2015 advice children health parenting safe school

Munch and the Health Department

So, this week has been one for the books. I have to tell you why it is the third week of school and my son has been banned from attending until the Health Department confirms that he is okay to go back to school. I am home with munch this week and then his dad next week.

Here’s the story:

Remember when I posted that my son was sick last month? The post is here: https://athomaspointofview.com/2015/08/06/no-one-like-mama/ if you missed it. The recap is that my munch got sick last month and we took him to Urgent Care and then to his pediatrician that Monday. They said it is probably a stomach virus and that it would pass. (The same thing the Urgent Care said) and to only come back if he has blood in his stool. He did by the following Wednesday and labs were ordered by his pediatrician. A stool sample (thankfully his dad had to collect this) was submitted to the lab the following Saturday. Munch came back to me that Thursday night because his dad got sick.

Sick dad and now I had to stay home because munch was sick and couldn’t attend camp. Oh, the joys of parenting I proclaimed! I couldn’t miss a week of work prior to vacation so I sent him to camp that Monday because his diarrhea wasn’t as bad as it had been and he seemed a lot better. I called the pediatrician that Wednesday and asked had the labs returned and the nurse looked and said some had come in and it was negative for E-coli and Salmonella. She said that was good and the rest of the labs still hadn’t come in. “Okay” I responded and thought, they’ll call me if something is wrong. Packed and headed to the beach.

While on vacation I received a text from the pharmacy saying that munch’s prescription is ready for pick-up. This was on Saturday. Okay, no big deal. His inhaler is on auto refill and it must be time to pick it up. We enjoyed our vacation and came home and I received another text from the pharmacy reminding me to pick up his prescription. Okay, I thought. I need to get it. The next day my prescription reminder came through and I headed to the pharmacy on August 24th to pick up our prescriptions.

I put the bag on the table and started getting his first day stuff together to deliver to his dad’s house. Munch started school on the 25th and then came back to me that next day. I cooked dinner, gave him a bath and put him down to bed. I opened the prescription bag and realized that it wasn’t munch’s inhaler in the bag but a liquid prescription from a doctor I had never heard of. The next morning I called his pediatrician and spoke with the nurse about the weird prescription and she informed me that the doctor’s notes indicated that she left a detailed voice message and called in the antibiotics. I told the nurse I didn’t get a message. She said that she would have the doctor call me back.

The doctor called me that afternoon and apologized for me not getting her message. She said that she had left it on my home phone. Really? I was on vacation was what I told her. She said, “Oh, I’m sorry. Well, his initial lab results came back and indicated Shigellosis and the lab said that they had to send it to the state lab to confirm.” WTH? I listened as she continued and said that “The state lab confirmed that munch had Shigella”. “Umm, are you serious? We’ve just been at the beach with my family. Is he contagious?” She said, “Probably not if no one has been sick and to please just give him the antibiotics now.” “Okay”. I called his dad and told him what the pediatrician said.

Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella (shih-GEHL-uh). Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. Some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others. The spread of Shigella can be stopped by frequent and careful handwashing with soap and taking other hygiene measures. -www.cdc.gov

Fast forward to Monday when I returned home from the pageant to find a letter in my mailbox from the Health Department asking me to contact them. I called the Disease Control Specialist mentioned in the letter and she indicated that she had been trying to contact me but it appears they have extra numbers in my phone number. I told her that she could have called my son’s pediatrician and gotten my numbers from them.

She indicated that munch can’t go back to school until their lab has confirmed that he is infection free. “What the what?” I asked. I said, “Munch is in the second grade in a French Immersion program. He can’t miss school.” She said, “I’m sorry. I wish your pediatrician would have contacted you prior to school starting and had you start the antibiotics. You will need to take two additional stool samples 48 hours after he finishes the antibiotics (no earlier than Friday). After the first stool sample is collected, you must wait another 24 hours until you collect another one. You then have to bring the samples to our lab to confirm that he is free from the infection. That usually takes 3 to 4 business days.” I sighed, “So, at the very earliest he can return to school is September 21st? “Yes” she confirmed.

I cringed inwardly as she stated I could come to her and get the information and collection kits or she could bring them to me. “Bring them to me” was my response. She brings me letter putting me and his dad off work and notifying the school including the collection kits. I made copies of the letters for my employer, sent an email to the teacher, principal with a copy of the letter and one to munch’s dad.

I’m having a mini-breakdown right now. Bear with me. Munch goes back to his dad tonight so his dad has to take off next week. It’s frustrating, overwhelming and ridiculous that this is happening right now and not last month, but the thing I remember is that my baby is okay and that his dad has to collect the stool samples again and deliver them to the Health Department. I’m trying to be encouraged in that fact.

Shigellosis from the CDC’s website


Ah, the joys of parenting!

My Random Musings


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