K was discharged from the hospital this afternoon. He is much, much better and is back to being his happy, goofy self. I'm not sure the doctors ever really came to an agreement, or that they ever really figured out what was going on, but this is their best guess:
Several days ago, K developed a rash that was causing him to scratch his skin raw. (It wasn't getting better, and I had already decided I needed to take him to the doctor this week.) The rash was caused by either a yeast infection, a strep infection, or (and this is the infectious dr's favorite) a form of super scabies. This would be a type of scabies that is unaffected by premetherin cream. Whatever the cause, the open skin seems to have been the pathway for a secondary bacterial infection which was the source of the redness and fever. K is now on antibiotics for the infection, an oral anti-itch medicine, and an oral scabies medicine. And, since we all live with him, the rest of us will also be taking the anti-scabies medicine as well. (I realize that this is making everyone have second thoughts about crossing our threshold...it makes me have second thoughts as well.) The important thing is that it all seems to be doing its job. Wellness, here we come.
While we certainly hope that we never have to do it again, the folks at Children's Memorial Hospital were very nice. They all agreed that K was cute as a bug, and the head infectious disease doctor had lots of questions about international adoption. It was disturbing, though, to realize that most (and possibly all) of the hundreds of doctors and nurses with whom we interacted were younger than we are. Many of them were residents or fellows, which means they're probably about 17 years old. While looking out of the window of K's room, I was suddenly struck with the realization that I'm now older than lots of people. I know that may not seem profound, but it is odd to begin to think of oneself as the old guy in the room. (My apologies to our friends who are older than I. If I feel old, you must feel ancient!)
I can also vouch for the fact that the fold-out armchairs in the hospital are adequate cots, but could be improved if they were covered in something other than vinyl. Even with a sheet spread over them, they end up feeling very damp and clammy after a night's restless sleep.