Friday, September 05, 2008


From the Department of OF-COURSE-It-Would-Happen-To-Me:

Two weeks ago, my sister asked if the girls could come visit her and my niece for the weekend. Since G's been doing solo weekend duty for all these weeks of bedrest, I packed them off without a second thought to her house. M lives in a very rural area about an hour and a half from here, and the directions to her house include "turn off the paved road".

A fantastic time was had by all, and we picked up two worn-out babies on Sunday. The next day, I noticed that Claire had two little bites on the back of her arm. I figured they were just mosquito bites -- both girls welt up badly in reaction to them, just as I did as a child. We applied a little hydrocortisone cream for a couple days, and didn't think much about them after that. I remarked a few days later that they were still there, but again, I thought they were just slow-healing mosquito bites.

Yesterday afternoon, there was an... incident (I will spare you the details)... involving one of the dogs and the girls. It led to an unscheduled bath, the first one I've given them myself since the preterm labor fun began, and when I took Claire's shirt off, I was horrified to find that those two little bites had grown into giant rashes, each the size of a silver dollar. They were warm to the touch, red on the outside with a lighter inner ring and a red center, like a bullseye. In short, they looked EXACTLY like the classic Lyme Disease rash. Surely not, I thought, but I called the pediatrician this morning and brought her in.

Wikipedia says that "Of cases reported to the United States CDC, the ratio of Lyme disease infection is 7.9 cases for every 100,000 persons," and the state health department says that "very few cases have been reported in the state". After Katherine's ITP, I thought that we HAD to have met our statistical-anomaly quota for the year, even leaving my pregnancy complications out of it. Right?

The pediatrician, while admitting that she's never actually seen a case of Lyme in person, is reasonably certain that's what it is -- the rash is unmistakable, and the history fits. She drew blood for the antibody test, which may not show positive yet (it often doesn't until you've had it for several weeks), but felt confident enough to go ahead and treat Claire for Lyme. Three weeks of amoxicillin, and she'll be fine.

Unless, that is, a meteor falls on our house in the meantime. Honestly, given our luck over the last year, I don't feel entirely confident ruling that out.


Eva said...

It makes me feel a little less sorry for myself about spending the three of our birthdays' with a vomiting child, canceled dinner date with husband, and canceled birthday party.

Another kid in our daycare possibly had lyme disease. The pediatrician (who is also ours and I respect a lot) said that the test is so unreliable, she wasn't even going to bother, just going to prescribe the antibiotics.

Hope C gets better soon.

Jody said...

The odd thing is, the ticks have to attach, suck for more than 12-72 hours, and then fall off, to properly transmit Lyme. It's not as if ticks bite and release.

Still and all, our kids get an enormous number of tick bites (more than 6 a season, mostly in the spring) and I'm always freaked that they won't develop the rash -- not everyone does. Give thanks for the small favor of catching it in time to give the medicine and get rid of it.

I hope C is feeling better already.