Fall marks, back to school, cooler weather, shorter days and sick kids. We’ve been back in school for a month and already I have two sick girls.
Friday afternoon, after the 3 of us girls walked the 3km Terry Fox Run in the pouring rain, and spent 1.5 hours at the eye doctors getting exams and subsequently picking out frames for Bethany we arrived home. Tired and ready to relax the girls put their jammies on and as Bethany walked back into the kitchen I knew something was up – she had a fever.
Over the weekend she developed a mouth full of sores, she has Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, a viral infection that causes sores to form in your mouth, hands, feet and in other locations on your body. To say it sucks in a gross understatement – for two days it took some major co-ercing to get Bethany to even drink with such a painful mouth. She was grumpy (understandably so), frustrated, achy and tired. By Monday she was starting to eat little bits and we were starting to see our girlie come back.
Right about the time Bethany started to improve Audrey started showing signs of getting sick. Monday night she wound up with a fever – I had to leave the room and sit down for a moment, I thought I was going to puke. Fevers are tough for any family – no matter how young or old you are a fever leaves you feeling lousy. For this little girl though a fever is often a major warning sign of chaos that’s happening in her body and a disaster that is to come.
Corey and I talked about it, I called my Mom (because of course I called my Mom, you always call you Mom when you don’t know what to do), I prayed about it and ultimately Corey and I decided that we’d watch her and see what morning would bring.
Normally when Audrey spikes I fever I can tell by how it comes on, how high it is, the way her skin feels what’s happening and I rush, papers in hand to the nearest hospital with her. This time however the fever was lower, her skin didn’t have that distinct “dry like the Sahara” feeling and Bethany had been sick, I needed to take a breath.
Her fever has over the past few days come down and that’s a HUGE blessing, however she too has developed the blisters in her mouth. Yesterday after she powered through eating a soft lunch (she was too hungry not to eat) I looked in her mouth and you could actually see them bleeding. This HFMD is a jerk, a big fat jerk.
We have pretty much been on house lock down for the week. The contagious nature of this virus, along with how lousy the girls are feeling and the risk of contracting something else on top of this has meant we have stayed put. No school, no outings, nothing.
Just as I was planning taking Bethany back to school tomorrow when I noticed something, she has now developed the blisters on her feet – really?
This morning after discovering the blisters on her feet and doing some reading online about the complications that can come with Hand, Foot & Mouth disease I decided to call the health nurse.
She was super informative (thanks Mom for reminding me they’re there) and said that Bethany is probably no longer contagious but if she’s uncomfortable it wouldn’t be wise to send her back to school. She also confirmed that we need to be taking this seriously with Audrey and all her body has been through. She explained what to watch for if the virus begins to turn into something else and to keep our eyes on her for other symptoms.
I will be calling Dr.H Monday morning when she’s supposed to be back from holidays and seeing what she thinks we need to do, if anything.
It’s such a great thing that Audrey’s body has begun to battle this off, but what we don’t know right now is what’s happening “under the surface”. We don’t know how her bone marrow is responding, what her blood levels are, how her immune system has fared. Our regular doc warned us that even a small illness could still wreck havoc on her system and to not take it lightly
I’m trying, hard not to freak out about all that’s going on. To trust that God is in control and that her body will be fine but it’s hard. My chest feels heavy and the stress feels high. So I bake. And I clean. And I workout harder than usual. When things get hard, when stresses run I bake and I clean and I workout hard because I can. They are the places in life I feel like I can process, I can unload and I can control what’s happening. The way I see it they’re cathartic for me and beneficial for my family, I mean who doesn’t love 3 kinds of cookies? (ps. Recipes to follow)
So, it looks like we’re on lock down once again here. It’s going to be a weekend filled with movies (I’m so sick of movies) and books (soooo many books), snuggles, crafts and maybe the odd sanity trip to Starbucks for Mama.
I’m ready for the fun parts of fall, the long leave crunching walks, the crisp sunny mornings, the healthy, happy kids with red noses giggling in the backyard. I’m ready for those things now.