Roseola sounds almost pretty, doesn’t it? Roses and the like, perhaps some sort of essential oil.
Alas, no. Roseola, it turns out, is actually one of those extremely irritating childhood illnesses that young children just end up catching.
R handed Mr. K over to me on Sunday afternoon and I realised he felt a bit hot. He had been feeling a bit hot that morning as well, but he had been inclined to temperatures on the higher side of normal for a couple of weeks by then and I had written it off as teething. He was unusually lethargic as well, though, so I pulled out the thermometer and discovered he had a temperature of 38.7, definitely a fever. Over the rest of Sunday and early Monday, he edged up to 39 degrees and started to head for 40. Not only was childcare out of the question (even if we wanted to send him, the children are not allowed to go if they’re over 37.5 degrees) but a visit to the doctor was in order. R and I did some schedule chopping and changing, my mother-in-law didn’t help, and R took Mr. K to see his pediatrician.
The diagnosis was, of course, roseola. Roseola isn’t particularly serious, but it’s a nuisance. It has two distinct phases. Phase one is a moderate to high fever, which we were in the midst of. The word roseola is derived from the Latin roseum, rose-coloured, and that is presumably meant to describe the rash that sets in after the fever breaks and marks phase two.
So, once again, the whole schedule for the week was going to hell. For a Japanese man working for a Japanese company, R actually managed to accomplish a surprising amount of flexibility and, as well as going in late on Monday, switched his day off to Tuesday. That meant I was able to work on those days, at least.
And that is why, on Tuesday afternoon, I was on my bicycle.
I’m not entirely sure what happened. It’s not memory loss or blacking out. It’s just I was on a stretch of road I always ride down, it was hot, I was meandering along and on autopilot. Suddenly, the front wheel stopped moving, jamming into place, and the bicycle and I both tipped forward. I tumbled over the handlebars, hitting my head on the ground, and flipped over again for good measure.
A man with a bento in hand stopped, looked at me, nodded politely, and headed on. Two high school girls were much kinder, helping me, my things and the bloody bicycle back up, and offering to call an ambulance.
It was one of those things where I was both incredibly unlucky and lucky at the same time. I was unlucky that it happened at all. We assume something got caught in the wheel of the bicycle and that’s why it happened, but this sort of thing has happened before and the worst that came of it was a painful chest bump against the handlebars, not a full on tumble over them.
On the other hand, I was lucky. I had two bumps to the head, one very large grazed one on my forehead, a couple of cuts to my face, grazes to my right elbow and knee, and a lot of bruises, but that was it. Nothing is broken. There was no blacking out or concussion. I was able to, quite literally, walk away and stagger the 20 minute trip home. A trip to the neurologist at my alarmed husband’s behest led to a CT scan and confirmation that my head was fine, by and large.
Now, it’s Friday. Mr. K’s fever has gone and he’s very much in the throes of the rash part of the roseola. As for me, I feel a bit battered but bruised but otherwise fine. However, the blood has drained from the bruise on my forehead and pooled straight in my eye sockets, and that means I now have two black eyes. That, combined with the graze that is still very much there, means my face looks dreadful.
We’re recovering, but we really don’t look it.
It’s been a rough week, rough month, rough season. But I suppose we’re getting there. Sort of.