Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hand , Foot and Mouth Disease

Last week, both Miles and Vivienne had hand, foot and mouth disease.  It all started with Miles on a Saturday morning.  He was seeming a little puny, and I noticed that he had little spots on his feet.  It almost looked like he had poison ivy on his feet.  But I knew that he had not been outside barefoot or even in sandals, so this wasn't a possibility.  His crankiness progressed and he started a mild fever.  After a short bit of internet research, it became pretty clear that this was HFM.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do for HFM, because it's a viral infection.  It causes a rash on the hands, feet and in the mouth.  By Sunday it was clear that Vivienne also had it. 

Within a couple days, their entire bodies (minus their faces, for the most part, THANK GOODNESS) were covered in tiny red dots.  Their hands and their feet had blisters that looked like water blisters.  The worst part for both of them was their right thumbs, because they suck those thumbs when they sleep or need comfort.  So their thumbs both looked like one gigantic blister.  It was pretty gross.  I never really confirmed that they had blisters in their mouths, but they sounded hoarse and didn't seem to have quite their usual appetite. 

Vivienne had trouble sleeping at night.  We had two nights of very, very bad sleep.  One night, she woke up crying, and it was clear that she was not going to put herself back to sleep like she usually does.  I went in to hold her and eventually got her to doze off in my arms.  But when I put her back in the crib, she would wake up and start screaming, "Mommy!  Mommy!" in this pitiful, hoarse, tiny little voice.  At that point, both she and I were in tears and Jason went back in to get her again.  I tried sleeping with her in the recliner, but with the weight of her body and the baby, there was no way I was going to be able to sleep like that. 

We ended up sleeping with her in our bed that night.  This is the first time she has done that since she was a tiny infant.  I think it's safe to say that neither Jason nor I got very much sleep that night.  Vivienne moved around so much that she kept waking us up.  We were also paranoid about rolling on her or pulling the covers over her, so we weren't sleeping very soundly.

All of this was accompanied by some pretty funky diarrhea.  Needless to say, we used disposable diapers for most of last week.

The hardest part for me is that the kids were a couple days out of phase with each other with the disease.  So instead of 2 really bad days, like you might have with a single child, I had 4 really bad days in a row.  When Miles was in the worst of it, Viv hadn't really been hit yet.  Once Miles was feeling better, Vivienne was in the thick of it.

Jason and I both agree that this was by far the worst sickness the kids have had.  I guess I should consider it a blessing to be able to say that.  I'm glad that we're on this side of it now, and hopefully they won't get it again anytime soon.


  1. Adria managed to get HFM three times. Since your kids are almost 2 hopefully this will be their only time.

  2. SO glad you made it through this. It sounds horrible. And quite pitiful too, especially when there's very little you can do to help your babies feel better.

  3. That's quite an adventure, I'm glad you guys made it through. The double-whammy is definitely tough. At least you and Jason didn't get it, right?

    I must say, "didn't seem to have quite their usual appetite" sounds like a blessing to me. My memory of HFM didn't involve quite as much blistering, but it was several terrible days of trying to get Adria to drink *anything* so that she wouldn't end up in the hospital with an IV. :-/