Friday, September 05, 2014

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: The Dark Side of Summer 2014

I'm reading: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: The Dark Side of Summer 2014Tweet this!

Lest you get the impression that our summer was all garden-fresh veggies and walks in the woods, I should tell you we had our share of illness. I'm not just gonna tell you, I'm gonna show you even though it breaks some of Kim's Commandments of Netiquette-- namely those rules against showing sick kids or gross things related to sick children (or pets). Stop reading if you get grossed out. My younger son came down with hand, foot and mouth disease over the summer. At first, he thought he was getting strep. We went to a pharmacy-based clinic because he's usually pretty good at predicting strep. Instead, he was diagnosed with an ear infection, but a couple of days later developed a rash. After poking around on the interwebs, I was pretty sure he had hand, foot and mouth.

I looked at lots of images on Google to compare them to his body and, of course, called the pediatrician to share my thoughts on the Sunday he developed the rash. 

But then a day or two later the rash on his feet turned to blisters. Lots of blisters. As I Googled around to find images that would reassure me that this was the natural course of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease I became concerned because I did not find images that looked like his feet.

Early in the week we headed to the doctor after all. I wanted to make sure he was properly diagnosed because Dr. Google left me wanting. The doctor listened to my story of how his symptoms evolved and examined his feet. She confirmed Coxsakie, or Hand, Foot and Mouth, but repeatedly mentioned that his feet were "very involved." Very involved.

Of course, that's because my children excel in all things. Even illness.

In fact, she said, a dermatologist would love to have a picture of his feet for a textbook. 

My son! A picture-perfect model!

At any rate, parents who are desperately scouring the web in trying to diagnose their kids because they cannot access a doctor at the moment, I offer you this:

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease with foot blisters, Coxsakie virus

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease with foot blisters, Coxsakie virus

Needless to say, a few days after these photos were taken, the blisters burst and his feet were even worse--and more painful. Bleh.

Tesla kept us on our toes, too. 

When the vet isn't planning his next luxury vacation thanks to our frequent visits, he secretly wonders if I have Munchhausen's by Puppy. In our 15 months of pet ownership, we've made at least that many visits to the vet. We finally wised up and bought pet insurance last fall. It paid for itself and then some, but I think we've maxed out on this year's benefits. 

And the dog doesn't even have anything seriously wrong, but there's always something curious going on with him- an eye infection, an ear infection, bumps by his mouth, bumps in his mouth, bumps on his skin. 

As with most pets, Tesla is not a fan of going to the vet. But oh, how the staff members fawn over him! He might just be the cutest patient they have. Or they're really good at fawning, which is smart, because when they're all telling me how cute and sweet he is, I forget to take a close look at the bill.

But he really might be their cutest patient.

Hiding from the doctor.

At any rate, we think he's got allergies. Possibly seasonal allergies. My money is on grass. Or human skin flakes. Apparently dogs can be allergic to humans just like humans can be allergic to dogs. He might be allergic some food. First we'll see if the change of seasons helps. If not, we'll do a food challenge, which will be miserable for us all. My poor Tesla!


Kristi said...

OMG! EEkk... ehhh... I'm scarred. Your poor baby boy!

And doggie :( Are you on gluten free food? I moved my cat and her little issues cleared right up! Just a thought :)

Kim Moldofsky said...

Kristi, this was a while ago, so he's fine now. It was pretty nasty, though.

Thanks for the suggestion. We might have to play around with the dog's food. I don't want to have to do a food challenge with him as it will mean about a month or more on the same food and no treats. It would be miserable for all of us.

Onica MommyFactor said...

Sorry to hear you family (son and doggie) had some heath issues over the summer. Hopefully everyone will feel better soon.

Daisy said...

My sympathies! I contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease when I worked with infants in a child care center. It was miserable. Rare in adults, thank goodness, but in adults who care for little babies and toddlers, not so rare, darn it.