Molluscum Contagiosum

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Sounds like a spell from Harry Potter, right?

I wish.  It’s Jake’s new thing.  

Actually, “new” is a bit of a misnomer in this case.  He’s had several mollusci (I made that up) for a couple of months.  A molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection identified by small, painless, flesh colored bumps that resolve on their own in most cases.  

Most cases.  Not ours.  Too easy.  

Jake developed these little guys on his throat, one at a time, over the last season or so.  With his recent induction into puberty, a few more spots and bumps went largely unnoticed, until the one in the middle got big and red.    

We were disturbed enough that we called the doctor.  Hoping to be told that we were overreacting, imagine our surprise when we were told he had a communicable skin infection.  Chance of spreading this, we learned: very, very slim.  Here’s how it went down:

I texted a picture to the medical assistant who hesitated almost 2 seconds before declaring, “that looks like a molluscum contagiosum.”  How had I managed to be a parent for 13 years and not hear of this?  

Jake was scared as we waited for the doctor to come in.  The MA said the doctor may want to pop it.  Jake asked if it was going to hurt (maybe).  Jake asked if the doctor was going to pull it off (maybe).  Jake asked if there would be blood (maybe).  I couldn’t do much in the way of honesty AND consolation.  

He had worked up a few tears by this point.  “My tears are falling out,” he announced.  Why?, I asked.  “Because I’m crying,” came the obvious response.  

We were put on an antibiotic to quash the local bacterial infection we had incurred on top of our viral one.  We were also given the option to pierce the thing and remove the “pearl” now, or wait a couple of days.  We opted to wait until the infection was lessened.  In fact, I was given permission to scrape the top off myself.  

Jake asked his three clarifying questions his usual 200 times yesterday, trying to wrap his head around the plan.  In a surprise move, he asked if there were any videos of mollusci being scraped on YouTube.  Of course!  My visual learner wanted a film!  Sadly, there weren’t any that used a curette, my tool of choice.  

I told Jake we could film it so:

A) there WOULD be a good film for the next kid

B) he could watch, since he won’t be able to

C) I could upload it for

He says no.  

The Keflex he was given are HUGE!  He’s just started taking single Advil pills in the last year.  Thankfully he’s got an aptitude for it, because he seems to have little trouble with the giant capsules.  

Our surgery is scheduled for Thursday, after he goes swimming in the river.  No sense in opening the skin BEFORE he swims in muddy water.  

I’ll keep you posted – wish us luck!!

P.S. – anyone out there dealt with an infected molluscum before?

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1 comment

    • Kim on July 29, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    I had it a few years ago on my bikini line, thighs and legs. My Dr said it spread likely due to using the same razor because it had started on my calf. Another possible cause was that my immune system was being suppressed due to a very long course of steroids. I had them burnt off with liquid nitrogen, at the time that seemed like the quickest and most effective way.
    It hurt so bad while standing at thge Drs receptionists desk, waiting to pay, I fainted. So that was interesting.

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