Diagnosis: Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

HFMD_ABH

No parent wants to get the dreaded mid-afternoon call from their daycare provider; and that was just what happened a few weeks ago when Amir’s temperature spiked to 103 and he couldn’t keep down his food. I immediately wrapped up a call I was on and jumped in the car to pick him up. I arrived to find him sitting off to the side looking sadder than a pound puppy and scooped him up for a quick trip to the Urgent Care. The initial diagnosis was a simple virus as there were no visible signs that he’d contracted anything or had been bitten by something. We chalked it up to his immune system doing what it does.

Fast forward 24 hours and all hell broke loose…

I had already decided that he wouldn’t be going back to daycare for the rest of the week, so his father took him to his primary to check why in addition to the fever, he wasn’t eating. I was hoping that maybe it was just more teeth coming in, but lo’ and behold, once the Pediatrician took a look inside his mouth he noticed a few small red mouth sores. Diagnosis: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

“Isn’t that what horses get?” Was the first response from his dad; to which the doc replied “No, that’s Foot and Mouth Disease.” So, in the words of my dear mother, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?” {taken directly from her text message response to his diagnosis}. I wanted to say “the devil, Ma. HFMD is the devil!” but here is a better explanation of what it is, directly from my little’s visit summary report:

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
{also referred to as Coxsackie Virus}

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is an illness caused by a type of germ (virus). Most people are better in 1 week. It can spread easily (contagious). It can be spread through contact with an infected persons:

  • Spit (saliva).
  • Snot (nasal discharge).
  • Poop (stool)

Sidenote: I appreciate the layman’s terms…but poop? Ok, back to the diagnosis: 

HOME CARE

  • Feed your child healthy foods and drinks.
    • Avoid salty, spicy, or acidic foods or drinks.
    • Offer soft foods and cold drinks.
  • Ask your doctor about replacing body fluid loss (rehydration).
  • Avoid bottles for younger children if it causes pain. Use a cup, spoon, or syringe.
  • Keep your child out of childcare, schools, or other group settings during the first few days of the illness, or until they are without fever.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your child has signs of body fluid loss (dehydration):
    • Peeing (urinating) less.
    • Dry mouth, tongue, or lips.
    • Decreased tears or sunken eyes.
    • Dry skin.
    • Fast breathing.
    • Fussy behavior.
    • Poor color or pale skin.
    • Fingertips take more than 2 seconds to turn pink again after a gentle squeeze.
    • Fast weight loss.
  • Your child’s pain does not get better.
  • Your child has a severe headache, stiff neck, or has a change in behavior.
  • Your child has sores (ulcers) or blisters on the lips or outside of the mouth.

Luckily, Amir’s bout with HFMD wasn’t a severe one and lasted about 4 days with no rash on his face, hands or feet. However, I have a coworker whose daughter had the red splotches all over her fat cheeks for weeks–and unlike Wu-Tang, HFMD ain’t just for the kids…I’ve got two homegirls that have gotten it, one who even lost some fingernails. Be safe beloveds.

xoJI

3 Comments

  1. Colinette
    September 28, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    This is so informative and educational. I love to read and will be sharing also. My concern today is feeling un easy about the pressure of getting 9 month old baby the flu shot. I dont like of the things i have read about it. Any more moms for it or against it ?

    • October 9, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      I’ll be honest, I haven’t gotten Amir a flu shot since he came home from the NICU. Last year, the vaccine that they were giving wasn’t affective against the strain of flu going around, so I was like “why get it?” I probably won’t get him one this year either. – xoJeniece

  2. October 9, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    your mother’s response was so Brooklyn, hilarious.

    None of my boys ever had it but I do know it to be common amongst the little ones once they start crawling about…

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