Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I knew it.

Azriel (7 y.o.) has been sick with a cold for over two months now, on and off (no fever, always good mood). Last month we brought him to the pediatrician, and she did a throat culture. Then we forgot to follow-up to get the results, but the ped's office always calls when the tests are positive. We should have followed up, I know, but somehow it fell off the radar. I feel guilty about that, but I also know that is a useless feeling...

Now that I have suffered another bout of cellulitis, I realized we never got the results of Azriel's throat culture, and I sent Robert back to the ped's office because Az is still sick. He's been going to school, no interruption in his routine at all, so we assumed it was a stubborn winter cold.

Turns out he has strep A.
He has had it for over two months now, and we didn't know.

The pediatrician was LIVID at the doctor who took over the practice temporarily, due to the passing of her mother. She said that it is completely unacceptable, and obviously putting the child's health at risk. One of the dangerous risks of having strep throat too long is that it can lead to rheumatic fever, which can leave the child with a permanent heart condition (may we never experience that).

In this particular case, not knowing that he has strep put my life at risk as well. Double whammy.

We weren't able to know what bacteria I had in the hospital last week. That is because by the time they could take a culture, I had been on antibiotics for quite a while, and no sign of the bacteria could be detected. When I say "by the time they could take a culture", I mean that there was no visual opening for this infection, so there was no possibility of taking a swab from anywhere. Later, like on the 5th or 6th day, it opened by itself and started to discharge icky stuff, and only then could they take a culture. By then, the antibiotics had erased any possibility of seeing what bacteria it was.

We do assume that it was strep A, though, like it has been each time something popped up, since I had NF from strep A. By the way, when I got NF, Ya'akov had strep throat, still untreated at that point. When I had the next bout of cellulitis, we discovered that Robert had strep. We're going to have to get throat cultures at the earliest stages of colds or the flu around here. I don't think I've had strep throat in many years.... in me, that bacteria changes into something mean and nasty.

Still recovering from the hospitalization (of course). I overdid it yesterday, headache & leg pain today.
Let's pray that these repetitive scenarios can end, both regarding the infections, and me overdoing it.


  1. FYI you can buy instant strep tests now in superpharm for 40 sheks...

  2. BH that it didn't get worse than it was, but how scary that it easily could have been! If I don't make it into medicine for some reason, I want to go into microbiology research.

  3. Forgetting to follow up on a child's throat culture is so very common, especially if the child wasn't that unwell to begin with or seems to have improved. Have done it myself several times.

    But can't you arrange to be notified via SMS and/or e-mail that the results are in? Kupat Holom Meuhedet does this, and will also specify in the SMS if the culture was positive, before you call in. Thought that was standard 21st century procedure ...

    Well-wishing lurker