It was the night that Mr. Handsome and I had set aside to celebrate our anniversary. My mom was going to watch Little Buddy, and we had reservations at a nice restaurant. I had curled my hair, and we were both wearing our fancy clothes.
As we were preparing to walk out the door, I noticed that Little Buddy’s face seemed warm. He had been playing outside in the shade with Grandma, and even though it was a fairly hot day, he had come in several times for a drink of water. Just to be on the safe side, I took his temperature: 104.4. We called his doctor’s office, and they advised us to go to the pediatric emergency room.
So instead of leaving on our hot date, we frantically changed our clothes, grabbed Little Buddy’s diaper bag, and headed to the ER. There were only a few other patients there, and since it was a separate pediatric ER, it was a very comfortable atmosphere.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, only one parent was able to be with Little Buddy at a time, so we took turns while the other waited outside. Thankfully, it was a beautiful evening for pacing outside the hospital entrance.
The doctor went above and beyond to keep both of us informed of what was going on. Even though Nashville is a big city, it felt like a small town hospital. After asking a few questions, she recommended that we do a nose swab to rule out COVID-19 and a number of other common viruses. Little Buddy’s throat, nose, breathing, and heartbeat were all normal, so she expected the tests to be negative, which they were.
Based on his high fever, the doctor was concerned that he might have an illness caused by a tick bite. Such illnesses are considered rare, but in Tennessee, she sees them frequently during the summer months. And she has seen patients test positive who have claimed that there was no possibility that they were ever bitten by a tick. Like most kids, Little Buddy enjoys playing outside, but we have our yard treated regularly with a natural tick and mosquito spray.
Unfortunately, we were never able to complete the test. The nurses tried to draw blood, but after 30 minutes of poking and prodding, they gave up. Poor Little Buddy was upset by the experience, but I would say that he did very well under the circumstances. We were sent home with antibiotics to treat the possible tick-borne illness. The results would have taken three days to come back anyways, so they would have started the antibiotics regardless.
Little Buddy’s fever disappeared less than two days later. His only other symptom was a few areas of red dots on his torso, which soon went away. Due to the timing of his MMR shot, we have been told that there is also a possibility that that was the cause of the episode. We are very grateful that he is back to his normal self. When we asked the doctor if there is anything we can do in the future to prevent tick bites, she encouraged us to use a natural bug spray, which we do. She said that it’s risky to use bug spray containing DEET too frequently, which is something that I also agree with.