Hand, Foot and Mouth My Ass

For the past two weeks we’ve been sick.  And by we I mean Aellyn, Asher, Boston, AND me!  We had Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease which is a common childhood illness caused by the coxsackie virus.  It normally starts with a fever and sore throat and then two days later you develop a rash and blisters in and around the mouth, on the soles of the feet, and the palms of the hands.  It isn’t dangerous and the biggest risk is dehydration due to difficulty swallowing.

Asher's HFM sores

Asher got it first and holy hell did he get it bad.  He ran a high fever for 48 hours.  (I don’t own a thermometer I trust my sense of touch.)  And then he got huge ulcers all over his hands, legs, diaper area, and mouth.  They were HORRIBLE.  Plus he was covered in a rash from head to toe.  After the fever though he didn’t seem to be in any pain or itching.

Boston was next.  He had a low grade fever for about 20 hours and then a day later got some spots on his mouth and on both his legs.  He also wasn’t bothered much post-fever.

Aellyn had a low fever for maybe 12 hours and had a grand total of 8 blisters all on her upper arms.

All in all it wasn’t too bad and the kids LOOK sick much longer because once the blisters dry over they take time to go away.  People keep asking if Asher has chicken pox and I keep saying ‘I wish’ hoping to bait someone into an argument about vaccination – lol!

And then I got a fever.  I had a low grade fever that was easily broken with Motrin for 24 hours.  I started to feel some tingly spots on my palms and I was praying I got it easy like Aellyn.

No such luck.  24 hours after my fever my palms and soles felt like screaming hot burns.  A constant throb and crazy-making itch.  But unlike a pox itch or poison ivy actually scratching it is near impossible because it hurts so bad.  The skin is so sensitive like a raw burn.  I couldn’t wash dishes because even slightly warm water burns so bad.  Plus my hands and feet feel swollen like they are about to burst.  I can’t close my hands and walking is excruciating.  I couldn’t sleep because of the pain/itch.  At one point I smeared orajel on my hands and feet because it was the only thing on hand and I was desperate.  It didn’t work.  Keeping myself dosed with Motrin was the only thing that gave the slightest relief.  Pure. Hell.  But I’m not done – my scalp – every inch of it is covered in blisters.  I want to shave my head.  And cry.  Lots of crying.

I think I’m on the mend (I’m typing after all!)  I’m soaking my feet in ice water and elevating them.  Thank goodness my sister came to take care of the kids so I could get some sleep and mend.  I’ve since read that kids are rarely bothered by the rash/blisters unless they make it hard to eat.  Adults on the other hand can be in intense pain.  No, really?

Whew, Coxsackie can suck it.  May you never have to find out.


8 thoughts on “Hand, Foot and Mouth My Ass

  1. This was me and my little one about 6 weeks ago!! Logan got a rash all over his body which we didn't know what it was and the blisters around his hands and mouth and diaper area. Then after it seemed to be better I got a fever and sore throat and then woke up one day with my hands breaking out in these horribly painful blisters!! I got some IN my mouth (though luckily none around or on feet) and after a 4 day weekend off work (that was nice!) I was better. It did hurt to close my hands and they were swollen, I was also really tired.


  2. Poor mama…. You sound like the worst adult case I have ever seen. Having worked in a daycare setting for years helped me get exosure to HFM numerous times. Only one of my own kids ever showed anything other than mild symptoms. Hopefully you guys will never have to go through it again…. Feel better.


  3. Oh wow, I'd even read this (and commented) before. I'm wondering if calamine might help her. She's only 3½, but it is causing her pain. She looked like she wanted to scratch the skin off her foot tonight and was screaming. (She screams.)
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