Writer’s Workshop: Fifths Disease Slappy Slap

3.) The last time you were sick…

The last time I was really sick was last June and I was hobbling around the house with aching bones. I didn’t have a fever, but every joint in my body hurt and I was Google searching things like “Arthritis in young, beautiful mothers?” and “Can a trip to Arizona cause Lupus?” (yes young, beautiful mothers CAN get Arthritis. no, a trip to Arizona can NOT cause Lupus)

I decided that the reason I was in so much pain was because when I brushed my hair, I had flipped it, cracked my neck, and in so doing set off a nerve that ruined my entire body. And no I did not find that on Google, I just decided.

Then came this red mark across my face and I finally went to the doctor and was all, “Hello doctor, I believe I have Arthritis or Lupus because every joint in my body is screaming in pain. Also Rosacea.” He read off a long list of things it could be and then asked if I wanted to get tested, but I was all “I think I’m starting to feel better now, I’ll come back if I change my mind.”

I continued my search on Google, specifically the red marks across my face, because it was really just the most ODD symptom and you know what I discovered?

Fifths Disease.

slapped face

Also known as, Slapped Cheek Syndrome (real cute disease namers!) due to the fat red marks that suddenly appear across your cheeks. Most people get it in childhood and then are immune to it forever and when I read that, it suddenly hit me that Pat and I had been commenting on Maile’s bright red cheeks just the week before. The day after she had bright red cheeks, Kainoa ALSO had bright red cheeks. I had assumed they had pushed one another into concrete walls and didn’t think anything of it until DUH it all became clear!

I had a childhood disease.

And what do you know? Adults who get this disease often don’t even KNOW that’s what it is because the symptoms are so similar to other, more serious diseases, like Arthritis and Lupus!

When I told my sister I had diagnosed myself with Slapped Cheek Syndrome she was all, “Oh my gosh that’s going through my boy’s preschool!!”

Well la. dee. dah. What a freaking coincidence. So this is actually “going around”??

And so now you know…if you ever wake up one morning and feel like a 90 year old lady, can barely move your body, and wind up with red marks across your face. You, my friend, have Slappy Slap Face DISEASE.

Deal with it.

And be glad it’s not Arthritis or Lupus, because living with THAT everyday? I can’t imagine.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Last week I opened the opportunity to write an open letter to men with a word of advice, an issue you’d like to address, or a solution to a problem. This week? Hand over the reigns and let your husband write his OWN open letter to women.
2.) 5 Random facts about you and your family. (inspired by Nice Girl Notes)
3.) The last time you were sick…
4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word “red”.
5.) Your second grade teacher.


  1. says

    I had that too — I think — without the cheek thing but shortly after my daughter had what I am pretty sure is fifth’s — my toe joints were swollen (among other things) – the misery was pretty bad but also simultaneously so vague that I felt weird going to the doctor. So I feel ya on this – completely!

  2. says

    The joys of working with and being around children… I remember the year I was pregnant with The Boy every last disease went through my classroom: mono, chicken pox, fifth’s disease… luckily I’d already had the all!

  3. says

    I hate the Slappy Slap. Know why? *deep breath*

    Back when I was teaching and barely pregnant with The Twins (hadn’t told a soul other than my groom), Fifth was going around my school like wildfire. A notice was sent to all of the teachers explaining what Fifth is and that it could be dangerous to pregnant women.

    Eek! I ran to my principal, told her about my delicate condition in confidence, and she proceeded to leak it all over the school: “Yay! Sue’s pregnant with her first child(s)!” before I could even tell my own parents.

    ps – I never did get the slappy slap. But so sorry you did, Kat.

    The End.

  4. says

    I kind of hate it when they give painful stuff silly names. It’s like, stop mocking me, Center for Disease Control! Hope you are feeling better, lady!

  5. says

    My kids have all had this – and I’m honestly not sure if I ever have or not! I suppose I MUST have since I never got it from them . . .

  6. says

    That does not look fun. On the other hand I totally thought of Tommy Boy after he got that board to his face with your photo description.

  7. says

    Ow, did the kids have the same achy symptoms. I have heard of this before. If I had the symptoms I would definitely figure and arthritis flair up.

  8. says

    That sounds very weird. When you wrote of being all achy, my first thought was a tick bite. That happened to me once, then the rash started. Glad that it wasn’t too serious for you.

  9. says

    Oh, man. That’s going around my daughter’s preschool right now. Here’s hoping I had it sometime in my childhood. That sounds like no fun.

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