Fifth Disease


Has anyone else ever really heard of this before...or at least until you had personal experience with it? I, for one, have not. I never remember having this as a kid, nor do I remember my sister having it. Fifth disease was completely unknown to me...until last week.

It all began when a co-worker started talking about her daughter having "Fifth's". She described all of the symptons and how her daughter had each one, but she had no idea what it they all added up to. She talked about how she complained of a sore throat, but that's really nothing unusual. Then she noticed she had red, rosy cheeks on a particular afternoon, but chalked it up to her playing outside in the nippy air. In the mean time, she noticed a classmate of her's, and she had rosy cheeks. My coworker asked her why her cheeks were so red...was she feeling okay, and the little girl replied that her mom said she has Fifth's Disease. One day Lauren had even complained with having itchy arms, but she was certain it was the sweater she was wearing that day. All of this still didn't put two and two together until Lauren broke out into...gasp...THE RASH! She knew then exactly what is was because she had read up on it when her daughter's classmate told her about it.

All of this brings me to last week. Remembering back to last know, our most perfect day when we took pictures on the railroad tracks...I recall that Jake had very red cheeks when we got to his grandma's. I made mention of it, but went on thinking he may have just been warm while riding in the car. One afternoon after school, Jim commented about him having rosy cheeks, but we both figured it must have been because he went outside that day. Moving ahead to Thursday, I sent him in short sleeves thinking it was going to be warmer than it actually ended up being which made me think the rash he had on his arms was just chapped skin from the cold. This brings me to Friday morning, and as I'm listening to my co-worker tell me this story about her daughter having Fifth's Disease, I realize then that this is possibly what he has. I'm sure my eyes got bigger and bigger as she talked, and by the end of our conversation, I told her to be assured she's not the only one who has never heard of this and "let it go" because they didn't know what it was. I was right there with her having never heard of or having seen this before until I had personal experience with it.

As soon as I saw Jake Friday evening, I immediately took off his shirt, and I got complete confirmation that he, too, has Fifth's Disease. According to a medical sight I read, he is now uncontagious because he has broken out into the rash. Apprently, it is contagious up until then. The rash could last several days or longer and may get worse before it gets better. In fact, it is now progressing as the website described and has moved to his legs. We don't plan to make a trip to the doctor's office since it seems there is nothing much that can be done for it because it is viral. He also seems to have no complications from it and is now beyond the contagious stage. It looks like now all is we have to do it wait out the rash portion of it.

Once again, I have learned something I never knew before. Oh the joys of "mommy-hood"! There is truly never a dull moment!

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