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Hand, Foot, & Get Me Out of Here!

Posted May 01 2012 12:00am

I didn't mean for there to be such a lag after getting back into the swing of things around here, but suffice it to say, it's been a bit of a...week.

The kids have Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease. Started Monday with fevers for both of them. By morning on Tuesday I noticed a rash on Georgia's...guess? Hands and feet! Only, while the thought crossed my mind that perhaps it was HFM, I wasn't convinced because not ONLY did she have a rash on her hands and feet, she had pus-filled blisters on her bum and thighs and hands and a rash over most of her body. Her throat was also totally inflamed.

Funny story. Recently, I had been putting the pieces together about Georgia, her behavior, and sickness. As she ages we are starting to see a pretty definite trend. Georgia has a terrible day at school? A week later she's sick. She either has strep or an ear infection or a cold or pneumonia, or...such is the case this time...HFM. Weird, right?

I have started (though I'm not great at remembering to jot in it every day) a behavior diary.

I was also pondering recently why when Georgia is sick, even if it is simply a case of a runny nose or a low fever with no other symptoms, it seems like our whole house is on high alert.

Well, I think I have a theory, neé an answer finally. It's the Sensory Processing Disorder!!!


If a child has a difficult time regulating their bodies when they are at baseline, I can't even imagine what it is like for a child with SPD to have a cold! Strike that. I can. I can imagine because my little gal has had a cold or two in her lifetime and when Georgia is sick and ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

It's been perplexing in the past. I have to admit I have been less than a stellar mom because of it, too. "It's only a cold, why this big reaction??" etc etc.

When G is sick, our whole house acts like someone has a grenade with the pin pulled and you best not bump into that person.

Turns out I am not the only one who has dealt with this kind of grenade launcher.

We, I should say. We all deal with it when Georgia is sick. But most of all, Georgia. Now that I am understanding it more, it is much easier to sympathize with.

I have always been shocked by parents who don't keep things like Tylenol and Ibuprofin and glycerin suppositories and benedryl and and the house. I could be a pharmacy. And the thing is? I wasn't one of those pill-poppin' mamas before. At least I didn't think I was. I thought I was a little more hippy earthy crunchy, try the alternative approaches first, kind. But then my kid came along and...well....I don't have time for Devil's Claw diluted 8x when she is climbing the walls. That is my own cross to bear. I have come to terms with it. (For the most part.)

Anyhoooooo. So then, it was interesting that, though Georgia stopped eating (though thankfully did not stop drinking fluids) with the onset of the HFM, it was her BROTHER who spent the last day SCREAMING.

I'm not kidding.


It started for Rainer on Tuesday night. He had had the fever on Monday, too, but his rash didn't show until Wednesday. Over night into Wednesday though he was acting incredibly odd. He was up all night very anxious and stressed out. He kept saying things that I don't know that I have ever even uttered in my worst bouts of depression. "All my things are bad. I don't like everybody. I don't like my room...." (okay, maybe I have said some of those things) over and over and over again.

He paced the floors and tossed and turned and just DID. NOT. SLEEP. It was odd. And disconcerting. And EXHAUSTING.

Wednesday Alex stayed home from work. THANK GOODNESS. Starting around 9:30am, with barely any sleep in him, Rainer started with several welts on his feet. He looked FAR LESS worse for wear than G who by that point (and still, today, on Thursday) was/is COVERED from head to toe in blisters and pimples, but he acted like someone was sticking hot burning nails into his feet.

He curled on the chair with his noise-canceling headphones on and screamed "Ouch! Ouch! Owie! Owie! Ouch!!"

We got him comfortable for a few moments throughout the day--with a cold bath, with a warm bath, with ice, with benzocaine, with diversions, with oral painkillers, with bribes--but the better part of the day was spent with the constant screams of pain.

I was certain DCF would knock on our door at some point asking what we were doing to torture our child.

And Georgia? She was in one of the best moods she has been in in weeks.

Strange, right?

Today, thankfully, after we finally got him settled around 11pm last night, and with the help of Benedryl he slept until 7am, he is doing much better. He still has spots, but the pain seems to have subsided. Georgia...well...she looks kind of gross. But her mood is still good!

Both of them missed school all week. Rainer missed his last two days and the good-bye picnic. I am sad about that, but mostly happy that with the advent of this disease the kids are (hopefully) immune to getting it again.

This has been....a week. A week for sure!

This picture doesn't nearly do it justice, but I don't want to gross you out. Here is G's hand.


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