Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Here is the story of how Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ruined about two weeks of our lives...

But first, a brief description of this disgusting, evil sickness: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. Symptoms include fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash.

Doesn't sound so bad, you say? Tell that to this poor little buddy...

It's no joke, ya'll. 

Here's how it went for us...

First, Ryder randomly came down with an extremely high fever, so we took him to the pediatrician. He was diagnosed with a mild ear infection, prescribed antibiotics, and then went home to sleep it off.

We were relieved to have taken him to the doctor on Friday, because we were hosting an evening, adults-only event that Saturday night for about 40 people that had been planned for weeks.

After a hot and fitful night's sleep, Ryder was miserable and clingy the next morning, which I chalked up to the ear infection. But a few hours later, on the way down to my parents' house (where Ryder was spending the night while Stew and I went out to play), I noticed painful-looking blisters popping up like wildfire on his hands, feet, and face...

Ryder was clearly miserable, and for the first time ever he cried for the entire car ride, which he usually doesn't mind a bit. I began to panic and look up urgent care clinics, convinced he was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. Then, in a moment of clarity, I decided to check in with our nanny. Her text back immediately confirmed my suspicions: 

"We just got back from the doctor... It's hand, foot, and mouth, and both my boys have it. I'm so sorry!"

To make a long story short, basically every child, including Ryder, who had attended a birthday party at their house the previous weekend had come down with HFMD.


Fortunately, my mom is an experienced veteran when it comes to caring for sick kiddos, and she was more than up for the challenge of comforting our sick little baby so that Stew and I didn't have to cancel our big night out. So I tried my best to push aside the nauseating waves of Mommy Guilt, and transferred Ryder into Nana's loving arms before heading out on the town.

He got some rest, and then actually perked up quite a bit.

In the meantime, I tried to put aside my self-doubts as a parent who leaves their sick child with someone else and tried to enjoy a rare evening out with my husband and our friends. 

Ryder survived a fitful night's sleep in Nana's arms, and we were back for him early the next morning.

The next week was an agonizing blur. Swollen, oozing sores covered Ryder's hands, feet, legs, arms, bottom, face, ears, and even inside his mouth.

Eating hurt his mouth and throat, and although Tylenol and Motrin gave him some relief, the medicine stung his mouth, and every time we gave it to him he would sob. He was too uncomfortable to sleep or play, and spent most of his time huddled in our arms, whimpering. The only thing that gave his poor baby skin some sort of relief was Aveeno's Soothing Bath Treatment (made with natural colloidal oatmeal), which seemed to help the sores dry up more quickly.

Ryder finally started to look and act like himself again about seven days later, but the sores didn't really clear up for about two full weeks.   

Hand, Foot, and Mouth is extremely contagious, which means we were quarantined to our house for all that time, and everyone went a little stir crazy.

Unfortunately, there is really no way to avoid HFMD, because it spreads like wildfire in daycare centers and on playgrounds, and it's most contagious before any symptoms are present. 

I might wish this nastiness on my worst enemy, but certainly not anyone else. Luckily our little trooper got through it though, and is back to his normal, adorable, cheerful self.

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  1. Wow, how scary! I've never heard of HFMD. I'm glad he's finally feeling better, poor baby!

  2. Poor kiddo. I have heard that HFMD is really so miserable! Especially considering that it effects such littles! Glad he got back on the mend relatively quickly!


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