The boys have been sick.
It started with Andrew. We noticed some red, blistery spots on his hands last Saturday. I immediately thought of hand, foot, and mouth disease. First of all, this is not hoof and mouth disease. It is simply a virus. Many people have not heard of it. But here is a brief description:
HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months. The usual incubation period is 3–7 days.
It is basically known for painful blisters on the hands, feet, mouth, and tongue. A fever is usually present, and b/c of the mouth/tongue blisters, the child doesn't want to eat.
Thankfully, Andrew's *only* symptom was the blisters. He had some on his hands, feet, bottom, and a couple in his mouth. He never got a fever, he never had trouble eating (no more than usual), and he never even seemed to feel bad at ALL.
So all day Saturday and Sunday, we kept the boys separated (which is hard) to try and prevent Benjamin from getting it. It is not an air-borne illness, so contact was the key.
However, a few hours after he'd been asleep on Sunday night, Benjamin woke up crying. I think it was 12:30.
And you moms know, when your child who never wakes up in the middle of the night, wakes up, he/she is sick.
And you have to gear yourself up for your Mommy Duty.
Well, when I went to check on him, there really didn't seem to be anything wrong with him. I held him for awhile and he went back to sleep.
When he woke up screaming. And burning up with a fever.
The next day wasn't really that bad. I saw a few light spots on his bottom, but no huge blisters. And he wasn't especially irritable. I called and spoke with the doctor. She confirmed that it was most likely HFM, and told me to just try and keep them comfortable. They are no longer contagious when they've been fever free for 24 hours. (And since Andrew never developed a fever, he was fine, even though he still has a few fading blisters.)
At this point, I assumed Benjamin just had a mild case like his brother.
I continued to give him Tylenol and Motrin to keep his fever down and any discomfort at bay.
That night (Monday) was uneventful, as was Tuesday. He didn't feel great, and certainly wasn't his usual chipper and smiley self, but nothing big.
Then Tuesday night came.
Oh my goodness, y'all.
Even with two newborns, I have never been up so much at night.
I've never had to go up and down the stairs so much.
To hold one of my babies that much.
To try so hard to bring comfort when there wasn't really much I could do.
Between 11:30 and 6:30, he woke up every 30 to 60 minutes. I think I went up there eight or nine times. He would just be sitting there in his crib, crying. In pain. Hot with fever. I would hold him, sing with him, pray for him, rock him in the chair, give him medicine when I could. Get him back to sleep.
Then he'd wake up again. And I would groan, throw back the covers, and trudge up 16 stairs. At one point, at about 6 a.m., after I got him back to sleep and left his room, I just curled up in a ball right outside his room (at the top of the stairs) on the carpet and passed out. I just couldn't do the stairs again...going back to bed, getting my hopes up that I was going to get some sleep.
By 6:30 he was up for the day. Matthew got the boys up, as usual, and when he brought them downstairs to me, he asked me if I had seen the blisters on B's tongue.
I hadn't. It had been dark. I was half awake.
But there they were. Horrible. White. Covering a great deal of his tongue. Obviously painful.
Poor, poor baby of mine.
There was only so much pain medicine could do for us yesterday. It was hard for him to eat, and he was so clingy. Both my boys have always done well playing independently. So for me to have to hold him and walk around with him most of the day was hard for me. Especially when I had things to do. You know, like eat and pee.
I called his wonderful doctor as soon as they opened at 9:00 and asked her what I could do to help his mouth. I had read online and heard from friends that there is a mixture of Benedryl and Maalox you can coat their mouth with (or have them drink) to help with the blisters. But the doctor had something better for us.
It's a prescription, and it's a compound. We're familiar with compounds. You can only get them at certain pharmacies (Kingwood, for you local folks) b/c they have to make them there on site. One of Benjamin's heart medications was a compound. So we knew that insurance does not cover them.
Matthew left early from work so he could pick up the MM from Kingwood. It was just shy of $40. But at this point, I didn't care. I had heard back from some of my Facebook peeps that the MM worked wonders.
So when B woke up early from his nap, I gave him a dose. It's supposed to be 1 tsp four times a day. It said it might cause drowsiness. I was hoping it would help to not only ease his mouth discomfort but maybe even help him to go back to sleep.
The next two or three hours, he was SO clingy and SO fussy. Thankfully, my mom came and got Andrew when he woke up from his nap and put him to bed at her house, so I was able to focus on Benjamin. Even though after my horrible night and only a 45-minute nap (for me) and no shower, I didn't really want to take care of Benjamin anymore. LOL
So Matthew watched him and fed him dinner while I took a shower and got a break.
Benjamin got a nice bath and then we went upstairs to take him to bed.
It was time for another dose of the MM. And as I gave it to him, I realized my mistake from earlier. The instructions said 1 tsp. I had measured to the 1 on the syringe that came with the MM and gave it to him.
The wrong side of the syringe.
I had given him 1 mL, not 1 tsp. (A tsp equals 5 mL.)
No wonder it hadn't helped. I had only give him 1/5 of what he needed.
I'm just thankful that I realized it before bed. Because if we had had a repeat of the previous night because I misread the syringe, I would have been so mad at myself!
After we put him to bed, we ate a yummy dinner of poppyseed chicken casserole and rice, steamed broccoli, and crescent rolls. (Matthew watched B while I cooked, and I was so glad b/c the food was definitely something I needed!) Then I drove less than ten minutes to my younger brother's house to watch the season four premiere of Friday Night Lights. It's only available to DirecTV subscribers, and he has DirecTV! So now I don't have to wait until NBC airs the episodes next summer. It was a great break, and wonderful to be able to watch
I got into bed at about 11:30, not sure how the night was going to go.
But like the title of this really long, rambling post says, buying that MM was the best $40 I have ever spent.
Benjamin slept all night, waking up at his normal 6:20, and I got a luxurious seven hours of sleep.
Today he's not better. Not by a long shot. He's still eating poorly, the blisters still look horribly painful, and he's fussy and clingy.
But I've had more sleep, and I know we're on the way out of the woods.
I kept Andrew home from preschool on Tuesday just in case, but today was one of only two field trips this year, so Matthew was able to take the morning off and take him. (They're going to the Rock City Enchanted Corn Maze.) Andrew will still be able to go trick-or-treating on Saturday, and it won't matter if Benjamin can or not.
I'm just glad this is not an illness that Matthew or I can get! And when Benjamin got sick, it was almost a relief from the perspective that we no longer had to keep the boys apart.
I went back to the doctor on Tuesday for my 17-week check up. The baby looks great. Nice, strong heartbeat, and all the measurements are right on track. (He turned the screen away when he measured the femur so I wouldn't catch a peek of the gender, or lack thereof!)
My amnio is next Tuesday, so I will update more about the baby later!
Now it's time to try and get Benjamin to eat lunch. Fun, fun.