Slapped Cheeks & Bad Nights

Slapped Cheeks & Bad Nights

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By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

I've not slept properly for a week. Some night sweats initially. Stiffness of the shoulders and hips. Sore muscles. Getting out of bed was a bit of a chore and I needed anti-inflammatory medication to get to work.

It's been better these last few days but I find that I'm left with fatigue. And with that fatigue, comes a lack of concentration. I think I've just had a most unproductive week.

The culprit I think is my daughter, E.

E is 5 years-old and 1.5 weeks ago, she developed a bright red rash over both cheeks with a finer rash over the limbs. I'm not a GP but I diagnosed Slapped Cheek syndrome. This occurs commonly in kids and is caused by a virus called Parvovirus B19. She improved without any specific treatment but did have a minor fever.

A few days after E developed her rash, my wife developed fever, sweats, aches and pains, as well as headaches. She needed a few days in bed and has recovered. She didn't get a rash. Manifestations of Parvovirus B19 infection in adults are different, and typically, adults get more joint pain and stiffness. These symptoms typically resolve within a few weeks but in some cases, the arthritis can become more chronic.

I'm hoping my symptoms go away soon. While it's good that I'll be able to empathise, arthritis isn't fun and I think I've had enough.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health.

BJC Health provides a connected care multidisciplinary team philosophy to deliver positive lifestyle outcomes through a holistic approach to those with degenerative & inflammatory arthritis, tendon injury and lifestyle diseases. Our clinics are located in Parramatta, Chatswood and Brookvale. Contact us.

This blog focuses on arthritis-related diseases, healthcare in general, and our Connected Care philosophy.

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