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December 16, 2013


It's the flu. Especially if his back and hips hurt.


Poor kid. I hope he gets better quick. Extreme awesomeness of personality and a propensity to get sick easily seem to go together. My husband's that way.

Edward is not clairvoyant. Although, from your descriptions, it has sounded as if he is less academically inclined (or eager to swot) than Caroline, he obviously has his own prodigial ability to take in data and analyze or assess it. I say pack the suitcase.... or Did you ever read the children's novel, "The Problem/Trouble (can't recall which) with Jenny's Ear?" Perhaps introduce the young man to the stock market? Small caps have been doing well and the luxury hotel sector is promising.

Oh gosh, I hope Patrick feels better soon. Your continuity-of-care thinking makes total sense to me, and really, a fever of 102 ... I mean, nothing to trivialize, but my pediatrician kind of shrugs at that, as long as it's not, you know, associated with other problems.

No statistician, here, but I think Edward's one-in-a-million. But then again, I feel that way about all your kids, so there's that.

I vote mono. It is less severe in younger children (and adults) than teens. If there is no cough or chest congestion it is probably not the flu.

Ugh. Poor Patrick. I remember when he had the fever last time. It was what finally took me out of the lurking shadows (where I had been for many years) to actually comment. Will be looking for an update after the doctors apt tomorrow. Hope it is just the flu.

No idea on Edward's stats, but I would say if it is luck, get the kid to pick some lottery numbers.

hope patrick feels better soon! he deserves a break.

I'd bet strep because of the throwing up, even without a sore throat. On the other hand I am pretty much always about 100% wrong about how sick my kid is and what with. But clearly the person to ask is Edward.

My kid had a headache for 3 days, and finally a dim bulb went off in the recesses of my brain and illuminated 'meningitis!' - so I asked him if it hurt to touch his chin to his chest. His (asshole) response was to open his mouth as wide as he could to get his chin as close to his chest as he could.

I threw the advil at him and made him bend his neck. He said OW! (to neck bending) and yep, turned out meningitis.

Not that Patrick has it, just that kids can be such PAINS. Anywhozle, the neck pain is like a very painful stiff neck AS I'M SURE YOU KNOW so Imma leave now.

Good luck Patrick. More comics please when you're up to it.

The momma worry shield will hold him until you get to see your doctor. Stay strong. (Especially when my babes are sick I remember that quote "Having a child is like having your heart forever walking around outside your body." Exhausting.)

I do love the Post's mystery diagnosis series.

Finding a doctor who will understand how and when to deploy antibiotics is VERY IMPORTANT.

I'll vote strep. Its the one thing that can give my daughter a fever and make it soar (think 105 just a couple of years ago, I think it was 103 this past time). My daughter woke up vomiting one Saturday morning with a fever (she only threw up for a couple of hours) and the sore throat didn't start till Monday and off to the dr we went. The dr didn't even bother to swab her (not our normal dr) because he was afraid she'd throw up (never mind it had been 48 hours and she wasn't eating anything). I had learned that stomach upset and vomiting can be signs of strep. It was confirmed when about 4 days later when I woke up with a fever. I was so tired I took a nap on the couch after being awake for 2 hours and then laid there the rest of the day. My throat never even really hurt but I had a white patch all over my tongue and on Tuesday (a week after my daughter) I was diagnosed with strep (wasn't even going to get tested but we were going to visit a deathly ill relative). No severe throat pain ever. My son and husband were also rapid tested due the circumstances. My son was positive and never had a symptom (no fever, no throat pain, not tired-the dr couldn't get over it...he kept saying "And your throat doesn't hurt?" to him).
I'm with you on the odd diseases thing. Last time (this summer) my daughter had a sore throat, fever, and vomiting she was diagnosed with a virus at the ER, three days later she was admitted to the hospital with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which in MN- where we live too-happens about 1-2 cases per million people). My doctor (our regular one) says to me this year "Your family gets the weirdest things"...umm thanks?
Here's hoping that Patrick gets better quickly!

