On Sunday Garrity had a fever. Nothing crazy. I think 100.4 was the highest it got and otherwise she seemed totally normal so I just chalked it up to teething. Later in the afternoon she started to get a rash around her mouth but again I thought teething. We’re still waiting on that 1st tooth to come in and when she’s extra drool-y she’s been known to get a little rash. So I put some babypowder on it, covered it with vaseline and called it good. Chris got home from his boys weekend and we went out to dinner. The whole time she seemed perfectly normal. Maybe even happier than usual. But when we put her to bed I saw a rash on her feet. I immediately thought she had an allergic reaction. She tried lentils for the first time and I’d just given her some steamed pears instead of pear puree. I went to bed nervous but not too stressed out, hoping the rash would be gone by morning.
But then she had a horrible night. Would not go down in her crib and ended up in our bed by 9:30 and then the whole night kept waking up screaming. The only way she’d sleep was curled right up next to me, with her little hands on my face. If she hadn’t been sick I would have thought it was the sweetest thing ever. When she woke up the next morning the rash on her face was much worse and when I changed her diaper I saw the rash on her feed had spread up her legs and all over her arms. While I didn’t know exactly what this was, I knew it wasn’t good. I took her into her room to change her diaper and started googling. Wouldn’t you know, if you google rash on hands, feet and mouth you get the dreaded “hand, foot and mouth disease.”
This is the one I’d been dreading. I’d read about it and heard horror stories. We actually didn’t even go to the original daycare orientation last summer because there was an outbreak of it at the daycare and I didn’t want to chance it. I was totally surprised she would have it because besides a fever in our class last week, I hadn’t heard of anyone having this. But then when I clicked over to Google images and saw pictures of her rash staring back at me I knew immediately what we were dealing with. I tried to look in her mouth since I knew that mouth sores were a big symptom (plus she hadn’t been wanting to nurse all weekend) and I thought I saw a tiny white spot.
So I called the dr and took her in at 11. “Textbook case.” Apparently her mouth and the back of her throat were covered in sores. I think I managed to hold it together through the appointment but the waterworks started the minute I walked out the door of the office. I felt horrible for my little girl. She was sick and there was nothing I could do about it. And not just sick. Not like a little cold sick. She was sick with what I think might be the worst viral illness you could get (knock on wood). And there’s really no treatment for it. I got a prescription for “magic baby mouthwash” but the pharmacy didn’t have one of the ingredients so after 3 days of waiting I canceled it. I’ve tried putting a little coconut oil on the blisters (which the rash turned into) and some Tylenol to help her sleep but otherwise this is just a wait it out disease. I hate it. My poor little girl.
Chris and I have been rotating working from home and while I hate the reason I’ve had to be here, I love that I get days with her. And what I’ve found is that while no medicine can help her with this. I can. Her mama. Right now, all she wants is her mama. To be close to me. To be held by me. Sure, it’s a little tough to get work done but I’ve mastered the art of one handed emailing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She holds on to me like she’s an addict and I’m her fix. She cries and reaches for me if I’m here and not picking her up. It’s like the minute she’s in my arms, all is right with the world and all her pain is gone.
I just finally got her down for a nap. We’re on day 5 and she’s finally taking naps in her crib again and last night she actually slept in her own room until 4am. But I went to work today and Chris stayed home and I think the thought of me coming home and immediately putting her down in her crib was too much. Too much time away from mama. So I took her into our room and laid down with her and after a little fussing she once again cuddled up right next to my face. Her little blistered hands covering my nose. We were so close I could smell her binky. This sweet smell that has now become intoxicating to me and I think honestly we both need the closeness of each other to feel better.
We have many more years to go and I know there will be a lot more sicknesses ahead of us but I think the one thing I’ve learned this week is that no matter what type of medicine is out there, a mother’s love can be a pretty magical thing and that sometimes the best medicine is just holding your little girl close and feeling her breathe on your face.