29 January 2004: Rebecca has amoebiasis.
For 3 days Rebecca has said her head hurt. That is unusual in itself, so I asked if her eyes hurt in class. She replied that they didn’t, but when she said where her head hurt it came across like a headache.
So the first day I gave her motrin, figuring she’d strained something or not slept enough or a plethora of other headache indusing problems. The second day she couldn’t figure out if she felt bad or not but continued saying her head hurt among periodic other complaints. The third day, she had a headache again and by the evening she had pains in her pelvic region and a fever. Each of those things separately wouldn’t mean much, but three days of head pain coupled with an increase in other symptoms, and school was forgotten. To the doctor we trouped and after a couple hours, the results were in. Amoebiasis, also known as amoebic dysentery, caused by Entamoeba Histolytica. No wonder she feels so awful and looks even worse. With pills in hand, we went to the school to drop off birthday invitations and to tell Ms. Cater what was up. She said she noticed that Rebecca wasn’t herself that past couple days. Homeward bound for some soup and a nap for all kids. Rebecca insisted she wasn’t tired, then slept for 2 hours. Taking the first pill was a trial as she couldn’t get herself to swallow it and ended up letting the whole thing dissolve on her tongue and being completely grossed out by it. I wrapped it in some bread, but the piece was too big. Tonight we’ll hide it in a small piece of cheese. Why do I feel like I’m trying to pill a dog? Since the medication is dispensed 3 times a day, I have left several pills at the nurses office for her to take during the school days.
When trying to figure out where this might have come from, we realized it would be completely impossible to determine. It is passed through fecal contamination (gross, I know), and can be in the water (the kids repeatedly put bath water in their mouths no matter how many times I tell them not to and explain WHY), from contaminated bathroom sinks/doorknobs (say, if someone doesn't wash their hands well or at all after using the toilet), or from foods at a restaurant. The nurse asked if we had eaten out recently, say at a birthday party? We went to 2 parties this past weekend (one catered at Island Cove) and we eat out regularly.
Now, I worry because the kids take baths together. I think we'll break them up into 2 and 2 from here on out. That way, the chance of this spreading to all 4 through the bath water is drastically reduced.
Let’s hope that she’s better by tomorrow so she can attend her class pajama party. She’s been looking forward to it all week.