Hand, Foot and Mouth WHAT???`

by Lisa Donovan

Two days ago, my daughter awoke from her afternoon nap with, exempting the ninth grade sexual education videos, the nastiest blisters I have ever seen - except hers are on the soles of her feet and the palms of her hands….  They were so alarming that I called the pediatrician right away.  Apparently, it is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease outbreak time here in Nashville.  The title makes is sounds a lot more fatal than it actually is.  The word disease makes everyone, especially mothers, shutter with sickening fear. This thing seriously needs an image makeover - when the doctor diagnosed it, I about fell to the ground… She then went on to explain that is merely a three to four day illness, not a “disease”.  It is actually a virus that attacks seveal mucus membranes that are directly linked to the areas in the body that give it it’s name.  Within four days, she should be back to normal.  So, why the alarming name then?  Why not call it  Hand, Foot and Mouth blisters with a mild to moderate fever?  Sure, she has been uncomfortable and not sleeping at night.  She is definately not feeling well but, at worst, the last few days have felt like flu season - I certainly didn’t need the word “disease” thrown at me from a pediatrician.

Aside from the frightful name, here is what we have learned about this “disease”:

Your kid won’t want to eat - it can’t be to pleasant with all those awful blisters all over the mouth.  Soup, apple juice, ice cream and popscicles have worked perfectly.

Even though it feels as though the sun is about to collide into the earth, we have been putting socks and footy pajamas on our daughter.  She doesn’t seem to mind wearing socks in the heat - I think the heat is less uncomfortable than the blisters on her feet when she tries to walk.

We have been diligent in keeping our son away from her.  It is moderately contagious, so we are being very careful to wash hands more often than not and to make it known to the other youngun’ that he ought to not be kissin’ on the baby.

Motrin at night has only helped a little.  She is just so ridiculously uncomfortable that the medicine is barely skimming the surface of her malaise.

It totally crept up on us.  My husband and I had both noticed, seperately, that she was having trouble eating and was complaining of her mouth hurting.  She also started to have trouble sleeping at night about two days before the blisters showed up in their full regalia.  Difficulty sleeping at night is always our indicator that she is getting sick, but otherwise, she had been acting perfectly normal.  It’s a sneaky little “disease” but, if you find that you are dealing with it, it is not nearly as scary as the name implies.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 at 9:11 am and is filed under Health Care, Healthy Living. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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