Last night I started developing a rash. When you have as many allergies as I do, rashes are something you pay attention to. And that’s even more true when the rashes occur when you have strep throat. I had two theories: clindamycin allergy or strep complication. One option is no more preferable than the other.
A clindamycin allergy would mean that my body can tolerate exactly 0 antibiotics used for treatment of strep. It would make it likely that I would need to undergo some desensitization of penicillin. Or I would be fed the line, “maybe your body will fight it off.” A line that would look lovely as an epitaph on my Trail-side tombstone if I died of typhoid while I was in a wagon in search of the Willamette Valley in the mid-nineteenth century.1
A strep complication like scarlet fever would mean potential organ damage or sepsis. One like rheumatic fever could cause heart valve, neuro-system damage, and joint issues. It could also mean that I will have a totally confused medical professional on my hands. Because those complications are a sign the antibiotic isn’t working. And that’s a repeat of the 0 antibiotics situation.
And what does my family think? It’s scarlet fever unless the rash turns into hives or anaphylaxis. I just need to make it around eleven more hours without dying or completely losing my mind and I may have my answers.
But, like I said, there are no good answers.
Why, yes, I am a longtime fan of Oregon Trail. ↩