We have finally returned to normalcy after 10 days. Miles caught the dreaded of all pre-school viruses, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It is horrible and honestly, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’s children, much less my worst enemy.
Miles came to our bedroom one morning very lethargic. He didn’t even attempt to hop on our bed like he usually does. I assumed he wasn’t feeling well, but I had no idea what was to come. At about 11 a.m. that morning he complained about an itchy rash on his feet. I thought he might have had an allergic reaction to something or got bitten by an insect. I rubbed his the rash with Benadryl cream and kept it moving. That evening, we were at my parents house and Miles was super uncomfortable. He kept complaining about his feet and how itchy they were. By this time he was in tears as we tried everything to console him. By this point I had called his Pedi’s after-hours care for the third time. The nurse told me that if he was experiencing the same symptoms in the morning I should make an appointment to see his doctor. After I hung up the phone, I thought . . . this is crap! She wants my child to suffer through the night before I bring him to see his doctor who probably does not have the equipment to treat my him should this be something worse? Mother’s instinct told me to take him to the emergency room.
In the meantime, we hopped on the internet an attempted to diagnose our son. We scanned pictures of rashes comparing them to the rash that was on Miles’ feet and skipped over Hand, Foot and Mouth, because the description indicated that the rash was mild and not itchy. However, I thought otherwise. In fact, I called it.
When we got to the emergency room and the nurse came in, she immediately diagnosed Miles as having the viral infection, which has no real cure, but time. The rash, which turned into water blisters, spread like the description said from his feet, to his hands, to around his mouth. He even experienced mouth sores and blisters on his knees. The mouth sores and blisters around his mouth went away in two to three days. The blisters on his feet lasted seven to eight and right now, the skin on his feet is shedding – part of the heeling process.
As a parent, I never felt so helpless. Miles was in such discomfort and anything we tried to help sooth his pain and irritability was temporary. We tried Benadryl, Motrin, Calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. I’m pregnant, so I made sure that if I caught the virus, it would not affect the baby and it wouldn’t, which was a relief. The virus has an incubation period of three to six days and could be spread when Miles experienced a fever. His fevers were very mild – 99 to 101 F. However, some experts revealed that fevers could get as high as 103 F.
I’m so happy that today Miles went back to school and he was happy to be there. Poor boy had been indoors for one whole week. The most important thing that kept me sane, besides my faith in God, was knowing that we would all come out on the other side, that his pain and discomfort (and ours to add) was temporary. Miles would get better. We would return to normalcy. There was light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
I thought it was important to post this experience to my blog, because let’s face it parenting can be hard. As a parent, I believe that you are supposed to be your child’s strongest advocate. I also believe that as a mother, it’s my desire to share real life experiences to let others know that hey, while it’s tough now, you will survive. We did!