Hand and foot and mouth, oh my.

04/25/2012 at 11:11 am | Posted in baby sunshine | 10 Comments
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Poor Sophie. Little Miss has had a rough couple of days.

It all started with that tell-tell cry Tuesday night. The one that means something isn’t right.

Marc had just finished putting Sophie to bed and I was reading with Lily. In a matter of seconds, Sophie’s cry escalated into one of those someone-better-come-get-me-now screams. My heart sank. Marc rocked and rocked and walked and bounced and shushed her. After a little while, I couldn’t take it anymore. Baby cries are still a huge anxiety trigger for me. I squeezed Lily and told her that I had to go help her sister. She asked for her daddy to come snuggle. So Marc and I traded. And thus began one of the most awful nights we’ve ever experienced.

I rocked Sophie til she snored. Gingerly placed her into the crib. She screamed.

And repeat.

So I ended up “sleeping” with her in the big brown chair. She spiked a fever and fought her medicine. Then Marc dozed with her on the couch. She thrashed and whined and cried in her sleep. And every now and then, she’d wake suddenly with a scream.

Ear infection, I thought for sure.

So I was shocked at our appointment the next morning when the pediatrician said her ears were fine. Then she peeked into Sophie’s mouth, and boom. Blisters everywhere. And her fever was still going strong. But she had no rash on her hands or feet. The doctor says it’s a “nasty virus” in her throat. I say hand, foot and mouth disease — minus the hand and foot. Six of one, a half dozen of another, right?

Sophie's ONLY happy place yesterday

I’ve learned a few things that I want to share, in case any of you ever has to experience this:

– HFM affects kids up to age 5; it’s highly contagious. Adults are immune, says Dr. Google (but we’ll see about that.)
– The sores hurt like hell. For pain relief, we’re relying on a steady rotation of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
– Sophie doesn’t want to eat because it hurts too much to swallow, so we’re chilling everything. She’ll take small amounts of cold formula, juice, fruit purees and yogurt. Popsicles and ice cream also are good. Nothing acidic. Just be sure it has calories, the doctor said.
– The drool is epic. I thought for sure new teeth were coming in. They’re not. She just doesn’t want to swallow because it hurts. Hello bib after bib after bib.

The good news? Last night was better than the one before, and her fever seems to have dropped. Still no rash. Hooray.

Now, to keep big sister from picking it up …



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  1. Oh no! Get well soon, Sophie! 😦

  2. Unfortunately I can confirm that adults can get HFM. My friend got it from her son and she said the sores were INSANELY painful. Her ped said that most adults have had it so it is rare but not uncommon.

    I tweeted this but thought I would make sure to follow up. You can use liquid maalox inside the mouth before eating to coat the sores. My boys would not eat anything with HFM until we used maalox. We used a syringe and squirted it inside the mouth to coat the sores right before meals.

    Oh and my boys got it twice. The first time was mild enough that they didn’t build up an immunity to it. The second time? Horrible.

  3. I also hate to tell you but my husband caught HFM from my daugther too! He had it worse than she did. We were actually in the Pediatrician’s office when our wonederful Dr. said that they both had it! My daughter just had the fever and a few sores on her hands and feet and a crazy looking rash all over her body. My poor husband had it everywhere and spiked a REALLY high fever.

    I hope Sophie feels better soon and that you guys get some rest!

  4. oh no! so sorry to hear this. ioan had it last fall, and a friend of mine (mother to 3 boys) confirmed for me then she had in fact caught HFM twice, which is rare, but there is more than one virus variant that causes it. ioan had the awful mouth sores (it looked like about 20 huge canker sores on his tongue and gums and cheeks) and a brutal rash on his bum and feet, but not his hands. fever high too but the motrin/tylenol rotation worked for us eventually. hang in there, so hard when they are miserable and can’t eat anything. hope she feels better very soon.

  5. Get well soon Sophie! Suzanne –you are the 2nd person this week that has told me their child has HFM -strange. My niece had it a few months ago and after it was diagnosed and she was on medicine, she improved quickly. Sending you healthy vibes!

  6. Oh poor Sophie! D had HFM this winter, with the little red blister-like sores on her hands and feet, but only about 1-2 tiny ones on the roof of her mouth. She didn’t have the high fever either, so that’s why I was surprised by the diagnosis (admittedly, I didn’t even see the mouth ones until the doctor opened D’s mouth wide). I really hope it goes away quickly for you guys – that stuff is nasty!

  7. Poor sweet baby girl. Hope she is better soon!

  8. So sorry to hear Sophie has HFM. We had it going around for what seemed like forever at the school I where I work. Sounds like it could also be thrush; a similar virus that typically presents in the mouth as blisters.

  9. That’s horrible. I hope it goes away quickly. I will keep your daughter in my prayers.

  10. I missed this when you first posted it… poor poor thing. I’ve seen hand foot and mouth run wild a couple of times in the two centers I’ve worked at, it is just awful!

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