"Oh, its only hand, foot and mouth disease" they said casually.
"Wait. Whaaaaaaaat?" said mami, then thinking for a moment and wiping away a tear.
"Um, er, isn't that for animals?!" she stuttered back.
Chuckling, looking at me, the doc replied "no, that is foot and mouth – humans cannot get that. This is HFMD disease, so no worries"
Shocked, and mouth open…"huh? No worries? I've been at the A&E all day and I'm not supposed to worry?"
Those where mami's exact words to the docs at the A&E – and let me tell you, she was not happy! After a full day at two different hospitals, we were sent back home the same way we had arrived – tired, in pain and no solution.
It had all started a few days earlier when I had spent the weekend with a very high fever and refused to eat, and had a small spot around my mouth. I tried telling mami that my throat hurt, but she kept trying to feed me. Sucking on my dummy, eating and swallowing was an absolute torture and I spent my days screaming out in pain.
Poor mami and daddy! They just stared at me with sad eyes, confused as to what to do. They tried all sorts of things to make me feel better – like giving me lots of hugs and kisses, and even letting me have the remote, but I just wanted to be left alone. They had no idea just how much pain I was in.
One of the nights when the pain was especially too much to bear, I woke up screaming and mami came and held me close. She whispered softly “¿qué pasa Little M? ¿Dime cómo te ayudo? No llores mas, te quiero mucho mi niño”/”What’s wrong Little M? What can I do? Don’t cry anymore, I love you very much my baby” It broke her heart to see me this way, so she held me close, and rocked me gently as hot tears rolled off her cheeks onto my head.
The next morning, still not knowing what was wrong with me, as she was cleaning off my hands noticed they were covered in bubble-like spots very similar to chicken pox. Right then is when she had that "ah ha" moment and we were off to the A&E.
spots around my mouth
Turns out, HFMD is a viral infection most commonly found in kids under 10. Not painful or itchy on the hands or feet, but ulcers do develop after a few days in the mouth (I had them all over my tongue, cheeks and throat) making it reaaaallly painful and uncomfortable.
Where did I pick up this nasty little infection?
Chances are it was at nursery. We all share toys and I'm guilty of tasting everything once it's in my hands.
Yes – I couldn't see my friends for a week! Mami had to ask to work from home to be with me for a week. (they weren't very happy, but who else will take care of me?)
However, I can say that all's well that ends well – once the ulcers cleared up in my mouth I was back to my old self and mami was back to chasing me! The blisters looked really gross, but at least mami and I were happy again.
Note to mummies
We don't mean to scare you with our crying and screaming, but watch out for these signs:
- Very high fever – 3 nights for me
- Spots on face (around mouth) then chicken pox like blisters
- Not wanting to eat, swallow or use dummy
- Can be mistaken for chicken pox – that's what mami thought at first
- Not my most flattering pictures, but I've included them for you to see just how it looks!
And given what mami had to deal with, she did a great job in remaining calm – it helped me feel better.
Read more on HFMD and get in touch if you have any questions.