Red, Hot & Spotted

Recently been from Dumaguete. I intended to blog how nice and laid back the city is, how Elmo enjoyed our nature trek, our adventures in the airport, and finally meeting the phenomenal Pseudoshrink and her sassy daughter Sharkteeth. But upon returning, work caught up with me (having been away for 7 days). There were the series of lectures at the local college. And to top it all, Elmo fell ill and was hospitalized. 😦

Looking back, he must have been prodromal before our travel. Unlike previous travels wherein he was excited at the prospect of a “holiday”, this time he wasn’t too keen on going away; he even cried on our way to the airport. When I asked why he doesn’t want to go, he answered that he feels tired. When we got to Dumaguete, I noticed what looked like an insect bite on his right leg. I asked him where he got it but he doesn’t recall. I asked if it hurts, he said no, but it must have been tender because he didn’t want it to be touched.

Apart from those, he was his usual active self. He made a playground out of our big hotel room, jumping on the beds, running about and building pillow forts. He was quite the trooper when we trekked to the twin lakes. He was exceptionally well-behaved during the lectures. He ate a lot. On our last day in Dumaguete, he ran around Siliman University’s green and sprawling grounds. But in between, he insisted to be carried because he was tired.

When we got home, I noticed he had red spots on his trunk. I thought it must have been something he ate. The next day, they grew in number. It looked like chicken pox sans the vesicles. Consults with Pedia and Derma friends yielded varied differentials, from a viral exanthem, atypical varicella, hot tub folliculitis, hypersensitivity reaction and pityriasis rosea, r/o lichenoides. @_@

The lesions continued to progress over the week, this time involving his face, armpits and buttocks. On Monday night, he developed high-grade fever Tmax 39.6 C. His sleep was fitful. Gave him Paracetamol, but he threw it up.  😦 He couldn’t take in anything. Decided there and then to have him admitted.

At the hospital, he was very cooperative. He bravely endured the IV insertion and blood extractions, and was very still for the x-ray. I guess he was just too weak to protest. 😦 Fortunately because we didn’t self-medicate with antibiotics, his fever lysed at the first dose. And he was able to sleep soundly the whole day. He woke up in time for dinner and was voracious.

The following day, he started to complain… about the IV lines limiting his mobility, the antibiotics, the food, the TV programs. 😀 I took it as a good sign. Had a “blood dyscracia” scare when his serial CBC counts showed decreasing platelets, low hemoglobin, but too many lymphocytes. Referred to Hematology, who ordered a peripheral blood smear: too many lymphocytes, none atypical, could prob be just viral. @_@ The seemingly low platelet and hemoglobin values turned out to be just technical: the blood sampled was taken using a finger prick (since by this time, Elmo was already vehement in his protestations 😛 ). We did a repeat CBC, this time drawing blood from his antecubital veins, which yielded normal results.

The red spots persisted though, and to settle the matter, we consented to a skin biopsy by the Dermatologist. Results will be out in a couple of weeks. We were discharged on the fifth day.

It was a harrowing ordeal, seeing my son get sick. And while we wait with bated breath for the biopsy results, I’m just grateful to be home. And to have Elmo back to his noisy, active self.

Update (09.11.2017): Skin biopsy results are out! Pityriasis Lichenoides et Varioliformis Acuta (PLEVA). At talaga namang it has to be rare, affecting 1 out of 2,000 or 0.05% of the population. The long-term outlook is generally good, although there is this little niggling fear in my heart because of reports of its possible association with lymphoma. Not proven, still debatable. The Dermatologist advises watchful waiting, until April 2018. If lesions persist at 8 months, for repeat skin biopsy to rule out a transformation to cutaneous lymphoma. X_x

Update (11.11.2017). The red spots are gone. The old ones have left behind hyperpigmented scars. But thankfully, no new lesions! 🙂

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