Thursday, May 07, 2009

Strep and Scarlet

I took Dean to his follow up appointment with the ENT yesterday. He has healed up nicely and the doc says he can pretty much eat whatever he wants. Which is good because we've pretty much been letting him eat whatever he wants. Jack was with us because he still had wicked swollen glands and I figured it was time to get him checked out. Sure enough, he has strep throat. Boy that kid is stoic. He knew he was going to have to get a throat culture, knew he'd hate it but he just sat there and let the doctor do it. He's had 4 throat cultures in the last 2 years and this was the first that came back positive. I was stunned. He just never seems as sick as he is. We filled his prescription (amoxycillin) and gave him his first dose in the afternoon. Two hours later he was complaining of feeling itchy and big red splotches started showing up on his face, his arms, his torso. My first thought was that he's allergic to penicillin. Makes sense, right? Dean is, why not Jack. I called the doctor and he agreed that might be the issue so he called in Zithromax. I gave Jack some benadryl to ease the itching and then gave him his first dose of Zithromax this morning. He was much better today, lots of energy, throat is feeling better. I planned on him going back to school tomorrow. He started complaining of feeling a little itchy at around 6:30 tonight (about the same time as last night). By 7:15 he was covered in angry red splotches and little bumps. I got a different on call doctor this time and she said that sometimes strep throat patients can develop scarlet fever. She told me to give him benadryl tonight, give him the zithromax early in the morning tomorrow and bring him into the office so they could check him out. So, he'll be out one more day.

The bright side of this illness is that the break has been good for the boys. I mean, it hasn't been great for me to be out of work this much or for Jack to miss this much school but it's good because the boys are missing each other. And that makes them so happy to see each other at the end of the day. They play together better and there's a lot less fighting.

I just finished reading 'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt and now I need to find someone who has read it so I can discuss it with them. It's interesting and rich, so elegantly written that it seems like it was written a century ago rather than 20 years ago. And then to find out that the author was 28 when it was published! I wish I could write like that. Towards the end of the book she writes, "Though Julian could be marvelously kind in difficult circumstances of all sorts, I sometimes got the feeling that he was less pleased by kindness itself than by the elegance of the gesture." I love that line.

I haven't been keeping up with my weekly menu plan but since I've been home all week, it's been pretty easy to put dinners together. Since the boys were sick on Monday I made homemade chicken and rice soup and that fed us Tuesday night, as well. Jack wanted tuna noodle casserole for dinner last night so that was easy. Dinner tonight was angel hair pomodoro and tomato and avocado salad. It was delicious and really easy and really quick. Here's the recipe for the pasta:

Angel Hair Pomodoro

1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c white wine
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 T tomato paste
handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 T butter
Angel hair pasta, cooked al dente and drained
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and let cook for about a minute. Add the white wine, let cook another minute, then add the tomatoes with juice. Let simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occcasionally until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit. Stir in the tomato paste. Remove from heat and stir in the basil and butter. As soon as the butter has melted, add the cooked pasta tossing to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
Serves 2 with hearty appetites.

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