Calm Before the Storm

This week has been such a nice one.  Because it is Spring Break, Pumpkin Girl didn’t have ballet class and we don’t have either our homeschooling group or a Brownie meeting.  Not those things aren’t fun, but they take time out of our day and can add to the feeling of having to rush around.  We have absolutely no where we need to be this week.

The temperatures have been mild, sort of jacket weather, sort of not.  We had a gentle rain today.  I let the children watch some extra TV because Pumpkin Girl had a fever and the boys were stir crazy.  I made chicken pot pie for dinner.  All was well.

Do you sense the other shoe about to drop?  I sure didn’t.

Pumpkin Girl sat up and said maybe she was having an allergic reaction to something.  She said she had bumps on her forehead.  I took a look at her and sure enough – bumps.  But not hives.  I took a look at her chest and stomach – more little bumps all over her.  She also had a sore throat with her fever, which I had totally forgotten is a symptom of strep throat. So much for my nice calm week.

I called a friend who called a nurse ( no such thing as an advice nurse with military medicine anymore), and I called a nurse (my mom) who called a doctor.  My friend and I consulted books and the internet.  The verdict: scarlet fever.

Time: just past duty hours.  Which means a trip to the ER.

And I forgot to mention that Philip is TDY again.  So after dinner I bundled my crew into the car and head out to Andrews AFB. If it was strep throat/scarlet fever we’re dealing with, there was no way I could leave them with a friend.  Better to expose the already sick people in the ER.  Plus, they could swab us all and we’d all come home with antibiotics and be all happy  in a day or two.


Pumpkin Girl’s scarlet fever was confirmed.  They wouldn’t even deal with the rest of us who didn’t have symptoms.  The pharmacy was closed and they didn’t have antibiotics for us to take home.  The only off base pharmacies I know of are in the absolute worst part of DC.  Nobody I know, man or woman, goes to the area right outside our base after dark.  So three hours later, I have a prescription to fill first thing in the morning.  I will spare you a diatribe about the quality of military medicine and what a waste of time it can be.

The good news is, scarlet fever isn’t the terror it used to be.  We all know about Helen Keller and Mary Ingalls, but nowadays we’ve got good antibiotics to square us away.  That is, when the pharmacy is open.

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • Saying a prayer now for Pumpkin Girl (and her mommy and siblings!). Keep us updated. I’ve lived in DC and I know what you’re talking about – my ex-boyfriend was at 8th & I, and he used to let me walk there from the Metro!!! How crazy was that??

  • AGH! I don’t have your phone number with me. How is Pumpkin Girl and the rest of the crew? Did everything go okay at the clinic? I have been praying for you.

    :( Tami

  • Oh my word. I so don’t miss military medicine. People don’t realize how difficult it can be nor how a straightfwd appt can morph into this long complicated ordeal. God bless you! What a way to kick off the holiday.

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