Hand Foot Mouth Disease

Two years ago, Sarah suffered a week long illness called, Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD).

This past week Sarah got it again!!

It’s a horrible disease dubbed the “toddler illness”. From mouth sores to blisters on the hands and feet it is VERY painful. Sarah did not eat, drink or sleep for 5 DAYS due to the excruciating pain. Between constant bursts of screams to her eyes drowning with tears, all she could do was cry from all the pain.

How it all started…

Wednesday night Sarah woke up multiple times and cried sporadically all through the night. We initially thought she was having ear pain, but next morning hubby found blood in her ear. A little scared I called the doctor first thing.  Thanks to a last minute cancellation we were able to see the doctor that morning. After seeing the doctor we discovered that her ear tube has slid out of place and has started to rub against her ear making it bleed. We scheduled an ENT appointment for next Tuesday for corrective ear tube surgery and possible removal of her adenoids.

We ran some errands that morning and headed back for an early nap. With only a 45 minute nap, Sarah woke up cranky. Understandably so I comforted her. We spent the rest of the afternoon being lazy on the couch. She wasn’t acting herself, she was very uncomfortable. I was sad.

Putting her to bed that night was difficult. She was exhausted and in a lot of ear pain. The extremely difficult night was spent with 30 minute sleep cycles and a lot of tears. My poor baby was in a lot of pain and now she was complaining of mouth pain. As I lay there awake most of the night, I couldn’t help but count the hours until our next ENT appointment.

We decided to finally bring Sarah to our bed and comfort her as much as possible. When Sarah is sick or has ear pain we normally tag team from the couch to our bed so at least one of can get longer bursts of sleep. We finally woke up around 7 am to a messy home. Pillows, blankets, lovies, and tissues were spread through out the house.

With no energy (and no milk!!) I threw Sarah in her car seat and off we drove thru Starbucks for a much needed shot of espresso. I thought with lots of caffeine and a chocolate milk treat for Sarah we would just have another lazy day. Unfortunately it was not the case. The very short 5 minute car ride was a mixture of screaming episodes and tear filled eyes.

During this 5 minute adventure, I missed a call from Sarah’s pediatrician checking in on us regarding the bloody ear. After reaching the pediatrician we came to the conclusion that Sarah’s mouth sores were probably the start of HFMD.

The remainder of the day was spent with a series of mini-naps with crying and screaming episodes intermingled. IT WAS BRUTAL. I was exhausted. Luckily hubby came home early to help out. We then made a list so hubby could pick up a couple bottles of Gatorade and some basic foods to keep us fueled for the next few days.

I had planned to visit our friends, Cait and Nolan that afternoon so I already had my crock pot ingredients prepared. So thankful I menu planned this week as I had no energy to stand and cook a hot meal.

Day 4 might have been the MOST BRUTAL DAY! After a really hard day we put her to bed as we normally did. This time she was inconsolable during one of her crying and screaming episodes. For the past few days she had been complaining of tummy pain, but with no food it was understood. However between all the Amoxicillin, Motrin and Tylenol meds she was taking we thought her tummy complaints might be doing some real damage to her stomach. Therefore, at 1 am hubby thought it was getting really serious and that we needed to see a doctor. A few minutes later we packed up a few things and headed to the ER in our pajamas. The car ride was long. Sarah continued to cry and scream. I started feeling really nervous. Were we harming our daughter? Was her tummy complaints really legit? Were we being neglectful to her complaints?

After checking her vitals we were given a room. I sat in our bed holding my baby girl. She was relatively calm so I became calm. Hubby made her some hand glove balloons and we waited for the doctor.

photo 2The ER doctor did not think she had HFMD. He instead thought she had some other viral infection called, Herpangina. Basically a super horrible mouth illness. He also checked her tummy and just thought it was due to not pooping for 4 days and a combination of emotions she was having. Thank g-d! I was happy to hear is wasn’t something more serious, but I kind of wished he did some x-rays. I wasn’t feeling 100%, but hubby was content so we left a short while after.

It took us 5 days until Sarah was able to eat some food! By the time we finished with this brutal virus we were beat.

Throughout this horrible time, my sweet friends were super thoughtful. They called, texted and even brought me treats. One friend sent me a surprise Starbucks gift card email while another friend brought me scones and a large coffee with 4 SHOTS of espresso.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.34.53 PMThank you Stacee and Erin for being so thoughtful! It means so much to me to have friends like you. Love you girls!

Unfortunately there is no way to know how she got HFMD. It’s a virus and there’s not a damn thing you can do to help your crying toddler. It’s a matter of waiting it out. Try telling that to a very weak three year old and an exhausted family. Brutal. Just brutal.

The really important thing for you to do for your toddler is make sure they are keeping hydrated. Do everything you can to prevent them from becoming dehydrated. If that happens you might end up with a very pricey Emergency bill. Both the Dr. Google and my pediatrician told me “Give her ice cream, ice pops and anything cold, as long as she eats SOMETHING!”

I thought we had it bad last time, but this one took the cake. I have never seen my poor daughter suffer so much and so for so long. It was truly brutal!

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Michal ema Benson

Poor Sarah I am so sorry to read all about your suffering! I am happy now that you are over it! Thanks Sharon to take such a good care of her. You are an amazing mother! Love you so much ema.

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