Em’s Battle with Bactrim

I think Em would be an excellent study for an allergy clinic. Because when this girl finds something she’s allergic to, she goes ALL OUT in expressing that allergy. I don’t need to remind most of you about her introduction to green vegetables… and the bumps that popped up everywhere literally hours later. And you’ve never seen diaper rash and reactions to diaper cream until you’ve seen Emma’s bottom. Woo-eee!

Ironically enough, Emma’s bottom is where this latest adventure began. I noticed a spot two weeks ago, took her into her doctor, and was prescribed a little drug called bactrim to clear up the infection. Nine days later, we were down to our last dose of the antibiotic, but Em’s spot still remained. I called the doctor’s office to ask what we should do and got a call back telling me to go to the pharmacy for a three-dose refill. It was of the utmost importance, apparently, that Emma got the full ten days of medication. I got it filled that afternoon, gave Em her nightly dose right before supper, and noticed about an hour later that she was feeling feverish. I didn’t think anything about it, and we went ahead with our evening plan, which included a high school football game in Empire. (As it turns out, Empire is the name of a giant field out in the middle of nowhere. Who knew? They tell me it’s actually a town, but I didn’t see anything except for the school.) We got to visit with some of the youth from our church, which was our big reason for going, but towards the end of the night, Em’s cheering wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as it had been. We took the girls home, bathed them, and put them to bed.
Saturday morning came, and I noticed a few “spots” on Em. Nothing worth getting too alarmed about, so I gave her the next to last dose of bactrim. Within a couple of hours, the spots multiplied. With my limited knowledge of rashes, I stripped her down to her diaper and sent her to play in the playroom, thinking that the sunlight would help her out. (You probably think I’m crazy for doing so, and you’re right. It made logical sense in my head that since jaundiced babies need the sun, surely speckled/spotted toddlers need it, too, right? I know, I know. No sense at all!) Around this time, Wes was researching bactrim and told me that one of its side effects is a rash and SENSITIVITY TO THE SUN. Oh, dear heavens. I brought Emma in, and within minutes, her rash was accompanied by what looks like a SUNBURN. Way to go, Mommy!
After a series of cool baking soda baths, I debated whether or not I should give her the last dose, but I did so, figuring that it couldn’t get any worse than it already was and that a rash (with no other symptoms) was certainly preferable to a bacterial infection. Within a few hours of the final dose of bactrim, Em was running a fever. We held her, rocked her, and tried to wait it out. By the time it reached 102.7, we were both ready to take her to the hospital. I called her doctor’s office and got a call back from another pediatrician within ten minutes. (Praise God for doctors who are part of one of these call back systems!) She listened to about half of this long drawn out story, but as soon as I said “bactrim” and “rash,” she told me to give Emma some Benadryl. (In trying to determine dosage size, she asked Emma’s age and weight, and when I told her, she commented, “Wow! Big girl!” Don’t kick her while she’s down, Doctor!) She said to continue giving Tylenol along with it for the fever and to go to the ER if things didn’t improve.
I ended up sleeping on the floor in Emma’s room so that I could check on her easily throughout the night. My alarm woke me up at 1am, which was time for another dose, but since she was sleeping so peacefully and had no fever, I skipped it. She woke me up at 4am with her fidgeting and whimpering, and her temperature was back up to 103. I re-medicated her and waited by her bed for an hour before the temperature finally moved down to 102. By six, she was back down to a normal temperature. I’m never going to let her sleep through another dose with a fever like this!
And now? I think the rash looks worse. I didn’t think that was possible, but she is red as a tomato. She’s starting to scratch at it and is super irritable, which makes me think that it’s progressing to a healing stage… maybe? I sure hope so. I’ve been able to keep her fever down by doing another dose of Tylenol in the past hour, and I’m hoping some more baking soda baths will bring her some relief as the Benadryl does its work. Ana and Emma have been looking forward to a slumber party at Gram and Gramps’s house with their cousin, Kendall, for a whole month now, and they’re supposed to be going to Texas tomorrow. Em was lying in a feverish stupor last night until I mentioned Gram and Gramps to Ana, and she sat straight up and shouted, “Gram and Gramps take ME!” I certainly hope so, or I’ll have a broken-hearted blotchy girl on my hands the entire time her sister is gone.
Anyway, that’s what’s going on with Emma for those who were concerned. I don’t know if this is a routine reaction to bactrim or an Emma reaction to it, but I sure am hoping that it’s short-lived. I’m super thankful, even with all that she’s been through these past two weeks, that it’s not worse than it is. I kept waiting for her to get wheezy and have trouble breathing, knowing that if her outside is bubbling and swelling, her inside might be as well. Praise God — she continued breathing just fine and is getting enough air through her lungs today to yell when Ana touches her achey legs!
And with that, I better go break up their fight. Happy Sunday!

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