Tuesday, October 02, 2012

So, what? It's Strep Throat.

This past week I've had strep throat. To many people, that does not mean a whole lot. You go to the doctor, get some antibiotics and be done with it.

There is just a slight problem when it comes to me.

Because of my sensory issues, I am not able to explain to mom and dad that my throat hurts and that it feels like I have razor blades cutting me every time I swallow. Instead I get cranky and whiny. Also, because I suffer from allergies the symptoms are masked and it is hard to tell. It really is funny to hear mom talk to the doctor when he asks why we are there for what appears to be allergy issues.

"I am not seeing any symptoms other than what appears to be allergies, why are we here today?"

"He's sick."

"Why do you think so?"

"Try living with him."

I imagine only families with kids that have sensory issues would fully understand that conversation. Because at the end of the conversation the nurse stepped in and relayed to the doctor that the strep test came back positive.

Then this leads to why strep throat can be dangerous for a child like me.
  If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.  - MayoClinic.com
 See, I have a bicuspid aortic valve with stenosis that leaks already. The walls of the valve were already thickened when I was born. You say you thought I had surgery to repair my heart? Oh, I had closed heart surgery to repair my aorta. The part of my heart they repaired was outside of the main muscle. I had a CoArctation of the Aorta that was repaired with the subclavian flap, a technique where they used the artery that led towards my left arm to provide tissue for the aorta because it was too narrow for blood to flow through to the rest of my body.

I apologize, I digressed slightly. Strep throat can be dangerous in anybody that has a heart condition, especially a person with a problem with their valves. Obviously, the strep would have to progress in to rheumatic fever. The key is to stay healthy and as soon as symptoms present get to the doctor. With a sensory processing disorder child, it is not always so easy. In that case, there needs to be an understanding from those around the family that the child's health is extremely important. Rheumatic fever can lead to heart attack or stroke.

We do not share this information to fear monger. It is for enlightenment. At our house, my mom and dad pray over us and before we go to the doctor we are prayed over. Mom believes in us eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. All of these things promote health. Unfortunately, sometimes I get sick. When that happens, I go to the doctor and take medicine. It is not the end of the world, but if it takes longer than normal to get over something then my parents get concerned. Their concern isn't because they doubt God, it's because they love me and don't want me to be sick.

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