Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Open Mouth, Insert Hand and Foot

I've been a mom for two and a half years, so you'd think I'd have this stuff down by now. Friday afternoon Bambina did the following completely out of character things:

1. Refused ice cream
2. Said she was hot and tired
3. Just wanted to "sit and read on my bed"
4. Became Bambina "Clingy" McClingstein
5. Thereafter decided that I was not meeting her needs and began to wail for "Dada"

So I figured I'd take her temperature just to see what was up. 100.7. Not dire, but for a kid who is, like her mama, usually a high 97/low 98 for a normal temperature, I was a bit concerned. So I called the Dada who said, "Did you give her some motrin or tylenol?" Oh. Yeah, right. Of course. So I gave her the motrin. After which she fell asleep so fast that I was positive she'd passed out. So I started to rouse her and move her, which did work, but I still was a little bit concerned. So I called my Mom to ask if it was okay for a kid to sleep with a temperature as long as I had ascertained that she hadn't actually gone unconscious. She offered her thoughts which I thought sounded reasonable, but then couldn't bring myself to leave Bambina alone "just in case." I recognize that I sound like a completely unfit mother, but Bambina has been sick two (yeah, TWO) times since April 2005; last summer and this summer. That's it. So every time this happens (as in, last time and this time) I realize how inexperienced I am with sick kids and vow that I will read ahead in the Mommy Textbook handed to you either in the delivery room or in the location of the official adoption, to pre-learn 4 and 5 year-old medicine dosages and treatments. (You did get your handbook, right?) But then I don't and I am once again calling my Mom to ask inane questions like, "is it okay to sleep with a fever?" while polishing my Mama Of The Year awards on the mantel.

Anyway, not for nothing, my next thought after the sleep/fever one was "Should I be around a kid with a fever?" So I called the Dada again to see if he'd come and tag in just in case I was on dangerous ground. He told me to go get a mask on. I couldn't because Bambina was asleep with her head in my lap. So a brief 20 minutes later, he tagged in, I masked up, and shortly thereafter Bambina bounced back. Until...we noticed on Saturday that she had big purple spots in her mouth and she started saying that her mouth hurt and her tummy hurt. So we called the after hours line where we got the "possible strep" diagnosis. Followed immediately by my call to MY after hours line to discuss the "possible strep" diagnosis. Followed by early Monday AM calls for same-day appointments with pediatrician and transplantatrician respectively.

After all the "S word" drama of the weekend it turned out that Bambina had something much, much worse. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. No, it's not actually medically worse than strep. But it sure sounds like it, doesn't it?! Like some livestock affliction that has leapt to humans and for which there is no cure. Well, actually, that part is correct; you just have to wait it out. It's a very common virus found in child care settings (as usual, passed mainly by contact with fecal matter; which begs the question of what little monster's parents have not taught hand washing at home). Fair enough. But for the parent it is akin to being told your kid has lice (another affliction I'm assured will be visited upon my home in years to come); ie, it's common and normal and yet just mortifying in the extreme to imagine that my daughter ingested somebody's fecal matter particles. Saints preserve us.

So I was flipping out that my poor, dear precious child has this terrible virus clearly created by dirty, nasty ruffian children whose parents have no sense of hygiene. Which is when I called my doctor back and said ixnay on the epstray; it's actually (I'm ashamed to admit, doctor) HFMD. His response? "Ah yes, the coxsackie virus. Well, that's going to be a bummer if you get it. It won't be fun, but we'll figure something out." Me: "Should I wear a mask and gloves around my daughter?" HIM: "I would say that the cat is already out of the bag at this point, wouldn't you?" ME: "Well, should I avoid getting near her on the potty?" (Yes, I said "potty" to a grown man). HIM: "If you can, but let's be honest. When you have kids, there is no such thing as personal hygiene. Do the best you can."

So here I am, awaiting my mouth sores. From somebody else's kid's butt.

How was YOUR weekend?


Geoff said...

Funnel clouds, pouring rain, and wedding photography.

Wanna trade with me, E? I think I'm due for a few sick days. ;)

E said...

Does the funnel involve beer? Am I jumping in puddles in the rain? Do I like the bride and groom?

If so, let's do a little freaky friday and switch things up! :)