Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bugs


I came home from work yesterday and my mom sent the girls home (my parents live across the driveway from me). David calls me out to the deck and says, "Come look at this now!"

I found him and Mom examining Summerlyn's scalp in the sunlight. I moved aside her hair and saw that her head was covered in welts, some raw. She was periodically scratching but not severely, and there were was no rash anywhere else except her head, so I doubted hives was the cause. Sydney also had a couple but they were smaller and less angry looking.

I am a triage nurse, a telephone advice nurse, and have almost ten years experience in that particular field. I can correctly identify probably at least 80% of rashes without setting my eyes on them. This one stumped me. The lesions looked like bug bites, but not mosquitoes or bees. They looked most like spider bites, but what from? The girls play outside but not in bushes or trees or tall grass. It certainly wouldn't explain why they have them only on their heads.

Their bedroom is a likely source. Not fleas, because those insects would be all over the house, not just their bedroom. Besides fleas love me and I have no bites. The lesions don't follow the pattern of scabies, either. The girls don't go to day care or school (except homeschool), so lice is unlikely, but can't initially be ruled out since they do play with other children and could possibly have shared a personal item such as a hat (although unlikely). I checked their hair carefully -- no lice. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4" long, and I didn't see any in their bedding.

I called the oncall doctor, but she didn't know either and when she found out I was a triage nurse said "if you can't figure it out I'm probably not going to either." She recommend I bring them in for examination today which I did. Another doctor saw them and she was stumped, too, although agreed it looked most like spider bites and gave her an antihistamine to at least reduce the reaction.

It is still a mystery. I spent the day bagging their stuffed animals and soft toys, washing bedding in hot water and bleach, and vacuuming. Sigh.

Are you scratching yet?

2 Comments:

At Thursday, April 20, 2006 2:57:00 PM, Blogger lostgirl said...

Yipes! Is it getting better, worse or staying the same? Any luck yet figuring out what it is?
Hope it's better soon!
JG

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:39:00 PM, Blogger Sheryle said...

JG: It's getting better, although slowly. No new bites today, I really don't think it's something in the house, but some mystery outside. Nevertheless I am exhausted beyond speech tonight after washing every piece of their clothing and cleaning their drawers (their dresser drawers that is). Ugh.

Me. Go. Bed. Now.

 

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