Edward's got a 1 in 65536 chance at guessing all 16 games correctly (assuming that you send in your picks one game at a time. His chances are much lower if you have to fill the whole bracket out up front.) Assuming all participants are guessing randomly, if you averaged everyone's number of correct guesses it should be close to 8 (50% correct).

However, if Edward is the only one guessing randomly and everyone else is overthinking it / voting for the home team / projecting, then it makes sense that Edward could win if others are performing worse than 50-50.

My suggestion is to check the average score everyone else is getting, and if it's less than 8 please inform the participants that they are doing worse than a monkey would at this task.

I preface the following with the acknowledgement that I Am a Worrywart Over Fevers. This is because my dad's younger brother died at age 4 from a very high fever that they were unable to reduce. (Of course, this was a million years ago before antibiotics, so there's that.)

Anyway, it makes me bite my lip a little that the kid who never ever gets fevers has a significant fever and yet is not seen by any doctor for several days.

I'm lucky in that we belong to a HMO and my ped has a "partner" in the HMO who I also like. So that doubles my chances of a date on Saturday night, or something. I'd suggest that you try to arrange something similar. Talk with your ped about this situation and see if he has a practice partner or someone else (preferably two someone elses, just in case) who he could bring up to speed on Patrick, and who you could also see. Think about it: what if your ped was out of town on an extended vacation? I think you need to try to arrange a *good* backup for someone to see Patrick. (And I totally understand and agree with the continuity of care thing. It is a certifiable PITA and possible dangerous in some circumstances if you just waltz in to see some strange doc who doesn't have a clue what's going on with you. But leaving the kid without a dr. to see doesn't seemm like the right answer, if it can be fixed.)

My guess is the flu, but even if I'm correct, I am not going to Vegas :)

Anyway, get well soon, Patrick!

A week and a half ago our ped checked my poor 16yo son and declared him as having a bad cold. Then, on Thu she reproached me for waiting almost a week before bringing him to be looked at again, since he had persisting 103-104 fever and debilitating cough. Apparently he has a bad case of pneumonia...
So, where do you draw the line between a stupid and neglecting mother and a relaxed non-hysterical one?

For what it's worth, I had the flu (in SEPTEMBER for jeebus' sake!!) with no upper resp. symptoms or cough. Just high fever, complete and total exhaustion -- I mean, the worst, worst I've ever had, the kind that kept me literally in bed for days...also, I barfed a bit. I would just recommend that you watch his fluid intake -- I ended up needing to go to the ER and get some fluids, not because of excessive barfing, but because I just couldn't rehydrate quickly enough period.

My second vote would be strep, which would actually be nice (?) because antibiotics usually make a significant dent in 24-36 hours.

I'll be thinking of you today with sickie kid -- it's always so worrying. Keep us posted!

I want Edward to pick for all future pools for me...I wonder if he could start a side business?

I won $500 in my husband's football pool one year by picking teams based on what city I would rather visit...

Hope Patrick is on the mend…

Yeah - that nothing but a fever and fatigue flu went around here this fall, too. That said - I never run a fever unless I'm deathly ill. It's apparently a relatively common hallmark of autoimmune diseases. So, a Fe er was always Moms clue to get me in to the doctor right away. (Though, like you, she'd wait on my doctor if at all possible.). Today's Tuesday, so here's hoping they get him in. And that it's the flu.

Well winning doesn't mean he guessed all 16 games correctly, just that he got more correct than the other participants right? Really to know how crazy it is we'd need to know how well the other people are doing, how well he did the weeks he won and how he did the weeks he didn't win. Also how does he make his picks? Does he actually read about the teams or is he deciding which mascot he thinks would win? I'm guessing it's luck, but who knows.

I don't want to be all zebras when you hear hooves, so I'm not going to comment more on Patrick other than to say that's still not a very high fever though I understand it's alarming when your kid doesn't normally have one and then does. Hopefully the doc can figure out what's wrong with him. A test for strep seems like a good idea.

I'd guess flu also. Whatever it is, I hope he recovers soon and that the rest of you don't succumb. As for Edward, I wouldn't pack my bags for Vegas just yet.

