Let’s talk about tantrums! And Hand Foot and Mouth Disease!

We’re in the thick of it, people. Toddlerhood.

I had my first I’m that mom with the screaming child moment in Target today.  He’s been whiny for what feels like months now, but really extra whiny for the last week because he’s been sick (more that super fun stuff later!).  I put him in the stroller so there was less of a chance of him spreading the disease love all over the cart, and he did not like it one bit, I tell you.  There was kicking, screaming, head bashing, arm flailing, drink and snack throwing.  I finally let him out so he could walk, and as soon as I put him down the back heavy stroller (filled with my purchases) topples over.  Oh joy.

So there I am, left handedly trying to pick up all my things while holding onto Max’s shirt and I see a giant wet mark on his butt.  His diaper leaked.  Of course it did!  And of course I’m on the second floor of Target where there’s no bathroom!  GAAAAAHHH!!!!!

We, slowly, make our way downstairs to the bathroom where I have to wrestle him onto the pull-out-of-the-wall changing station while he’s kicking, flailing his arms and screaming.  The kid haaaates these things.  Luckily no one else was in the bathroom at the time to witness our event.

I guess it wasn’t that bad, but man when you’re in the shit it’s just awful.  All you want to do is hide away from everyone walking by and staring, or giving you looks of pity.

Now for this whole being sick thing.  He’s got Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.  The CDC describes HFMD as this: Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth (herpangina), and a skin rash.When I first noticed it I thought it was chicken pox.  He had been feeling crummy for a couple of days and it was becoming clear as to why.  He had a fever of 103.6.  A child with a temperature of 104 is to be brought into the ER immediately.  I started quietly panicking in my mind.  I had never felt that kind of heat on a person before.  You always hear people say He’s burning up.  Well, he was.  He had the fever chills, and was just plain miserable.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I learned it was HFMD.  Of course I did all the internet research I possibly could regarding chicken pox (there’s no treatment, use calamine lotion, cortizone cream, stay hydrated).  But when I called Kaiser’s advice line the nurse was tipped off by me saying he had the pox on the soles of his feet and palms of his hands.  This is the trademark move of HFMD.I thought, great!  Now, what do we do?  There’s nothing you can do except make him comfortable.  It’s a virus, so it can’t be treated with antibiotics.  So I’ve just been slathering him in calamine lotion, cortizone cream, anti-fungal cream and making sure he stays hydrated.  He’s feeling better now, but his poor arms, legs, hands, feet and butt (Yes, his butt got the worst of it.  They don’t really tell you that though.) man they are just covered in these blisters.  It’s awful.  And what’s more awful is that Rob’s got it now.  Yay!  Let’s just pass it back and forth and share the love with everyone!

The real beauty of this disease is that you can transmit it for weeks after your symptoms are gone.  When do I let him play with other kids?  I just don’t know what to do.  And now that Rob’s got it, do we close our house up to visitors for a while?  Somebody make this go away please and thank you.

I found this article from USA Today talking about a new strain of HFMD that’s making the rounds.

I know kids are little carrier monkeys, but jeez.  Why does my Max always seem to get the weird stuff.  I mean really, from birth the poor kid hasn’t had the easiest time with the jaundice and the head bruises and the torticollis and plagiocephaly and the whole helmet saga, and the peanut/tree nut allergy.  I don’t want him to have to take on anymore crazy ailments.

Had to get this out.  It’s just been a bitch of a day so far.


4 thoughts on “Let’s talk about tantrums! And Hand Foot and Mouth Disease!

  1. Hi, I love you and your writing. Our neighborhood just had a tidal wave of HFMD, which feels like it should be called Mad Cow or something, right? Weird how every kid hung out together and shared drinks and swimming pools and a trampoline around 4th of July and about half the kids got it and half never did. No adults. Poor Rob, that sucks. I don’t think you can keep your kid quarantined forever. Everybody’s been exposed to it at this point, right? Give it a week, and then I’d say you’re good. Love, Dr. Erin Mc

  2. Pingback: 16 Months Old « Baby, let's play house

  3. Oh my gosh, it’s as if I wrote this myself. On every level I relate. My son just got diagnosed with hfmv and what a nightmare it has been!!!! He too had all the weird stuff, the helmet (we live in AZ so his poor little head was a sweaty mess all the time). We have had several trips to the er with one which was terribly scary, rsv with bronchiolitis. I know things could be much worse. I am grateful it isn’t. But man am I exhausted from the never ending illnesses. It must end!!

    • Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry for all your troubles! Doesn’t it always feel like there’s something going on? There certainly is never a dull moment in parenthood;) And HFMD is the worst. I felt so bad for my son (and yours too!) because it looks so incredibly uncomfortable, and to have a fever on top of that? Yikes. I hope your boy is feeling better soon!

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