I am alone and bored out of my mind. “How?” I hear you say when I have 3 children a husband a house to work on and 2 dogs? well, it all started three days ago.
Three Days Ago:
My father invited us all over to swim that day but Baby B didn’t look so good so he and I stayed home while the kids went on. Surly enough, a couple of hours later he had a fever and was lethargic and sniffly and tears kept rolling down his face uncontrollably even when he was sleeping. It was all just so sad. GP came, GP saw, GP said “throat infection give antibiotics” in more words than that but that’s the important bit. So, we did as told and gave antibiotics.
Two Days Ago:
Baby B’s fever broke during the night and all was nice and calm. He had a few mosquito bits but didn’t seem too bothered. Must spray his room in the morning. Morning comes, Baby B’s great. Second dose of antibiotics administered and we all played together. J kept asking why it was ok for me to be holding Baby B and not her. I told her because I am his mama and, generally, I have better immunity so I’m not likely to get sick, and if I do it is ok because I love him and need to give him hugs and kisses.
I go out to see the new Ritz hotel here (Lobby is now open for tea and coffee and a few snacks. The place is… well you know what… its fugly, but we’ll leave that to another post). I ordered some soup and felt like the inside of my mouth was a bit soar. Food allergy? Dryness? dunno… not important.
I went out to get some things done for the house and to a couple of appointment and when I got home in the evening I noticed B’s mosquito bites had multiplied… I stripped his clothes off and saw he had them on his arms and thighs… interesting. Called GP. GP saw, GP diagnosed. “Stop Antibiotics! It’s Chicken Pox” (I can tell the words were capitalized from the way he said it). Oh… Chicken Pox… Interesting… The only child who is not in school… Keep kids away! All three of them have been vaccinated though… isn’t that a bit weird?
I go out to get something from the shops then go to dinner with some friends. Great time. We went to the entrecote (New one on Tahliya street just before the Hilal Store. If you are a fan of the original in Paris or just happen to like steak this is an AMAZING restaurant to go to!) My tongue felt like I had burned it… must be the soup. The inside of my mouth as well.
The day of J’s end of year show. We spent the whole of last years show being told off by the head mistress and the teachers like we were children “Stop Taking Photo’s! If you are not a mother or a grandmother do not sit in the first 5 rows!” then they would walk down, eye the mothers and try to figure out if there was a “mother poser” in the crowed who they would promptly have words with (words that are ignored completely) but I must commend their persistence. This year was no different.
The show was late, the sound was off, the place was steaming hot but the kids were adorable!
My mouth hurts… I feel ill.
In the car on the way home S was telling J how cute she was and that he really loved the show and did she see him waving and can he come again next year. J said “I wanted to be good for you and for mama”.
I get home and B is running around as happy as B can B. I check his arms and legs again and it looks more like a rash. I strip him down again and there are no spots on his tummy, chest or back. Not convinced this is Chicken pox. Called Pediatrician. Pediatrician saw. Pediatrician diagnosed! “This is not Chicken Pox! This is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease“.
Now, had I not known a child and mother who got HFM disease last year and were fine I would have freaked out because of vague memories of people in the UK freaking out about this disease. Then I read on Wikipedia “HFMD is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which is a disease affecting sheep, cattle, and swine, and which is unrelated to HFMD ” so no. It has nothing to do with the freak out in the UK.
Me: “Ummm… My mouth hurts” Pediatrician saw, Pediatrician diagnosed:”Hand Foot and Mouth Disease! Wait. It will go. Have lots of lollies”
So, I am in quarantine with my Baby. And while he is having a great time there is only so much “Hadi Badi” I can play, and so many “Doha ya Doha’s” I can sing and if I have to do “DAY!” (Arabic version of peekaboo) Again I might just have to kill myself. Bed time is a blessing, Nanny is a gift from God. If I wasn’t afraid to infect here I would give her a big fat kiss.
If you want to see more information about the disease please click the ‘continue reading’ link
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children. Characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.
There’s no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. You can reduce your risk of infection from hand-foot-and-mouth disease by practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands often and thoroughly.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease may cause all of the following signs and symptoms or just some of them. They include:
- Sore throat
- Feeling of being unwell (malaise)
- Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks
- A red, nonitchy, possibly blistery rash on palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and sometimes the buttocks
- Irritability in infants and toddlers
- Loss of appetite
The usual period from initial infection to the onset of signs and symptoms (incubation period) is three to seven days. A fever is often the first sign of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by a sore throat and sometimes a poor appetite and malaise. One or two days after the fever begins, painful sores may develop in the mouth or throat. A rash on the hands and feet and possibly on the buttocks can follow within one or two days.
