Head, Shoulders knees Hand Foot and Mouth disease (part 2)

Aerin's arms with the Hand Foot and Mouth disease
Baby’s arm near the bottom

So for the past few days we’ve been down with hand and mouth disease with baby Aerin. We went through this with Maggie before, but it didn’t seem to be as bad. Baby Aerin’s good mood disappeared and she became pretty much unable to swallow anything for a couple of days.

This started on the day she got her follow up flu shot. Later in the day she started breaking out with pox-like scars and a high temperature. We called the on-call doctor at about 8pm for her pediatrician who assured my wife there was no way that we had gotten the follow up flu shot because they were completely out of stock and that my baby must be having a reaction to any number of immunizations that sounded similar.

No, it was the fucking flu shot, but still we spent the night googling everything they could have given her and the possible side effects. Nothing looked like that. This was hands foot and mouth disease, diagnosis made easier by the fact that there’s a giant sign at daycare warning that the health department has diagnosed it there.

Anyway, the following day I called up the pediatrician’s office and had them verify that in fact they were not out of the flu shot (they called their lab tech to verify,) had not been out of it, and that my daughter indeed did get an influenza booster which I had signed for the previous day.

Their night doctor basically sent us on a wild guessing game of “what the hell did they give my baby?”

Not being able to swallow (sore throat) was problematic because when she popped a fever that was spiraling north of 102 we couldn’t get any medication down her throat. The only useful thing that night pediatrician mentioned was to put medicine in a bottle nipple. That worked once.

We put it in with an ice cube after the next time failed so it was easier to swallow. That did the trick slightly better.

The fever broke in time for her to only be vaguely plague-y for Easter (should have only been spittle based at that point.) We took her to a friend’s party, told everyone around what the disease was, how it’s spread, chances of an adult getting it, made sure nobody was going to be around anyone with a compromised immune system, and then just let a baby who was feeling mostly better watch as people ran around searching for eggs.

Other than it looking a bit like she was attacked by a squirrel or something, she’s come through this pretty well and is back at daycare today. I questioned what their policy was on this, as it appears that babies with Hand foot and mouth disease can carry it in their spittle two days later, and in their poop up to two weeks later, but I’m not going to argue and I’m pretty sure every child there has it at this point.

  • JH

    Sorry to hear. That’s no fun. Our nearly 4 month old has been teething the past week or so and has been incredibly fussy. Never fun with a sick kid. Especially since they can’t tell you exactly what they feel. Get better soon Aerin!

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