G had a runny nose last Sunday, developed a mild fever Wednesday evening, and a rash started kind of appearing Thursday night but really got going on Friday, and she slept absolutely horribly Thursday night into Friday (up every hour almost, including a 3 hour screaming fit from midnight to 3 am). Something was clearly wrong. The difference in her skin between Friday morning and Friday afternoon was really scary. I, of course, googled some things and determined she must have something like Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. She hadn't seemed to have anything in her mouth, but everything else fit.
Thankfully her doctor's office was able to get her in Friday afternoon (20 minutes after I called). The doctor confirmed my suspicions, in a way, by saying that this was 99% certainly a Coxsackie Virus (causes HFMD). He wouldn't say 100% without a blood test, which wasn't really necessary because either way we just had to manage her symptoms.
Since Friday, there hasn't been too much change. She is irritable beyond all get out and hasn't slept great (except the miraculous STTN that occurred Saturday night due, I'm sure, to the pleading/praying I did with God). I think that is because Coxsackie causes pain, arthritis like joint aches, and soreness. She has little red bumps/rash all over her legs and a couple pitiful sores on her thighs (those are the only thing that she seems to scratch at, and they remind me of chicken pox). She has some rash on her hands and feet, but also a few blistery things. The worst sore is on her thumb, which we think was exasperated by her thumb sucking. We've since put little socks on her hands to both curb her thumb sucking and also reduce the irritation to her hands. She doesn't really pull on them too much and it is definitely reducing her thumb sucking. I think it is really effective and hope that it actually stops her thumb sucking completely. (Can a girl get one good thing out of her baby being sick?)
She's eating good enough, and nursing great, and all things considered, she's handling this stupid virus well. She has slammed her body down, dug her head into the floor, kicked her legs, screamed a lot, and cried countless tears...but wouldn't you if you were experiencing the worst pain known to you? I've had to hold back my own tears, and one night I was on the verge of asking my husband to take over because I was about to lose it. I know there are babies experiencing worse sicknesses--and trust me, I pray for them on a daily basis (even before G got sick)--but when I am watching my precious little girl writhe in pain, and there's nothing I can do because it's two hours until she can have the next dose of ibuprofen, I just feel so sad.
In the big scheme of this illness, she has a mild to moderate case--apparently some kids don't even show outward symptoms. I also guess adults are substantially less likely to 'get' it, but time will only tell if my husband or I come down with coxsackie.
I had never heard of Coxsackie until a few days ago, although I had heard of HFMD through some mom circles, but prior to having a kid I had no clue.
Coxsackie is under the same family of viruses as Polio--no wonder it hurts!
Coxsackie is often deadly in some Asian countries. It can lead to meningitis and a variety of other fatal illnesses.
There is a current outbreak of an odd-strain of Coxsackie around the country, but it's not a "reportable illness" by the CDC, so many cases are not reported. So whatever number you might see in the news, I bet you can multiply by at least 20, but I'm no statistician.
There are 24 types of Coxsackie, so even if you get one...you may get another. boo :-(
The virus affects mostly kids under 5 and lasts about a week.
Google Coxsackie or Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease for some pictures, I'm not going to take or post pictures of G's specific illness because I think that's distasteful.
I'm soooo hoping she gets better for our trip to Kansas City, I really don't want to A) stay here alone, B) cancel a non-refundable plane ticket and C) go an unknown amount of months before seeing old friends/BFF/my sister and our cousins.