My children have come down with Hand Foot and Mouth disease and it is officially my least favorite virus I have yet to face as a mother.
I had been joking for three days last week that my youngest was having a mystery problem since she was fussy, wasn’t sleeping but I couldn’t seem to figure out what was bothering her. Then on Saturday afternoon I found, what I thought, was a very bad diaper rash.
Oh the poor girl, I thought, and covered in my all natural healing balm and dressed her up to head to the wedding we have been planning on attending for months.
The wedding was sweltering. The hottest day of the year in these parts and it was an outdoor country wedding with a bent towards the 20s. Super super cute with an impressive attention to detail. As luck would have it we were there for the Bride and it was only the grooms side that was graced with the pleasure of hot shade during the ceremony rather than our burning sun. Still, the deeply in love couple did end up married, as most do on their wedding day, and the reception lasted well into the night and taught my children the joy of a public dance party.
As I put my girlies into their jammies for the hour long car ride home, I opened up Hazels diaper and let out an audible gasp as I gazed down at the 100s of tiny blisters that had erupted out of what I thought was nothing more than diaper rash. I again covered it in healing balm and waited until morning.
By morning blisters had broken out on her face and feet and I finally knew what we were dealing with. The very contagious Hand Foot and Mouth.
The sweet child then proceeded to break out in the painful blisters for three days, covering her feet, bottom and chin, legs, arms and elbows. Mercifully her hands never got bad. The poor toddler couldn’t walk, could hardly eat and would regularly point to her bottom and say “Ow Mommy, Ow” and burst into tears. At the height of the blisters I found myself in tears at the changing table while I cared for my very sick girl.
I spent most of Monday researching the disease and learning what I could. What I learned is that this HFM, which was formerly considered to be a “dirty kid” disease is spreading like wildfire across the West Coast. Two different pediatricians have said that there is a new strain emerging out west and children and adults are all getting it anew.
Finally today, five days after the blisters broke out, she is asking to wear clothes and is willing to walk and play for short periods of time. My other daughter is kicking the crap out of this virus with only a few blisters on her feet and in her mouth but nothing to take her down.
So, I’ve said it once and I will say it until something worse comes along, Hand Foot and Mouth disease is for sucks.