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2009-02-16 - 10:10 a.m.

...the mysterious case of elevensies....

Today and tomorrow are holidays up at Mountain U, but nevertheless my very eager student scheduled a committee mtg on one of the holiday. In a classic, academic maneuver, I mixed up the days. I am here exactly 24 hours too early, which means that I might as well stay here, which means that I will not get to take EITHER day as a holiday, because I'll need to be UP HERE exactly 24 hours from now. hurumph. What a maroon.

So part of being a parent is learning about diseases you never knew existed. Which is actually rather surprising, because, you know, we all were kids once. This suggests to me that we were all exposed to these same diseases, but somehow neither I nor parents have HEARD of these diseases. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

So let me try these out on y'all. Have you ever heard of 'fifth' and 'sixth' disease? I hadn't. They do have other aliases (and presumably also matching passports to go with them.).

I'll start with sixth disease, because that was the one suggested to me first. Sixth disease is also known as "Roseola," a.k.a. "baby measles." This one I think I've heard of before, although not in specific detail. Roseola is a viral infection that causes your child to have a high fever for 3-7 days with cold and flu-like symptoms. It ends with an all-over body rash, which lasts anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days.

It's possible that this is what Susi had, except for the fact that she had flu-like symptoms for more than 2 weeks, and had a low-grade fever instead of high. And really, let's be serious. EVERY baby flu results in flu-like symptoms so that is hardly diagnostic.

So, operating in reverse numerological order, let's move on to "Fifth disease," also known as 'slapped cheek disease,' a.k.a. "slapped face," or alternatively "apple sickness" - if you are Japanese.

Now THIS disease starts with a red lacy rash on the cheeks (thus the inspiration for slapped cheeks), lasts 2-3 weeks, comes with a low-grade fever and malaise, and a rash that can break out and last 7-10 days. This is a real sucky one to get if you are pregnant.

These symptoms kind of match what Susi had - malaise, low-grade fever, the ever-unique flu-like symptoms, and a rash on her left cheek that we attributed to too many nose-wipes. But the thing is, the alarming red spots came and went in about 36 hours.

So whose to know? The thing is, in both cases, when the red spots appear, it means the child is FINALLY on the mend. So there really is no reason to go to the doctor to get this whole thing checked out.

All I know is that Susi's illness kept me flat out in bed the entire, beautiful, sunny weekend, just waiting for my head to explode in a place where it would be easiest to pick up all the little pieces. She, meanwhile, is as happy as a spot-free clam.

So what is my unexpert diagnosis? I'm thinking that Susi came down with either Five-and-a-half disease, or elevensies.

With that, I will leave you for today, sit in my office chair, and grade papers. hurumph.

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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29
...the nature of doing science... - 2011-07-22
....what is your place knowledge? - 2011-07-21's Friday... - 2011-07-15
...a small ripple on the big wave... - 2011-02-04

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