Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hand Foot Mouth Surprise!

We were recently introduced to the most atrocious childhood viruses that we have encountered so far: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. I love that it is called a disease, as if it will never go away, instead of the virus that it is. It totally looks and acts like a disease. A disease that will eat your poor little toddler up entirely.
Here is what it entails. My son had little bumps on the soles of this feet and a few on his legs and pubic area (or groin, not crotch - the only word I could think of at the time when I was on the phone with the pediatric nurse - "yeah, he's got bumps on his crotch" I felt very sophisticated after that!). I thought they were bug bites, so I gave the cat his anti flea and tick medication, washed all the sheets and went about my business. Then a large blister showed up on his heel and I thought, "Huh, that's odd. Who knew babies got blisters? I did put his shoes on the wrong feet the other day." Then day care pointed out that he had these little bumps on the palms of his hands, but they did not tell me what they must have already known. I just worried all day and when my husband got home from work, I asked him what he thought about these bumps, and the fact that Ace now had a fever. We decided to call the pediatrician in the morning. We are very smart, see?
My husband jumped on Google and we had a few guesses, including Hand Foot and Mouth, but Ace didn't have any bumps on his mouth. "No, you won't see them," the pediatric nurse tells me, "They are on the inside of his mouth and it is like having a mouth full of canker sores." Oh, so that would explain why my son has been so incredibly unpleasant the last few days. I thought it was because we weaned him from the pacifier. Wait, we weaned him from the pacifier while he was going through this most uncomfortable ordeal, not just uncomfortable, but very painful? Oh, the guilt!
I'm over the guilt now. I realize that there was no way that I could have known that Ace was crying out in pain and not in frustration. Now that he is back to his awesome self and sleeping through the night once again, I know that he doesn't permanently hate me because of my lack of parental knowledge on that one. I'll know for the future.
I can't believe that there is the possibility that he will get this virus again. Day care, how I love, yet deeply despise you.
On the bright side, Ace is weaned from the pacifier. I used the technique where you cut the nipple on the pacifier down a little each night. By the third night, Ace was annoyed with it and threw it aside. There were tears but whether they were from the lack of pacifier or onset of painful mouth sores, I do not know.

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