For the first time in her 10 years as a mother, Dr. Lisa Stern is keeping her sick child, Charlie, home from school today. He attended school earlier this week, a pair of sunglasses in one hand and a bucket in the other, after she instructed him to “tough it out” with his migraine headache. It was field day, and he earned a gold medal.
He was then sent to school with weakness and myalgias, but was strong enough to push himself around in his wheelchair. His fever resolved after the ibuprofen Dr. Stern had been giving him around-the-clock for the last several days. The school called later that day when his rash appeared, but his mother reassured the panicked school nurse that it was “just a virus” and that he was not contagious. It was final exams, and the child earned all As.
When Charlie awoke this morning, he experienced several episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. Mother was getting him ready for the bus, when she noticed mucosal hemorrhaging. Given the family’s recent trip to West Africa, she thought perhaps her son should stay home from school, just for today.
Charlie has to stay home alone, though, because Dr. Stern has a clinic full of patients, and needs to make her RVU targets for the month.