Posted by: DD | November 27, 2006

no. 324 – Being Sick Sucks

It looks like my Thanksgiving holiday has been unexpectedly extended for another three to four days, and it doesn’t look like anything like a vacation.

Friday, X and his father were rough-housing and X took a pop to the mouth. He split his lip, bled a little and after some tears, he was appropriately soothed. However, throughout the weekend, he kept complaining about his mouth hurting and hardly ate or drank anything. On Sunday, I asked to take another look in his mouth and saw a couple pus-y sores on the side of his tongue. I thought that maybe when he got hit in the mouth, he had also bit down on the side of his tongue causing the ulcers.

This morning, after he was reduced into a blubbering mass when he couldn’t drink his milk because it hurt too much, I noted that the sores were bigger. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment now thinking they were canker sores. For a child, they definitely could be painful enough to make one avoid eating or drinking.

How I’m wishing that’s all it was.

When I took him to daycare from preschool, I mentioned to our caregiver that I was picking X up at 2:00 for a doctor’s appt and explained why, she informed me that this morning she just found out that two other children in her care had just been diagnosed with Coxsackie A-16, or more commonly known as hand-foot-mouth disease.  It was what I feared in the back of my head, but kept hoping that it wasn’t HFMD because there were no blisters on his hands, feet or backside and no notable fever.

I decided it wouldn’t be wise to leave him at daycare and we went to my office instead so I could put away my projects I had left out and while he was playing on the typewriter, I saw them: two  blisters on one hand and a little  blister on the other. Fuck. I knew at that moment that I was going to be dealing with a nasty virus and only needed the doctor’s appointment to see if there was anything he would recommend to bring him comfort.

Since X wouldn’t let me do a thorough check of his mouth, when he opened wide for the doctor I was shocked to see how ravaged his mouth was by the little blisters. When I gave him a big smoochy kiss on the cheek he fell into tearful whimpering as I had pressed too hard. He is mumbling because of the pain. Plus on top of everything, his ear infection from a month ago is lingering and X refuses to take the amoxicillin (who could blame him, if you’ve ever tasted the stuff), so we were given a script for azythromax instead. A drop of it landed on my finger and I licked it off…OH. MY. GOD! It tastes like ass. Like bitter, sour ass. We chased the taste with cherry coke, water and a tootsie roll. I only had that tiny drop, but I can still taste it an hour later.

Other than waiting it out, we were also told to try benadryl, which X is to swish around in his mouth and then spit out. I didn’t realize, but the antihistamine will help alleviate some of the pain associated with the blisters. I can’t get him to do it, yet, but I hope he will soon. You know it hurts when he won’t drink a milk shake or eat a cookie. My biggest fear right now is dehydration, which is the most problematic side-affect from HFMD.

It’s been a long time since I have felt so helpless because of an illness. He is old enough to tell me where it hurts, but too young to understand that as time passes, the pain will go away. He’s inconsolable. I know it hurts. He knows it hurts. I just wish there was more I could do than acknowledge his pain and hug him and tell him I’m sorry it hurts.



  1. Holy crap girl. Poor you and poor little man. I just feel so awful for him. It sounds so dang painful.

    Sending him swishy, sore-free outh thoughts.

    And you too.

    It isn’t contagious in adults is it?

  2. That’s a rough way to cap off a rough holiday. I hope he’s rounded the worst of it. Just the descriptions are cringe-worthy. I hope you and Jerry are able to steer clear.

  3. Poor baby, I know how miserable that is – G had it when he was small. They gave him some concoction of benadryl and lidocaine for his mouth, and he was still hurting.

    Hope he feels better soon.

  4. Oh, it’s horrible, isn’t it? I end up feeling like the gestapo lady when my son has to take an antibiotic. I tower over him and force him to do it and he always does but he cries afterwards and I am madly trying to get something else down him to take away some of the taste.
    Why did your caretaker wait to tell you until you told her X was going to the Dr? I would have thought she would be handing out information to all parents as soon as you showed up (maybe its just me).
    It sucks – I know a day or two can seem like an eternity to my son and there’s just no arguing with that.
    Take care DD

  5. I didn’t realize this was a common thing but this is the third time I’ve heard of it in blog world. Poor boy! How miserable!

  6. Oh, poor X! I’m sorry he’s so sick and sore right now. Hoping for a quick run of it and that he gets better real soon!

  7. Poor X, that sounds miserable! I hope you’re all feeling better, since it’s just awful when your baby is sick. Wow, won’t even drink a milkshake…that’s bad. I hope the Benadryl helps his mouth feel better so that he can at least drink something.

  8. Ugh- that’s awful. I hope he feels better soon!

  9. That sounds horribly painful. I hope he gets better soon.

  10. UGH! Mag had that last year. Then once that cleared up, she picked up Impetigo. Poor kid was on antibiotics for a month & a half!

    Coxsackie hurts like hell and looks almost as bad… Poor X, give him a hug fom me.

  11. We’ve been through two rounds of HFMD, even though it is not common in older children. Older being more than three. The mouth sores are so painful.

  12. I had Coxsackie while I was in law school — I blame may parents for not exposing me while in daycare like a normal kid. Anyway, the Benedryl trick works or try just having him take some Advil. As I saw the word, “coxsackie” I was thinking, “I’ll have to call her and tell her about the Benedryl trick. You beat me to it.

  13. How miserable . . . poor guy (poor Mom!)

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