exanthem subitum

Posted on: 5 December 2012

So, what we assumed was just another cold turned out to be HHV-6. Roseola! Ashelyn’s previous colds were mild and painless and never set her back much, so this feels like her first real illness.

A couple days of snottiness, and we thought it was over … then on Friday night I noticed she felt really hot. We have a digital thermometer at home, but it gave inconsistent readings and I can’t vouch for its accuracy (or my ability to use it correctly). All I know is that Ashelyn was running a fever, yet she was her usual fiesty self during the day.

On Sunday her fever subsided. But that day she pooped five times, weird poops, thin yellow poops. A throwback to the early months of newborn diapers. And they were tricky to detect because (1) they didn’t really smell, and (2) Ashelyn didn’t signal.

Not that I could’ve pottied her anyway, since we were at church the whole day and I only catch her poops at home. By “we,” I mean Ashelyn and I … Kevin happened to be away all weekend at a tradeshow in Abbotsford. Which meant that someone else had to babysit Ashelyn while I played two music sets, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

There’s no shortage of people who want to hold her, and up till now she hasn’t minded my absence for short periods of time. On Sunday, though, she was decidedly unhappy about it.

Oh, and her first dirty diaper that morning leaked onto her pants. And I didn’t bring a change of clothes. Because that never happens. Luckily it was a small leak, and not too noticeable or foul.

Lucky, too, that I mostly kept Ashelyn close all day so she didn’t get to play with the other kids, because the telltale rash appeared on Tuesday morning.

(On Monday I called our doctor’s office, only to learn that she was away on vacation, with every other doctor in the clinic booked full for the next three days. ‘Tis the season, I guess. Ashelyn’s diarrhea was resolving by then, so I wasn’t too concerned. Anyway, what I wanted was a diagnosis, not a prescription.)

How did I know it was roseola? Well, from having read mommyblogs … and from third year virology. A quick BabyCenter search on roseola fit Ashelyn’s symptoms to a tee: runny nose, sudden high fever, mild diarrhea, then rash.

The rash has almost faded. Ashelyn has been a little tired, quite clingy, very slightly irritable – but overall a superstar. At least now she’ll have lifelong immunity to human herpesvirus type 6.


1 Response to "exanthem subitum"

I tend to consult with Dr. Google a lot. My doc gets booked very quickly, and of course she’s never available when I desperately need her. Baby L hasn’t had roseola but she has had a number of fevers, both high and moderate, due to viral infections and teething. I hate being so dependent on Baby Tylenol, but without it she really suffers, so I give it to her despite not being a big proponent of drugs.

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