Sunday, November 15, 2009

O The Sick Little Children

Wow, I didn't even make it a week before my schedule tanked. Does going out of state at the last minute count as an acceptable excuse? I hope so. Well, if it doesn't, I can just call it "settling in." Or something.

What's going on in my world? The Swine Flu came and went with barely a disturbance to our household, making me laugh even harder at the End Of The World Epidemic People, but now we have another nasty mofo in our house: Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease. If you're going, "Say what? What the hell is that?" you're in good company. I did the same thing. It's a virus, it causes blisters in guess where! the hands, feet, and mouth, and potentially other places, and is generally a pain in the ass.

Andrea has it so bad in her mouth that she refuses to eat practically anything, and won't drink most juices. Can't blame her there... acid + sores in the mouth = ouch. Milk and water -- the colder the better -- have been our fallback, but swallowing hurts like the devil. While we were out of state, she became so dehydrated that I actually had my father-in-law drag my aching, migraine-suffering, nauseated ass off to the ER to get her seen.

Not. Fun.

Turns out the few sores I thought were just on her cheeks were actually legion and all over the roof of her mouth and down her throat. Hence, the rabid desire not to swallow anything. The very very nice student doctor who should really become a pediatric specialist of some sort wanted to avoid an IV almost as much as I did, and brought her three different kinds of juice to try since they had no milk in the ER, just to see if she could drink on her own. She sucked them all down when he asked why she did it for him and not for mom, only toddlers will ever understand so she narrowly avoided that horror.

Apparently, I was right to bring her in, though. Her fever was running just over 100 after a round of Tylenol, so they also gave her Motrin, which brought it down some more and finally got her out of her very disturbing glassy-eyed funk. I am not one of those mothers who panics every time her child has a fever. Only when they swallow potentially toxic stuff... that scares the bejeebus out of me. Most of the day, she'd just acted like she had a bug. Stomach bug, flu bug, whatever. I figured rest and Tylenol would cure it like it had so many times for me as a child, and she'd feel well enough to eat and drink after a good solid nap.

But no. She woke up drooling sticky drool, unable to swallow at all, burning up, glassy-eyed, incoherent, crying inconsolably, and generally acting like she was half-dead. This? Scared me. I can handle broken bones, bleeding, puking, knocked-out teeth, split open skulls, and sicknesses of all sorts, even if inside I'm questioning myself to hell and back. I have had most if not all of those things in my childhood and as much as my memory in other things sucks, the treatment of various bumps, bruises, and illnesses is ingrained in me. After I get over the initial shock of my poor little baby suffering these horrors, I generally can triage pretty well.

But this time I was terrified. I know the markers of severe dehydration. I know how serious that is. Most people with high fevers will sweat to try to cool the body through evaporation. She had no water left. Her skin was bone dry, and she cried no tears. I pray I never have to see any of my children like that again. So if the child wants ice cream, by damn, she's gonna get ice cream. And popsicles. And chocolate milk. Anything she's willing to put in her mouth is fine by me, whether it be healthy or total junk. I cannot see her that way again, Internetz. Bring on the murdering psychos first. I'll deal with them with a smile if it means I never have to see that shit again.

And this virus is supposed to be highly contagious. Which means the other child will soon fall victim. *sigh* If there's any pity in the universe, it'll be after Andrea and I feel a little better. Why do I get the feeling there is no pity to be had? Eeep.

So, will you forgive me for welshing on the scheduled posting? Pretty please?


Shawna said...

Forgiven. My son had that HFM thing twice. The first time he caught it from a moon walk and I don't know where the second time. He didn't have it that bad and was still able to eat and drink but I could tell it hurt him. I have heard that it's like chicken pox, once you get it you shouldn't get it again but that's crap. I know 3-4 kids that have had it more than once. Good luck and hope everyone is better soon.

12gViolet said...

Being all geeky and weird, I looked it up (read: totally obsessed over it via Google for like, an hour) and it's true, if you get a sufficiently good dose of the virus, it isn't likely to hit you again. Unfortunately, there are several viruses in the family that cause HFM, and getting immunity to one may or may not help you against the others. Because the universe is fucking MEAN like that.

Pamela - Headboard said...

Love it! A happy holiday shopping season to you and your blog readers.