Just a reminder that Patrick always seems to say he's fine and doesn't hurt even when anyone else would be saying "it hurts at 11". At least, that's what it seems like from over here.

Let us know how the doctor visit goes today.

My daughter was just sick for over a week and her only symptoms where fever and fatigue. Turned out it was pneumonia. Weirdest thing - she wasn't coughing or stuffy or anything, but apparently it's rampant right now so the pediatrician sent her for a chest x-ray, and sure enough, there is was. I am also in the midwest... ask for a chest x-ray!

Poor Patrick! Hope you all get in today and he is diagnosed quickly. My 14yo daughter was dragging exhausted with swollen lymph nodes for two weeks. Blood test for mono was negative; told if she didn't improve to come back in a week: within five days she had fever, cough, very much worse -- diagnosis? Sinus infection (her first, oh yay) *and* Pneumonia. Yeesh. She hadn't had antibiotics since she was probably eight; she is biginning to feel better ....

We're in Chicago and pneumonia is definitely going around. I sent my husband to Utah last week to help my dad after his back surgery - and what did dh do instead? Go to the ER with pneumonia and have to stay far away from my dad the entire time.

I hope Patrick is better very soon from whatever it is that he has!

The flu. Poor Patrick, but hopefully it only has another day or two of awfulness before it's run it's course.

My father was in a football pool at a bar when I was little (late 70s) that expanded to include the whole family. Including 8 year old me.

You picked the winning team and how much they would win by. I don't remember how it was scored anymore but I do remember I would win a few times every season. $40+ bucks and the guys at the bar would be deeply unhappy to lose to an 8 year old girl. I do remember checking standings and watching sports news. I also had a penchant for picking the Chiefs by 4 and they would win by that a few times a year.

It was wacky.

We also picked the horses for every race at the local track.

Today my only "gambling" is fantasy baseball.

I hope Patrick feels better soon! My oldest never gets a fever either so I would be very worried about that as well.

I will go back up and read the comments, but my son had a very similar situation: nothing but a fever for about 4 days. On the 5th day the fever went away and he broke out in a rash. It is the rash that is diagnostic for the illness. What the heck was it called again? It's very common.

Parents are driven nuts by the mysterious fever, then all go "Ohhhh" when the rash pops up and solves the mystery.

I'm not saying that's what Patrick has; rather I'm saying I know how frustrating it is to have a mysterious fever linger for a long time. Hope he recovers soon and my fingers are crossed that his eventual diagnosis is as non-severe as my son's was!

Shawna - was it Roseola? In the ER last week with my 16 month old with a fever of 105 (while on tylenol) plus rash, vomiting, etc. They were discussing the possibilities: measles (ruled out due to MMR vax), roseola (rash comes out at the end not while still getting sicker), chicken pox (wrong kind of rash), mono (apparently you can get a weird rash with this - deemed most likely although I have no idea how he would have gotten it).
Hope Patrick feels better and you get some answers at the doctor today!

I vote for strep. There are many strains of this germ and you don't always have the bad sore throat with. One of my kids had only fever and vomiting, no sore throat. Another had hives when she had strep throat!

I am sorry Patrick is sick. Hope his doc gets him fixed up fast. Have you considered re-locating to a warm, dry climate? That's how our family ended up in New Mexico. It did help the health issue.

I'm going to be an outlier and guess uti/kidney infection. For a very long time I would be completely asymptomatic save a mild back ache and headache for uti so I never realized anything was wrong until things got very bad also known as fever, occasional vomiting and body aches as well as low back pain I finally learned to consciously look at my urine somewhat regularly and manage to catch things significantly earlier.

Also, does your doctor have a phone service? A lot of times they will at least be reachable via phone and if things sound nasty, they can call the ER or other practitioner to give orders/suggestions.

Not to belittle Edward's genius, but my mother-in-law's cat won the pool three times before she retired.

Speedy recovery wished to Patrick.

There are a lot of things it could be other than another sinus problem. My family just got over hand, foot and mouth disease (viral). We all had fevers, and two of us had some tiny red dots on our palms and soles of the feet. We felt pretty bad and slept a lot, but there weren't any other symptoms.

