I received a phone call this morning that MADE MY DAY! So much so that I thought it deserved a “Multitude Monday” post all of its own. There is some serious thankfulness going on around here today after that phone call!

Our pediatrician’s office called this morning to let us know that a Strep Test performed on Nadia last week came back NEGATIVE! Why is this cause for such celebrating, you ask? Well, let’s just say it’s a LONG story, but one worth reading if you have the time. Here we go….

It all started in October when I got Strep Throat on the day of “Race for the Cure.” I was miserable, and felt like I’d gotten hit by a bus. I hadn’t been that sick in a long time. I was treated with antibiotics, and was back to normal in no time. Little did I know that this was apparently the start of a miserable winter during which we would deal with strep more than I ever thought possible.

Fast forward a week or so. Titus had his 4-month check-up, and I asked about what appeared to be horrible diaper rash on his bottom. He’s never had diaper rash before, so this was odd to me. His little butt was raw and bleeding, and my gut feeling was that something else was wrong. Our wonderful pediatrician is so intuitive, and asked right away if he’d been exposed to Strep Bacteria. I told her I’d recently had Strep Throat, and she told me she was certain that his poor little bottom was infected with a Strep skin infection. They call it perianal strep, or “strep butt.” Lovely, I know. Sure enough, the culture came back positive for Strep A infection. A round of antibiotics for Titus, and he was good as new.

Over the course of the following four months, the following occurred:

-I got strep throat not once again, or twice…THREE more times. 4 cases of Strep for me.

-Tanner got 2 Strep infections on his skin, and strep throat twice. 4 cases of Strep for Tanner.

-Jayda got 2 Strep infections on her skin, and strep throat twice. Again, 4 cases of Strep for Jayda.

-Titus had perianal strep 2 more times. 3 cases of Strep for Titus.

-I lost complete count, but I think we filled 15 or 16 antibiotic prescriptions this winter. I have lived this crazy story, and I can hardly believe that number! We are not a family to medicate very often, and I am certain we’ve used more medicine this winter than all other winters combined!

-As for Nadia? She somehow managed to dodge each outbreak of strep!

By this time, I was so tired of seeing the doctor’s office staff and the pharmacy staff. Each time we’d walk in to either place, they would groan and say, “Again?!” Nobody could figure it out, and I was at my wit’s end. We had just NEVER been this sick. The first time I took Jayda in this winter, they informed us that they hadn’t seen her for over 2 years! Needless to say, this was very unusual for our family.

I began to feel somewhat depressed, honestly. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like my house was nasty. I don’t think I’ve ever scrubbed our house as much as I did this winter! I changed toothbrushes, toothpaste bottles, and bought new pacifiers and bottles for Titus. I disinfected all our kitchen utensils, plates, and drawers. I washed all our shower curtain liners, disinfected the appliances, and re-washed all our towels in bleach. I did everything I could think of, but to no avail!

Once the Strep hit our house again, enough was enough. Something had to be done! Our doctor consulted with an Infection Disease Doctor at a local Children’s Hospital. Per their advice, we picked up yet more antibiotics at the pharmacy for our family. They wanted all 5 of us to take the same antibiotic at the same time, hoping that we could kill whatever was lurking around here.

I can’t begin to tell you how I hated giving the antibiotics we’d already given. But, I had to do something, so I had Tanner pick up the RX at the pharmacy. When he returned home with it, my jaw hit the floor when I saw how much medication there was! The RX was so strong for each of us that the girls weren’t able to get a liquid. They expected them to swallow HUGE pills. Titus was given not one or two, but THREE BOTTLES of liquid antibiotic. The dosage was insane…4 times a day for 10 days. Over the course of 10 days, I was expected to give 200 doses of antibiotic to my family! That was not going to happen.

Do you ever have a “mommy” instinct that tells you something just isn’t right? I definitely had that feeling that night. I could not fathom dosing this high of an antibiotic to my already overly-medicated family. I just couldn’t do it.

I called the doctor the next morning to tell her I respectfully disagreed with her prescription, and that I’d like to do something different. I was told there was nothing different we could do. This had to be done. I wasn’t overly happy, to say the least. In as respectful manner as I could, I continued to push for other answers.

Throughout the whole winter, I kept wondering how Nadia hadn’t gotten one single case of Strep while the rest of us were inundated with it. I went with my gut feeling, and asked if she could be a possible carrier for Strep. Could she be infecting our family? Certainly no, but it was a straw worth grasping at.

I requested a throat culture for Nadia. My request was granted, although somewhat reluctantly. The culture came back 48 hours later. The results were surprising to the doctor, and relieving to me. Guess what? IT WAS POSITIVE! She was a carrier for Strep, and had most likely been the ENTIRE WINTER! She was infected with the bacteria, but had never shown any symptoms! Most likely, each time the rest of us took an antibiotic to kill the Strep, our immune systems were then compromised by the bad effects of antibiotics, which made us more likely to get it again..especially when it’s lurking inside of one of our family members!

She was quickly prescribed an antibiotic, and recently finished her medicine. I asked that she be swabbed again after her medicine to be certain that we had killed this nasty bacteria. That was the wonderful phone call this morning…the second culture came back NEGATIVE!

After months of struggling with this, and embarrassed to even tell very many people, we are all healthy and clear of Strep! Leave it up to my crazy, spunky little Nadia to be the one to infect us all again and again. πŸ™‚

Why am I posting this for all to read? Several reasons:

1) I’m SO THANKFUL that we figured this out, and that we are all cleared of any infection. It’s Multitude Monday, and this is by far the thing I’m most thankful for today!

2) I learned a lot through this process, and I’m hoping it will be helpful to others who read this. I learned that God gives parents instincts that should not be ignored. While I am so thankful to our doctor and all medical staff, I did learn that they don’t always know everything. I learned that sometimes you have to really (respectfully) push for answers, and ask lots of questions. Had I not pushed further, I’d have dosed extremely unnecessary medication to my family, and we would have never known that my gut feeling was really correct. I don’t want to sound prideful about this…trust me, this winter has forced me to be humble! I’m just saying that it’s worth investigating and listening to an instinct that God gives. You never know…it just might be right.

Okay, I think that gets an award for longest blog post ever. If you were brave enough to read the whole thing, thanks! πŸ™‚

I’m off to get my kids after school. Happy Monday, and blessings to you!