We almost had to postpone a trip back to Philadelphia because Catherine couldn't shake a terrible cough and runny nose. We took her to the doctor and she was put on a heavy dose of antibiotics to treat what appeared to be a sinus infection caused by a situation that hadn't previously resolved itself when she was last on the "Amox". This time we treated it with not only the antibiotics but also with regular nasal clearings using a can of saline spray and 27 boxes of Puffs with aloe.
Much to our surprise, it came back 2 weeks later. We attributed it to the fact that it's the height of allergy season and our 3yr old little girl still sucks her two fingers... presumably after touching everything and anything germ-infested at home, school and under the dogs. After all, a pattern of illness seemed to be developing of 2 weeks on and two weeks off...which could have also been a result of this being her first year of school and thus a bit more social interaction.
Since the fevers were few and far between, we let it go and just continued to arm ourselves like guerrilla fighters with ibuprofen and travel sized packs of tissues. We realized, 11 days later, that this was not letting-up as as much as we thought it would and scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician. Upon looking into her mouth, this mild mannered and seasoned physician exclaimed: "Wow! Disgusting! Come here and take a look at this!" I looked in Catherine's throat while Dr. Nelson illuminated walnut sized tonsils with an otoscope. It was plain as day... and I was, all at once, ridden with guilt and embarrassed for not having even looked before. If I had, I would not have mistaken those white veins wound around her tonsils like heavy marbling on a steak.
She took a culture after pronouncing with great certainty that it was "Strep". The long cotton swabs emerged from the back of Catherine's tiny throat covered in yellow mucus with specks of blood. I played with my stoic daughter for 15 minutes while we waited for the results of the "quick test".
Although it came back negative we were sure that it was either false...or at least would be positive within 24 hours... so we proceeded to get back on the antibiotic wagon before the coughing through the night left both my wife and I with more than broken hearts and an not-enough sleep. So, now she's missing her first day of Swimming Lessons and I'm calling off the Nanny so that we can watch as many episodes of "Tree Fu Tom" as I can handle.