When to see a doctor
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. Contact your doctor, however, if mouth sores or a sore throat keep your child from drinking fluids. Contact your doctor also if after a few days, your child’s signs and symptoms worsen.
The most common cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is infection due to the coxsackievirus A16. The coxsackievirus belongs to a group of viruses called nonpolio enteroviruses. Other enteroviruses sometimes cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Oral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness spreads by person-to-person contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of someone with the infection. The virus can also spread through a mist of fluid sprayed into the air when someone coughs or sneezes.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most common in children in child care settings because of frequent diaper changes and potty training, and because little children often put their hands in their mouths.
Although your child is most contagious with hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in his or her body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child still can infect others.
Some people, particularly adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.
Outbreaks of the disease are more common in summer and autumn in the United States and other temperate climates. In tropical climates, outbreaks occur year-round.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease isn’t related to foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease), which is an infectious viral disease found in farm animals. You can’t contract hand-foot-and-mouth disease from pets or other animals, and you can’t transmit it to them.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease primarily affects children younger than age 10. Children in child care centers are especially susceptible to outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease because the infection spreads by person-to-person contact, and young children are the most susceptible.
Children usually develop immunity to hand-foot-and-mouth disease as they get older by building antibodies after exposure to the virus that causes the disease. However, it’s possible for adolescents and adults to get the disease.
The most common complication of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is dehydration. The illness can cause sores in the mouth and throat, making swallowing painful and difficult. Watch closely to make sure your child consumes adequate amounts of fluids during the course of the illness. If dehydration is severe, intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. However, a rare and sometimes serious form of the coxsackievirus can involve the brain and cause other complications:
- Viral meningitis. This is an infection and inflammation of the membranes (meninges) and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Viral meningitis is usually mild and often clears on its own.
- Encephalitis. This severe and potentially life-threatening disease involves brain inflammation caused by a virus. Encephalitis is rare.
Preparing for your appointment
If you take your child to a doctor, make the most of your time by writing down information the doctor will need before you go, including:
- Any signs and symptoms your child is experiencing
- How long your child has been having signs and symptoms
- Whether your child has been in child care or other environments where the disease might be spread
- Any questions you have
What you can do in the meantime
To help lessen discomfort, doctors often recommend:
- Getting rest
- Drinking fluids — milk-based fluids may be easier to tolerate than acidic liquids, such as juice or soda
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), if needed, but they’re not necessary for low-grade fevers
- Using mouthwash or oral sprays that numb pain
Tests and diagnosis
Your doctor will likely be able to distinguish hand-foot-and-mouth disease from other types of viral infections by evaluating:
- The age of the affected person
- The pattern of signs and symptoms
- The appearance of the rash or sores
A throat swab or stool specimen may be taken and sent to the laboratory to determine which virus caused the illness. However, your doctor probably won’t need this type of testing to diagnose hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Treatments and drugs
There’s no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Signs and symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease usually clear up in seven to 10 days.
A topical oral anesthetic may help relieve the pain of mouth sores. Over-the-counter pain medications other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) may help relieve general discomfort.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Certain foods and beverages may irritate blisters on the tongue or in the mouth or throat. Try these tips to help make blister soreness less bothersome and eating and drinking more tolerable:
- Suck on ice pops or ice chips
- Eat ice cream or sherbet
- Drink cold beverages, such as milk or ice water
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, fruit drinks and soda
- Avoid salty or spicy foods
- Eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing
- Rinse your mouth with warm water after meals
If your child is able to rinse without swallowing, rinsing the inside of his or her mouth with warm salt water may be soothing. Mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) of salt with 1 cup (240 milliliters) of warm water. Have your child rinse with this solution several times a day, or as often as needed to help reduce the pain and inflammation of mouth and throat sores caused by hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Certain precautions can help to reduce the risk of infection with hand-foot-and-mouth disease:
- Wash hands carefully. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper, and before preparing food and eating. When soap and water aren’t available, use hand wipes or gels treated with germ-killing alcohol.
- Disinfect common areas. Get in the habit of cleaning high-traffic areas and surfaces first with soap and water, then with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach, approximately 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of bleach to 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water. Child care centers should follow a strict schedule of cleaning and disinfecting all common areas, including shared items such as toys, as the virus can live on these objects for days. Clean your baby’s pacifiers often.
- Teach good hygiene. Be a positive role model by showing your children how to practice good hygiene and how to keep themselves clean. Explain to them why it’s best not to put their fingers, hands or any other objects in their mouths.
- Isolate contagious people. Because hand-foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious, people with the illness should limit their exposure to others while they have active signs and symptoms. Keep children with hand-foot-and-mouth disease out of child care or school until fever is gone and mouth sores have healed. If you have the illness, stay home from work.