worst. mother. ever.

So you know how I was just saying that Seamus really under-reacted on his birthday and I was so confused by it, but that’s just Seamus?

The next morning, he didn’t touch his breakfast (again).

That afternoon, the day camp nurse called. “Your son has a fever of 102,” she said. “You’d better come pick him up right away.”

I woke his little sister up from her nap (way early) and floored it to the day camp in 20 minutes. 

This was an impressive feat because I was using a cat o’nine tails to flog myself the entire time.

Seriously, what was I on? A six-year-old uninterested in his birthday gifts is a sick six-year-old. 

He’s currently on day five of this fever. Not strep, no cough, lungs clear, no vomiting. He’s just exhausted, cranky, and really hot.

The urgent-care doctor I took him to yesterday did all kinds of tests that proved negative, and then said, 
“I hate to say this, but having ruled so many other things out, I’m thinking this may be Lyme disease.” 

My jaw dropped.

“Have you noticed any tick bites on him?” the doctor asked, and as I stammered, “Well, no, but I haven’t exactly been checking,” I pulled out the internal whipping device again. What kind of mother doesn’t check each centimeter of her three children’s bodies for something the size of a sesame seed each and every evening? A mother that sucks, that’s who. 

The camp nurse, mind you, thinks this is poppycock, since Seamus doesn’t have a bulls-eye rash (a common symptom of Lyme, but not a sine-qua-non). She tells me that his fever has lasted 5 days because I’m letting him do whatever he wants around the house instead of making him rest, as in, IN BED.

So he’s now in bed napping.

Lyme gets treated with a 2 week round of antibiotics. Haven’t started them yet. I’m taking him to a pediatrician tomorrow, for what I’m sure will be a third opinion. 

Anyone have a fourth? (Any Lyme experience would be much appreciated!)

UPDATE: Thanks so much to all who have offered advice! I took Seamus to a pediatrician today who rolled her eyes at the Lyme possibility and said it was “just viral,” although she did do a blood test for it. In the meantime, my little guy is not as miserable as yesterday, though definitely not better yet. 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Adventures In Babywearing August 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Oh poor thing (the both of you). This fever thing has been going around all over, I'm hearing, and I certainly hope it's not a mass Lyme epidemic. Gray has a tick on him one night and it wasn't me that found it but his brother!! You'd think I would be really good at checking after that, but I'm not.

Hope all is well.



Annie D August 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I've heard of tons of people with high fevers for several days in a row now, even in adults. I doubt that all of them have lyme disease. A 3rd opinion doesn't hurt though!


Anonymous August 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

My husband has had Lyme TWICE this year (as in, blood work was positive, negative then positive).

He had a slight fever and did not have the bull's eye rash.

However, he did have horrible migraines and severe joint pain. He was really crippled – it was like he aged twenty years in the course of a week or two.

He mostly wanted to sleep.

Also, my dad had Lyme a few years back. He had similar symptoms as my husband – low grade fever, extreme fatigue, huge joint pain. In fact, it was only because my husband's symptoms matched my father's that I made him get tested.

Also, I know several kids in the area who had high fevers for a few days in a row and it turned out to be ear infections. Not that you didn't check for that, but I hope it helps.

BTW – those ticks are smaller than a sesame seed. They are practically impossible to find. My husband did tick checks every time he went outside (and found many ticks) but I don't think he found any that were able to be carriers. Plus, they are scary where they can get to – including ::ahem:: private areas, if you KWIM?


Ellen Painter Dollar August 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Hi – You don't know me but I've been reading your blog for a few weeks. My daughter had Lyme when she was about 5. She had a high fever for a week with no other symptoms. A rash showed up after the fever went away. It was not the typical bulls eye. It was a bunch of large red circles dispersed on her body. The dr. tested for Lyme but didn't really expect it to be positive, and was surprised when it was. I learned that the classic bulls eye rash is by no means the only way Lyme can manifest. Good luck figuring it out!


Sheila Baum August 3, 2010 at 1:50 am

You would only be the worst mom ever if you didn't care that this was happening! This too shall pass.


Courtney August 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I grew up in rural Wisconsin, and we were always checked for ticks, and many people I knew did get diagnosed with Lyme disease. But the bullseye rash is the telltale sign, or any other sort of rash. Having only a fever and no other symptoms probably means it's not Lyme disease.


Emily August 4, 2010 at 3:31 am

What about Hand, Foot, Mouth virus? It can be a high fever for a few days, the kids are miserable and they may have a bumpy rash on their hand/feet/torso. No bullseye rashes. The biggest thing is that they have ulcers in their mouth and don't want to eat and are crabby for too many days!

It may not be what's ailing him, but if it is, you will know as it is quite contagious to little ones and is oh so much fun for moms.

Hope all is well quickly!


Anonymous August 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Sorry to hear about your son! Just wanted to add that my daughter has had confirmed Lyme disease twice in her 6 years. Both times her symptoms were a prolonged unexplained fever. No rash, no ticks, etc… We live in an area with the second highest rate of Lyme disease so the doctors are very familiar with it. The bullseye is by no means the standard of diagnosis. Hopefully your boy is over it and it was just a virus, though!


middlechild December 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

See the documentary "Under Our Skin". Lyme disease is a hidden epidemic and a VERY serious disease if not diagnosed early and treated properly. Heed the warning…so many are suffering!!! Also read "Cure Unknown- Inside the Lyme Epidemic" by Pamela Weintraub. See a LYME LITERATE DOCTOR…one who will treat long-term. Steer clear from doctor's who follow the IDSA's 2006 CORRUPT guidelines.(30 days of antibiotics and you're good to go) See the movie!!!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }