The night before last my 18 month old son woke up with a fever. I took his underarm temp, added the degree and it came to 101 degrees F. About two months ago he had strep throat and his fever had climed to 104.6 (at the Dr.'s office) so I immediately suspected strep again. I dosed him up with ibuprofen so both he and I could sleep better for a few more hours. In the morning I checked his throat and, sure enough, his tonsils were quite swollen. I couldn't get a very good look with my flashlight and the back end of a butter knife, so I thought I ought to get an appointment to have his throat swabbed. Later in the day his temp. climbed to 103.2 and I was sure my diagnosis would be right. No one else had been sick, but that was the case with his previous strep. I gave him some more ibuprofen to keep his temp down and took him into the doctor that afternoon. Although his tonsils were quite enlarged, they weren't very red so the doctor didn't think he had strep but he did a throat culture anyway. Ears and lungs were clear. Today I got the preliminary results of the culture and they were negative.
My mom has been really sick over the past few weeks. First, a virus has had hold of her for about two weeks. Fever, malaise, headaches. Her doctor thinks it could be West Nile but since she doesn't have insurance and the treatment would be the same, she didn't get the blood test. Just as she was getting over this she went in to get a tooth fixed that had been hurting. There was infection deep down and she ended up with an infection in her face and neck and has been extremely ill. It is at least 90 degrees in her neck of the woods and she is in long sleeves and a blanket. She typically runs a low body temperature so it takes a lot for a true fever to come on.
All of this has me thinking about the nature of fevers and each individual body's reaction to them. It is all quite interesting to me. So many parents are scared of even a 99 degree fever and dose their kids up quickly. I say, let that fever work! Without it the bugs can survive and thrive. It is a wonderful defense reaction of the body. But then there are some, like my mom, who have a hard time working up that fever and so they tend to stay sick longer. Why is that? And why do some doctor's ignore a lower body temperature and how it affects their patient's health?
I just wish I knew exactly what bug my kids fever is fighting. Can some scientist come up with a way to scan a part of the body, like they do in Star Trek, so we could detect foreign viruses and bacteria? Don't you think that would be great? What a cool mom tool...just run the handheld device around the face or neck, like those new fangled thermometers, and poof! There it is, the culprit of the fever! Then we would know- take the child in and get a prescription...hey...let's get even more techno...we could email the results to the doctors office and if needed, they could email a prescription into our favorite pharmacy. No need to even see the kid! (For certain minor childhood illnesses that is). I think that would be the coolest new invention!