Monday, February 18, 2008

Scarlet Fever and the Wittmanns

Super Boy has scarletina. Or, as they used to say in the days of old, scarlet fever. It's no big deal, the doctor reassures me. Ten days of antibiotic and he'll be fine.

Of course, being Wittmanns, we can't help but think of all our literary friends who dealt with scarlet fever (before Amoxicillin). There was poor Mary Ingalls who went blind in By the Shores of Silver Lake. How could any of us forget Beth in Little Women. Poor Beth appears to recover, but the fever progresses to rheumatic fever and she dies of congestive heart failure four years later. And what about the little boy in The Velveteen Rabbit. All his toys are set to be burned once he recovers. Fortunately, the velveteen rabbit is saved by the nursery fairy who makes him real. Then there is Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family. Four of the five sisters come down with scarlet fever, the house is quarantined, and everyone is okay in the end. In The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a young girl is accused of giving scarlet fever to others through witchcraft. The list goes on.

Super Boy's first question for the doctor was, "Will I go blind like Mary?" Of course, he was reassured, that it is not a big deal these days and he'll be a-okay.

2 comments:

Dan and Janet Brungardt said...

I still cry every time I read the death scene in "Little Women!"

My mom got rheumatic fever in the 60s and was booted out of her convent(she was a postulant). She ended up on bedrest for a long time and antibiotics for an even longer time.

God's ways are mysterious. Lucky for me, she didn't go back. Lucky for her too, because now that convent is very wacky!

Hope Super Boy recovers quickly!
Janet

MAB said...

I had Scarlet Fever when I was eight. I was rather sick, and it is the only time I remember hallucinating from a fever, but I was fine after two weeks home from school. My pediatricians were excited to see a "real" case of it! I do remember asking if I would have to burn everything, like Mary Ingalls, and being reassured that I would not.