Here's hoping you're able to tell us: Ha ha! Never mind! All better!

Poor Patrick...

I may be an oddball, but usually I take a fever as a sign that the body's immune system is doing its job. I mean, I hate how I feel when I have one, and I hate seeing my kids all limp and lethargic when they have one, but our doc in Ann Arbor wouldn't even want to see them until they'd had a fever for... what. 72 hours? I think? Especially if other symptoms weren't bad. In fact, I even got lectured once about checking for fevers -- that it wasn't necessary to get worked up over a number, etc. and I shouldn't focus on it. That was the fall my oldest had the flu around the same time that horrible H1N1 was going around, and I wanted him checked out right away.

Oh, and when it comes to fever checking, I rely on my husband. He's a human thermometer. I just went and found the ear thermometer, though, because he's traveling a lot for work, and if he's not here I guess I'd better know where the digital thermometer is.

If it were Edward who had the fever, or Patrick picking the football winners, I would be thinking "Rocking Horse Winner."

I hope Patrick feels better.

Shawna I'm guessing hand, foot and mouth or Fifth's disease. Those are the ones that you pretty much can tell by the distinctive rash and lack of being positive for anything else (like strep).

Katie - I don't think so because Roseola is for infants, and my son was probably 3 at the time. I've tried googling it and am coming up with Fifth Disease, but can't figure out if it sounds familiar because that was the diagnosis, or because Dr. Google suggested it to me when I was trying to figure it out the first time.

I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and (if correct) they showed that if each participant had an equal chance of winning (for example, if they were all choosing at random), then the odds of Edward winning 3 out of 11 times from a pool of 40 is 1.2%, and the odds of him winning 3 or more times is 1.6%. So, it's improbable, but not insanely so. (A scientist with no other information should conclude that Edward is a better-than-average guesser based on this evidence, but of course he still loses 8 times out of 11, or most of the time, so you'd have to be strategic about how to play it in Vegas.

So sorry Patrick is sick. I hope it's nothing serious.

Fever in itself is not really a big deal. That it's been 5 days, I would bring him in. However, could just be viral. Could be strep. Could be flu but no cough etc so I'm guessing not.

I think that if there are 11 weeks and 40 players, that the expectation for any one player that they win a week is is 11/40, or 27.5%. I also think the expectation of winning 3 weeks is (11/40)^3, or 2.1%. He's certainly winning more than you'd expect.

The expectation of winning 4 weeks would be 0.57%, and 5 weeks would be 0.16%.

This all assumes that players are equally likely to win and that everyone plays every week.

What about calling the ent and bypassing the ped?

Any news on the Patrick front? Did you see the pediatrician? Is he feeling better?

Don't want to put too much of the scare factor out here - but this may help you or one of your wonderful readers.

My nephew was diagnosed with Lemierre's syndrome last year. Symptoms were:
severe sore throat, extreme lethargy, high fever, pneumonia & strep throat like symptoms.

The short story of Lemierre's (courtesy of the internet) is "A very rare condition where a throat infection leads to secondary infection and blood clot formation in the internal jugular vein. The infected blood clot can then travel to other parts of the body and cause problems." It most often affects young healthy people.

His doctor first diagnosed him with tonsillitis and gave him some antibiotics. After a week with no improvement, he started sliding fast. Fever spiked to 105+ and he started blacking out and vomiting bile. His system went septic, he had infections in his lungs, his kidneys shut down, he developed pneumonia, and he spent over a week in the ICU after diagnosis (a sonogram showing the blood clot in the jugular vein was the turning point). He then spent another week in a regular hospital room and 8 weeks at home with a PICC line of antibiotics, and another 6 months of lethargy. Today, a little over a year later, is finally feeling much better and living life as usual.

Although Lemierre's is very rare, I will never shrug off a sore throat in my children (or any of my friends' children) again...

I know you're busy, but if you have time to give us a quick update on Patrick, I know we're all concerned. (doesn't have to be a real post -- just a sentence) Hopefully he's already feeling better!

How is he?

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