long-time lurker, first-time poster. i'm having a bit of a dilemma. i'm from london and moved to asheville nc a year ago so i'm still finding my way around a lot of things, not least american healthcare. here's the story. apologies for the upcoming essay.
my 22 month old was bitten by a tick on easter sunday. my husband's uncle, who's an outdoorsy type, spotted it - thank goodness, as i would not have known how on earth to get it off. he identified it as a lone star tick and said it's the only species in nc that carries lyme. cue panic on my part. cut to this past sunday night and my daughter starts to run a fever. 101 on sunday, 102 yesterday, but happy and playing most of the time. i took her to the doctor's today for only the second time in her life as i was worried and wanted reassurance. the doctor agreed it's unusual for a toddler to have a fever without other symptoms. she took blood, which was perfect, and looked at the tick bite, which looks like it has the faintest red line around it/next to it (it's in her hair so hard to see) - looks more like a broken vein than anything else. doc said that she wouldn't be worried about lyme, but is worried about rocky mountain spotted fever, and prescribed doxycycline for a week.
now i am pretty against antibiotics unless totally, totally necessary. the doctor openly told me to expect some pretty intense side effects, and that this type isn't recommended for kids because it's so harsh. she said it's likely to discolor her teeth until her big teeth come in, give her diarrhea and possibly give her mouth thrush. usually i would console myself with the thought of dosing her up to the eyeballs on probiotics immediately afterwards but unfortunately we will be travelling to a big family reunion next week and it won't be possible i don't think - i use the kind of probiotics that need to be kept cold. lots of stress and travel and new people coming up. my husband is firmly in the camp of 'if the doctor says do it, let's do it.' but i don't know. not having grown up here, i don't really know how much of a risk tick-borne things are, and i also don't know how to read between the lines of doctor-speak - is the doctor prescribing this because there's a 0.0001 chance my daughter has a tick lurgy and she doesn't want to be sued, or is it really a sensible precaution to take? also, she brushed off the possibility of lyme, but i went home and googled and up came an article saying that doctors always brush off the possibility of lyme. more googling revealed that the lone star tick isn't even a major carrier of this rocky mountain fever. argh.
meanwhile LO is not doing so well - up to 104 today, although i am really hoping that this fever has broken now.
so i don't know what to do. antibiotics or no. without judgement, with compassion, what would you do?