Excuse Me, What?!

Ah, Mondays. A day that so few people look forward to. Maybe it is the start of the work week–the end of the freedom that is the weekend. Or maybe it is knowing that, as the first day of the week, it has the potential to set the tone for what is to come. If that is the case, it’s darn good that I’m not the type to freak out. And that I have a sense of humor about strange things.

You see, about a week ago, I noticed that W~ had a rash on his bottom. Kind of like random blisters. I slapped on some diaper rash ointment before he went to bed to see if it would help, and decided to wait to see which direction it decided to go in. For a couple of days, it seemed to stay the same. When I check again last night, it was definitely spreading. More spots on his bottom, some on his legs, and a couple on his hands. First thing this morning, I called the pediatrician to have him checked out.

After leading us in through the back door (funny, three kids and I never have had this experience–apparently anyone who calls with a rash is buzzed in through the back in case it is chicken pox or scabies), the doctor met us in a back room and checked him out. After a quick glance at his bottom, she looked up at me and said, “Have you heard about the M-R-S-A infection that has been discussed a lot recently?” Apparently, you are less likely to freak a parent out if you just say the letters. My brain, however, works fast enough to put it together phonetically pretty quickly.

“Mersa?” (Again, phonetic–it is actually MRSA.) “You think my son has MRSA?”

I must have looked just a tad concerned (freaked?), because she quickly told me that it isn’t nearly the big deal that the media has made of it.

“I’m not even going to give you an oral antibiotic–just an antibiotic ointment to put on it. If that doesn’t work, then will look at other options.”

So, knowing that I had a meeting that I was supposed to go to this afternoon where my kids would be playing with other kids, I asked what I supposed was the big, stupid question of the day:

“So, I guess I should be keeping him away from other kids, right?”

Her answer: Nope. Most of his rash is covered by his pants. She told me to just have him wear Band-Aid over the spots on his hands when he’s around other kids, and he’s good to go. Again, not an answer that I expected.

So, I came home and did a little online reading. And here is what I found: Facts about MRSA. Basically, it’s no big deal unless you are already seriously ill. I still went to my meeting. W~ still played with the other kids (I did, of course, talk to all of the mothers of the other kids before we went–despite my doctor’s assurances, I wouldn’t make that decision for someone else).

So there you have it. My public service announcement for the day. My kid probably has MRSA (we’ll find out for sure when the cultures come back in a few days), and it’s not a big freakin’ deal. Just like so many other things in our society, all of the craziness about it is just media induced panic.

Of course, it still made for a fun phone conversations after I got out of the doctor’s office. You just can’t beat calling your husband and saying, “Well, they think our son has MRSA.” Heck, I’ve gotta start his Monday off right, too.

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Filed under Kids, Soap Box, Uncategorized

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