Hand Foot Mouth Disease

So, Chris is holding Caris… otherwise, he’d be writing this post.  Caleb, Caris, & I are sick.  With what?  A cold? The flu?  Caught a stomach bug again?  No, those are just too mundane for us.  We’ve been there, done that in the past 2 months.  We have hand-foot-mouth disease.  Chris told me to make sure I put a link to wikipedia on this since most people aren’t familiar with HFMD.


5/8 – Mommy celebrated her mother’s day gift and really enjoyed it after having a week of being healthy and having healthy children.

5/9 – Spent the day with Yvonne’s sister (Sandra) and her family (hubby Kevin, daughter Eileen) who were visiting from Panama for a few days.  Had mother’s day dinner with Chris’ family in the evening.

5/10 – 5/12 – Normal activities.

5/13 – Wednesday, Caleb woke up crying/whining.  He had a fever of 101.9.  By mid-day his fever was 103.8 despite being given his max dose of Tylenol every 4 hours.  Mommy brought out the Motrin.  His fever went down to 102.7, and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the day despite Caleb’s tylenol and motrin dosages, being stripped nearly naked, and getting a tepid bath .  Caleb was a fuss-bucket.  He wanted to be held ALL the time.  He had a 33-minute nap (compared to his normal 2 hour nap).  No food for Caleb on Wednesday. 

5/14 – Woke up early at 2AM, but went back to sleep before mommy got to the room to give him more tylenol.  Woke up right before 6AM, complaining of being “hot.”  102+ fever again.  *sigh*  Tylenol and motrin regimen again.  Still not much food being eaten.  And now, Caleb keeps saying “Ow!!!” and holding his mouth.  Mommy looks inside.  Oh, Caleb bit his cheek.  She tells Caleb, “Ouch, that must have hurt… it’ll get better soon.”  He keeps saying Ow the whole day whenever he eats or drinks.  Weird.  I look again and see a cankersore (vesicular lesion) inside his bottom lip. This time I tell Caleb, “Ooh, ouchie.  mommy hates cankersores.  It’ll get better soon.  Just try to ignore it.”  Only a 35 minute nap.  This mommy is not getting any rest.

5/15 – Caleb wakes up at 6:30AM.  He’s in a good mood.  No more fever, but he keeps saying “Ow, urt mowt”  (aka, ouch, my mouth hurts).  “Caleb, just try to eat your food in the back of your mouth and swallow it so it doesn’t touch your cankersore.”  He keeps complaining all day and is pointing to different parts of his mouth by the end of the day.  This is strange, thinks Mommy to herself.  But Caleb won’t let her look in his mouth.  So mommy keeps the tylenol going to help with his mouth pain.  She puts him down to sleep early.  Caris goes down to bed early too.  Mommy’s not feeling good.  Daddy’s busy at church.  Mommy makes herself eat dinner since she’s nursing Caris (but she’s feeling malaise, weak, a little bit nauseous).  Mommy bakes brownies for the MOPS yard/bake sale fundraiser for the next day.  Mommy’s tired, get ready for bed… but wait, she’s starting to get a sore inside her cheek and bottom lip too.  What?!  What is this?  That’s when I realized this sickness probably wasn’t just any febrile illness.  Looked up mouth sores and febrile illness online – only 2 illnesses came up.  Hand foot mouth disease was one of them, but it’s not that common in dry weather… it’s a common tropical ailment.  3-7 days incubation.  Poopers – Sandra was just here with her family then and Eileen has had HFMD 3 times already.  It may not be this.  It probably isn’t.  What’s the chances? (so I’m thinking). Caleb fusses all night, sleeping very unsettled, standing/complaining.  He doesn’t seem to be feeling well still.  Keeps saying ow.  Daddy sleeps on the floor in his room all night to help settle/soothe Caleb.  Caris also starts fussing.  Mommy goes into her room and holds her, but Caris won’t let mommy put her down like she normally does (Caris sleeps 12-13 hours at night waking up only once to nurse after her first 7-8 hours of sleep).  Mommy has to hold her all night with her crying about every 1-2 hours.  and Mommy is feeling really sick and alternating between freezing and sweating all night. 

5/16 – Daddy is so tired from being with Caleb all night.  He falls asleep holding Caris in the morning after her rough night.  Mommy gets Caleb ready.  He eats breakfast.  Still complaining about his mouth.  Mommy cleans up the 11 spots of cat puke.  Stupid cat.  What did you eat?  Mommy is feeling so sick.  She’s crawling from one cat puke spot to another, unable to stand.  Chris gets downstairs and takes over.  I go up and rest.  My fever was only 101 something.  Not horrible.  My normal temp is 97.2.  By late morning (even with 1000mg Tylenol), my fever was 102.7.  So weak.  Must try to drink water to keep nursing baby Caris.  I slept almost the whole day.  I was supposed to help out at the MOPS yard sale, but I just couldn’t do it.  Poopers, I didn’t even get to drop off my brownies for their bake sale.  I called my parents and talked to Sandra (who I found out from that her daughter developed mouth lesions Tuesday night).  Sandra didn’t think much of it at the time, but now we realize that Eileen was probably carrying HFMD and nobody knew it).  HFMD is really common in Panama.  In the afternoon, I called Rocio for help cuz Chris was trying to take care of both kids and Caris was getting fever too and needing to be held all the time.  Rocio came over and played with Caleb and made dinner for us.  Chris enjoyed the dinner.  Chris stayed up all night with Caris who cried/screamed every 30 minutes to an hour.  Caleb slept pretty well!  yay!  Mommy slept all night except for when daddy brought Caris to her to feed.

5/17 – Mommy can walk again and use her limbs to pick up her children.  Still tired, weak, feeling sick… but somewhat functional now.  Awh man, mommy has oral sores all over… cheeks, lips, tongue, throat.  I’ll have to take a picture of my throat tomorrow if I remember.  It’s pretty gross.  Now I know why Caleb’s been complaining so much.  Poor Caleb.  And mommy kept telling him to eat his food in the back of his mouth.  The mouth pain got worse through the day for mommy.  Hurts to swallow, but at least I’m not pukey.  Eric brought us dinner.  By the end of the day, my mouth and throat felt like needles were pricking everywhere whenever any food or water passed through.  Ouch.  This hurts.  Oh my.  Don’t eat minestrone soup if you get HFMD.  It burns like acid.  Forget the pizza with pepperoni and tomatoes.  It’s goes down like accidentally swallowing a tiny knife.  Oh my goodness.  And you’d get a good laugh at my toothbrush dance.  It’s painfully funny.  Caris also must be feeling mouth pain.  We see lesions on her tongue and cheeks.  She’s hungry and tries to latch on to Mommy’s breast, but then cries and cries.  She’s cried all day.  Poor Caris.  Caris rarely cries.  Not like this.  She’s barely nursed all day and has only had 4 wet diapers. 


PRAY that Caris feeds OK tonight despite her mouth/throat pain… or the pediatrician says we need to take her in to urgent care/ER for rehydration since she hasn’t been eating/peeing well for over 24 hours.  Chris and I have been holding/walking/rocking/bouncing her all day.  She’s finally asleep in Chris’ arms.  Pray for quick healing…. no dehydration, fever, or pain. Pray for restful sleep for all of us.  Pray that Chris doesn’t get sick!!!

Time for bed for this tired mommy. 

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