Jake has been sick. He woke up with a fever last Thursday and the fever shot up to 106F Friday evening. The doctor advised us to give him a lukewarm bath to bring down the fever and it worked. We kept a close eye on him Friday night and gave him Advil and Tylenol alternatively every four hours. Jake started to get better but there was a lack of energy plus a low fever persisted. The doctor prescribed antibiotic because his throat was red and there could be an infection.

Wednesday morning I got a call from school, a rash had broken out on Jake’s face and neck. The nurse needed a note from the doctor declaring the rash not contagious. The doctor considered it a reaction to the antibiotics. She prescribed a different kind as well as antihistamine.

The school called again yesterday morning. Jake was very uncomfortable and couldn’t stop scratching himself. I brought him home and phoned the doctor.
“If it’s reaction to medication, why is the rash only on his face?” I asked.
“That IS strange. There could be many reasons. Maybe he is outside too much.”
“He’s been home with me for almost a week.”
“Does he skate?”
“That could be it. His face is exposed to the cold. Don’t go skating for a while until he recovers.”

It just didn’t make sense. Jake didn’t even go to the skating class last Friday because of his high fever. Meanwhile, Joe (Dr. Xu) launched his own investigation. Within a couple of hours, he sent me an email stating what Jake had was the Fifth Disease. Suddenly everything started to make sense: the high fever, the joint pain, the sore throat, the fatigue and the rash on his face … Once the rash breaks out, he isn’t contagious anymore.

This morning with lots of hugs and kisses, we sent Jake back to school, again. I explained to him what the Fifth Disease was and that the rash would spread to his arms and body, but it’d eventually all go way in another week. I encouraged Jake to stay in school today, but “mommy will be only a phone call away if you need me”.

Let’s see if I am going to get another call today.