I missed something kinda big this week. It was one of those forehead slapping "doh!" moments for sure. My little guy, who is 5, has been complaining for several days about his big toe hurting. This all began last Thursday. He couldn't come up with any reason as to why it would hurt, like stubbing it or falling. After about the first 11 complaints, I finally had him show it to me. He pointed to an area between his toes and it looked a bit red. Nothing else jumped out at me so I diagnosed him with probable athlete's foot and doused him with an anti-fungal spray.


Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

After several days of the anti-fungal, he was still complaining. But nothing looked significant about the toe. Monday morning, my phone rings and it's the school nurse calling.

"Ryan is here in my office.He says his toe hurts."

Ugh. Again with the toe?!

"I checked it out and it appears to be infected. I think he needs to be seen by a doctor."

Seriously?! For a sore toe? I wouldn't want it to fall off or anything, but how bad can this situation really be?

Entirely wrong thought process. Big, big fail.

What happened over the next hours and dayswill forever remain in infamy in our family.

I decide to look at it after he gets home from school. In my defense, one of my other kids had a doctor appointment already that day and I can't take two kids two different places at the same time.

So, I waited until he got home. At which point I promptly removed his shoes and socks and the hubs and I peered down to inspect the toe that is creating such a fuss.

It was red. And yellow. And really icky looking. And very swollen.


I swear it did not look that way the day before.

You know what happens next.

The hubs and I scrambled to put our boy's shoes back on and his jacket and then he was whisked away to urgent care. They determined the toe was, in fact, infected. They drained it. They took a sample to culture. And they wrote the little guy a prescription for antibiotics.

I felt pretty rotten about this turn of events. And then it got even worse.

The next day, I get a call from our friends at urgent care.

"Ryan's infection came back as group A strep, so we need you to bring him back for a recheck. Today."

Uhhhhhh. What just happened?

So, off we go to urgent care once again. Where I learn that group A strep isn't just the bacteria that causes strep throat. It can cause necrotizing fascitis--better known as flesh eating bacteria--among other things. So, when you get this bacteria in places like a toe, medical people get a little nervous.

Fortunately, the toe was already much improved by that point, antibiotics were in full force doing their thing, and the doctor was relieved by the progress,

I, however, am traumatized. I spent days spraying my kid with an anti-fungal spray when he actually had a potentially serious infection. It just goes to show you even a little thing--like a sore toe--might really be a big thing. Chalk that up to a lesson learned in this job called parenting for which I am perpetually on the receiving end of on-the-job-training.