Saturday, September 20, 2014

HFM is the Devil

Two nights ago, I felt:

  • depleted from an unusually long week of solo parenting 
  • battered by a lingering cold 
  • exhausted after repeated night wakings from my not-so-little baby boy 
  • and, excited for a fun weekend away in Tennessee at Andi's work event


Life has a way of throwing curveballs, doesn't it? The last 36 hours have been a little rough around these parts. I thought I was tired before. Ha. Hahahahaha.

Around 10:30pm Thursday night, Tory woke up for the third time since bedtime. This outcry was different, more like a scream of agony. She complained of her feet itching so I switched on the light and discovered raised, red spots all over her toes, heels and palms of her hands.


I knew just what this was: Hand, Foot and Mouth. Aden had it (still has it?) earlier in the week with sporadic spots on his hands, feet, ears and cheeks. But different than him, Tory kicked and flailed from what seemed like the worst pain and irritation a person could experience. I rubbed some anti-itch cream on her hands and feet, gave her a dose of Benedryl and brought her into my bed so I could care for her more closely. I don't think I realized right away how much discomfort she was in until I watched her scream and twitch beside me in frustration and agony. I felt so badly for her, and I didn't know what else to do. The BabyLine nurse I spoke to earlier in the day regarding Aden's symptoms mentioned spots and a sore throat accompanying HFM, but never said anything about itching on the hands and feet. Tory (or Aden, for that matter) never had sores in their mouths but did have spots on their extremities. I Googled "hand foot and mouth itching feet" and uncovered several articles about HFM symptoms and comments from past sufferers. The itchy feet and hands can be part of it, I guess. Some people wrote how torturous the itching felt and one lady said she'd rather die than go through it again. Geez.

Tory was beside herself, so I dug through our medicine bin and pulled out anything we had for anti-itching. I sprayed Solarcaine on her feet and wrapped them in cold, wet washcloths. She cried, and cried and cried. I felt so helpless! Definitely one of the worst nights of parenting I've lived through. And why does this stuff always happen in the middle of the night? I sent a text to Andi in Tennessee and my mom in Nebraska, and felt so lonely laying there next to Tory. Finally, (thankfully!) my mom text back to comfort me while I comforted my own daughter. I know I'm not the first parent to sit next a sick child, but it doesn't make it any easier. Tory finally drifted to sleep from 2:15am - 3:00am before another bout of itching consumed her. More Benedryl, Ibprofen, anti-itch cream, sprays, cold wash cloths and snuggles. I did everything I could to make Tory feel better. It was awful.

By some miracle, Aden (basically) slept through the night Thursday only waking at 5:00am to eat. I don't think I could've handled them both that night. I suppose I would've done it if I had to, but I'm so thankful he slept so I could care for Tory.

Friday was a really, really long day. Tory laid in my bed all day and binged on Dora and Peppa Pig. I brought her coloring books and lacing beads for something to do, kept the Benedryl flowing and rubbed anti-itch cream on her feet repeatedly. Aden seemed fine, thankfully, and the sporadic spots on his feet and cheeks were mostly healed. I kept him entertained with toys in the living room, and separate from Tory as best I could. I washed sheets and sanitized everything. HFM is super contagious and I do not want to catch it. No. No. No.

I also emailed Andi and told him to cancel my plane ticket to Knoxville for the weekend. There was no way I could leave Tory when she felt so terrible. I'm sure my mother-in-law Janie could've handled it, but she shouldn't have to. I am her mother. And, how could I fly across the U.S. to spend a leisurely weekend at an ATV event when my baby was sick at home?

By 5:00pm Friday, Tory regained some energy. Janie came over after she got off work to help. I took a shower, ate some dinner and breathed for the first time in 24 hours. Seriously. Hand, Foot and Mouth is no joke. I know it's "common" (as per the BabyLine nurse) and maybe it isn't a big deal for some, but it seriously took a toll on us.

Tory seemed fine Friday evening, but as soon as she laid down to sleep that night she complained about her feet itching again. I busted out the medicine, and prepared for a long night ahead. This time, I kept the television on quietly which seemed to take Tory's mind off the itching, at least a little bit. She drifted off to sleep for 30 minutes at a time, then woke up screaming and twitching in pain again. We both clocked another restless night.

At the moment, Tory is bouncing up and down on the couch cushions and seems to have all the energy in the world. Apparently, (sometimes drowsy-enducing) Benedryl has an adverse affect on Tory. Red spots still cover her feet, but aren't causing her much discomfort for now.

It doesn't look like much, but HFM is the devil

Me? I am tired. Holy crap. I feel like I have a newborn in the house again. I'm pounding coffee and counting the minutes until this sickness rids our household. #dieHFMdie


  1. Oh goodness! What a rough week! Glad she seems to be on the mend and hope you get some sleep ASAP!

  2. Oh I am so so sorry. Sorry for your sick babies and sorry you can't go on your trip.

  3. Ahhh : ( I just got on your blog to check and see if you had any trip updates. So sorry the kids are sick and you missed your trip. Lauren had hand foot and mouth when we were at our old sitters, lucky for her (and us) it was a mild case. Hope you get lots of rest and everyone is back to 100% soon!!

  4. Oh man. Sounds horrible :( I hope you get some rest soon!

  5. oh my gosh. that sucks. I didn't know it was so common but I've seen it randomly throughout blogs here and there pretty frequently. So I plan on never leaving the house again? How does one catch it? Just contact. Yup never leaving the house. I'm so sorry for you and your poor sleep deprived state =( Better now?