Day 11 -- Do I feel warm to you?

Write about a question that looms large in your mind right now.

I don’t know how large it looms, but it’s kind of hanging upside down like a vampire bat in the belfry of my aching head, ready to suck any excess energy I might have.

The question: Is my kid sick?

I swear, my fears have nothing whatsoever to do with swine flu. And I’m not being a hypochondriac. Honest. Nevermind that I did the one thing doctors tell you never to do. I googled. So sue me. I typed in Henry’s symptoms...and my imagination ran wild.

It all started with his rosy cheeks. He gets them now and again, bright red spots on each side of his cherubic face. Usually, it’s a sign he’s overheated himself, running and screaming and jumping off high furniture. But Sunday it was accompanied by splotchy red spots all over his forearms. He said they didn’t itch or hurt. He didn’t have a fever (I checked, despite his insistence that he was FINE, MOM).

Several sites on Google diagnosed him: Fifth Disease. I’d never even heard of it before. It sounds odd and exotic. Really, it’s simply a virus that, in kids, is mild and has no treatment and will go away on its own. I hear that it’s somehow related to measles and that adults who catch it run a fever and develop very painful, swollen joints.

The next day...splotches are all gone. No worse for wear. He probably just developed a heat rash. Except that now I’m obsessed about my own skin and various pains. Am I sick??!

But that’s a large, looming question for another day.

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