Putting Your Hand and Foot in Your Mouth?

A couple weeks ago Sam came down with a fever. (Wait, shouldn’t it be “came up” with a fever?) We assumed he had a cold coming on, so we tried to continue with life as usual. But a couple days later he woke up covered with what looked like hives. Then, from the dim recesses of my brain, an old file was dragged up.


It was 2008 or 2009, and I noticed a few odd little sores on my hands and feet. I did some research and found that it was hand, foot and mouth disease, which is an unpleasant but relatively harmless viral infection that normally affects children. It went away after a few days.

*Flash forward*

I looked it up again, and it seemed pretty certain that this was the culprit. But with a newborn in the house, I decided to take Sam to the doctor, who confirmed that this was the case, and that this disease was going around. There was nothing to do but treat the discomfort, and he assured me that it would get worse before it got better. Sam also had to be kept from school, so he would miss the last week.

For the next couple days it got worse, until the poor boy looked like he had leprosy. We kept him away from Clara as much as possible, but soon Allison developed a fever as well. Fortunately, however, she ended up with relatively few sores, and they both got better at about the same time. 

Then one day we noticed some tiny spots on Clara’s feet, and braced ourselves for the worst (the worst case being the development of sores in the mouth that keep children from wanting to eat, resulting in dehydration). At the same time, Katie developed sores. Clara’s never got any worse, fortunately, but Katie ended up having a worse case like Sam.

Everyone is getting over it now, but it’s been a strange couple of weeks. I never got it, having had it a few years before. That didn’t stop my coworkers from treating me as though I were carrying the plague, which did have its advantages. “Oops, I touched all these donuts. Guess nobody else will want them now…”


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