It Could Be Worse, It Could Be The Swine Flu.

Before I had kids, I remember hearing from everyone what little germ mongers they are. I grew up in a household of four and I must have somehow forgotten that kids will carry and pass on anything and everything, because for some reason I didn't believe people when they said that someone in this house will be sick 90 percent of the time once the little man starts nursery school. Well, they were right and I was wrong, and I swear a week doesn't go by when we aren't passing something around this house. What I can not begin to understand is why my little man is usually okay with dealing the common cold, a stomach flu here and there, and sometimes even the flu, flu  (the one not related to the pigs) up until (and like clockwork) we are about to go on vacation. Truly, it never fails. Whether it is just Mom and Dad going away, or the entire family, something in his little immune system decides that this is the perfect time to go to shit. Every "real" sickness that he has ever had occurs a few days before we leave. I don't think I time has gone by when we weren't questioning our decision to leave the country. I thought this time we might actually get away with a stress free departure, school was over and my little man had no sign of the sniffles, no green buggs, and no cough. Clearly, I was counting my chickens before they hatched.

Enter Monday.

Monday the LM began to complain that his mouth hurt. He was pointing to his back molars and after a quick Google search I was assured that there was no way he was getting new teeth. Things got worse throughout the day, and after he refused to eat dinner I began to get concerned. My husband assured me that he probably just bit his cheek or had a cancker sore, and we let it go. Tuesday, he was still very much not himself and after an entire day of not drinking, eating, or really sleeping I began to get concerned. I called the pediatrician and after speaking with a nurse I became convinced that he had an ear infection. He was refusing his binki (his one and only love in life) and even turned down a trip to the candy store. This is when I knew that we were dealing with some serious business. Again last night we had a rough night and I was so happy when we woke up this morning that I had scheduled a doctor appointment for first thing today. I was on the way in and began to describe the symptoms to my bestie. "Sounds like he might have hand, mouth and foot disease,"she said. "I know someone who's kid just had it."

Hand, Mouth, and Foot..... whhhhaatttt? Not only does that sound like something a farm animal would get, I vaguely remember hearing about this when my sisters were little and when it was mentioned the parents would scamper like someone just said the "L" word.... lice. Ewww...

I pulled over to the side of the road (yes, I signed Oprah's no phone zone) and played doctor Sherlock Holmes. The symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease are:
  • Painful blisters in the throat. Yep, we've definitely got that one.
  • Fever. Check
  • Rash on hands, feet, belly, and bum. A quick once over and I quickly realized that he in fact did not just have diaper rash, and while I don't usually look at his palms or the bottom of his feet I began to kick myself for not seeing the dozens of red bumps. Check, check, check.
  • Refusal to eat, drink, or sleep. Yes, they've got us there.
  • Serious fussiness and overall moodiness. Yes, Yes, Yes!
The Internet said there is no cure and basically it has to run its course. I thought about cancelling the trip to the doctor but since we were literally in the parking lot I figured what was the harm of a quick check up before we leave the country. The doc gave us a few tricks to ease the pain, and basically told me that there is a mini epidemic of this going around Boston right now (I know you all are just dying to visit after hearing that) but, that it is just a virus that kids pass on and we should be fine to go on our trip by Saturday.  I pretty much have to keep him on contamination lock down until then, but he said it's probably better that we are leaving because there will be less of a chance that he could spread this around. (Contrary to popular belief this isn't really spread by going barefoot, or in the sandbox just by contact with other children.) 

So that's it. We wait it out, keep him happy and medicated, and count the days until it goes away. Adults don't really get it, so that's a bonus but we definitely have some more sleepless nights ahead of us. That and quite a few more ice cream dinners. 

Really, it could be worse, it could be the swine flu.... Well, I'm sure he's just saving that one for the next trip.