Meet the Children

Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD)

June 4, 2013

Like cradle cap, I never expected having to nurse a child down with HFMD. I guess it’s to be expected. After all, Blake is in full-time childcare, the number one place where HFMD spreads.

Labour Day, Wednesday: I received a message from his school, informing all parents that there had been a case of HFMD in Blake’s class. I panicked. Somehow, I felt it in me that something’s going to go wrong. I immediately told Sean that I’ll be keeping Blake home till next week, just to be safe.

Thursday: Everything was good. Blake and I had a fun time with Nakayla. Later that day, I received a second message from the school informing us of another HFMD case from the class right next to Blake’s! This was when I put myself on high alert that something might be really wrong.

Friday: Blake suddenly came running to me, scratching his arms and legs while crying. I saw spots on his arms and legs. I went online to check the symptoms, then took his temperature. Everything seems ok, but I wanted to be sure. I asked the ladies of Singapore Mom Bloggers, and I was told of varied symptoms – all caused by different strains of HFMD. I kept my hopes up that maybe Blake just got bitten a couple times by mosquitoes. But when he started to become cranky and felt warm, despite the thermometer saying otherwise, I gave him a dose of paracetamol. That calmed him down and made him less cranky. That evening, when Sean returned from work, he took Blake to the doctor’s and it was confirmed – Blake has HFMD, with fever at about 38°C. Time to throw out that lousy thermometer of mine. The mom-mometer is so much more accurate.

Before Blake went to the doctor’s, I had called my mother in the afternoon and cried over the phone. I had made plans and was looking forward to them. One of which was Tulipmania with the family, and the other was USS with the husband. My mom said this to me, snapping me out of it (like a day later), “I stopped making plans when you were younger.” She also told me to continue my plans with Sean, and leave the children with her. Then Sean told me to bring Nakayla to Tulipmania, and he will stay home with Blake. So much love for me ♥ I felt kind of silly for crying, and selfish for blaming all these on the universe. Shame on me, I know.

Saturday: Blake’s small little spots started spreading. It still didn’t look that bad, though he had trouble sleeping that night. I thought it would get better the very next day. I was wrong.

Sunday: I spent the day with the family at Tulipmania, so I didn’t see the severity of his condition till I got home. I was shocked! All the tiny spots exploded into big ones, with some looking like really huge blisters. And it can be found on most parts of his body! My heart really sank when I saw him, but I had to keep my distance from him because of Nakayla. Again, he had problems sleeping at night. His appetite during those few days had also been very poor. He couldn’t drink his milk well too, probably cos of some ulcers (though the doctor said there was none, just sore throat).

Monday: Home alone with both Blake and Nakayla. Thankfully, both Blake and Nakayla were co-operative. They took turns to bug me. Haha. It also helped a lot that Blake wasn’t as cranky as the last two days, and Nakayla slept most of the time in her cot. Blake played, read his books, and watched videos through the day. He also finished his milk, ate his lunch (which I made!), and half a bottle of Yakult!

I was further horrified by his condition when I showered for him. Sean had been on full care duty for Blake over the weekend, while I concentrated on Nakayla, so I didn’t see the worst of the lot, which was around his bum!

That afternoon, Blake let me take photos, something he refused the last few days, and here are some.

WARNING: I TOOK CLOSE UPS! I didn’t take the worst of the lot, I couldn’t bare to see them myself.

Doesn’t look like he’s infected with HFMD, eh?

Those on his mouth had cleared a little by the time I took photos

The rest of the days were pretty much the same. Except, he didn’t want to eat mommy’s cooked food anymore. He wanted mostly milk, gummies and whatever snacks he could grab. I gave it all to him. Whatever made him happy during this period, I just gave it him.

It wasn’t the same when Blake was at my mom’s for the day though. He ate whatever my mom cooked. Granted that it was his favourite macaroni, but I cooked that too and he refused! He even sat down and finished everything before getting up to play! And only a few gummies. Once my mom told him enough, he didn’t take anymore. Sigh. This boy of mine…

On Mother’s Day, I brought Blake to the clinic for a follow up and the doctor gave him an all clear! Best Mother’s Day gift ever! This whole episode really pains me, but my brave little soldier marched on to fight off this horrible virus. And now, he has immunity against this strain of HFMD!

It has been a little over three weeks since he was given the all clear, but he is still healing from the scabs and torn skin. There are also some scars left behind. It really doesn’t help when he has itchy hands like mine, peeling and going at the dried scabs, making things worse. But, this episode is over, and my baby boy showed me that even when down with a disease, spirits can still be kept up – with the help of junk food! 😛

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