Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease sounds very similar to the Foot and Mouth disease that made international headlines years back and caused the slaughter of many pigs and cattle. So I’m so glad I knew a little bit about it previously and that it doesn’t come from animals!
For the first day he was just grizzly so I put it down to “just a phase” or “teething”. We went out to Ripon, shopping and as the afternoon progressed Tobias started by his eyes glazing over, looking very lethargic and being extra clingy. When I felt his forehead it was on fire so I knew something was wrong, when I took him home I found his temperature to be over 38oC.
The next day he slept constantly and if he wasn’t asleep he just wanted hugs and to sit with me on the sofa instead of playing. Later that same day I found out that some of his friends (that we had met up with on the Sunday) had developed the disease, so I checked his hands, feet and mouth and there on his left foot was one spot. As the afternoon went on a few more spots appeared and his temperature was increasing so I rang 111 and was sent to hospital. When we arrived we were seen immediately, where shortly after it was confirmed Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The doctor explained that we just had to let it run its course, there was no medication that could help or be prescribed, apart from Calpol. The doctor explained that it was a highly contagious disease but not life threatening or serious, he went on to say that it was very uncomfortable and itchy for the patient.
That night was the start of the hell! When we got home from the hospital, Tobias went straight to bed with Gavin (around 9pm) whilst I stayed up to do some reading. I went to bed at around 11pm and approximately an hour later I awoke to Tobias screaming in pain. When I turned the light on I found that he had developed over twenty spots on his feet and now they were starting to go up his legs. By 3am Tobias was inconsolable so I rang my mum for help. We went to her house shortly after where she took over nursing him so I could get some rest.
By the next morning he had developed more spots that were now on his hands, arms and all over his bottom. By the fourth day, he was covered, hundreds of blisters all over his feet, up to his knees, on his genitals and buttocks, on his hands up to his elbows. He also now had them inside and outside his nose and mouth. On day four his fever broke, thankfully and he seemed to be able to stay awake for longer than two hours at a time.
We’re currently on day five and after reading online it said that this illness could last up to ten days! I don’t know if I can do this much longer, it’s horrendous watching your baby miserable and in pain constantly.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting was the spots to be everywhere, they are concentrated in those specific areas (hands, feet and mouth) however they do show all over his body. I’ve been warned that once the blisters start healing they then peel, which looks like a snake shedding its skin. I found being in water and bathing helped with the itchiness of the spots and blisters and he was able to smile and play for half an hour. The virus is most contagious in the days just before your child spikes a high fever and here lies the problem. There’s no signs of what is to come so you can be out socialising and doing activities that could jeopardise other people, but how could you know! Once you figure out what your child has, everyone in the family will likely have been exposed, so stringent cleanliness is a must.
Here are some pictures of my poor baby over the past couple of days: