouth also felt swollen, which alarmed me. I kind of panicked (inside the mouth is pretty close to the throat and anaphylactic shock).

I called Telehealth Ontario and eventually spoke with a nurse. I was reassured to hear that the hives can take up to three days to disappear, but that, unless Emily actually experiences trouble breathing, we can stick with treating the symptoms with Benadryl and cold compresses. I'm so glad I was able to speak with a nurse. Otherwise, I would probably have gone to a walk-in clinic or emergency room - I was that  worried.

So now we watch and wait. Keep the Benadryl on board, and hope Emily feels better by Monday because she does not want to leave the house with spots all over her.

(BTW, Emily knows I'm writing this post, and was okay with my including a picture of her tonsils, but not one of her hives.)


  1. Poor sweetie was all polka-dots this morrning. It must have itched like *crazy!*

  2. Yikes!! I didn't know about the hives bit!!

    <3 Katie

  3. UPDATE: Update: it ISN'T an allergic reaction! She actually has mono. One of the known complications with mono is that if you take a penicillin, you can end up with an allergy-like reaction - full-blown hives, swelling, etc.. She's now on Prednisone as well as Benadryl/Claritin.

    Next time I'll make sure to ask for a throat swab or blood test before accepting antibiotics.

    I'm still going to have Emily tested for allergies, however, just to be sure. Don't want to mess with drug allergies.

    Emily started feeling worse, so we ended up at the ER. Based on the coincidence of sore throat + antibiotics + rash, the doctor at the ER did a blood test, which confirmed mono. (I think he was pretty sure even before the bloodwork came back.) He said she could go back to school anytime now, but that he would be inclined to let her stay home if she was feeling crappy. My sentiments exactly. Knowing Emily, I think she would go bonkers if I made her stay home for 6 weeks.


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