…And Now This

As if we didn’t have enough on our plates already, with this second trip to Pondicherry coming up and all the paperwork it requires…

On Saturday afternoon, Tara had a mild fever. We put it down to general tiredness and/or a passing viral. It wasn’t much, and she wasn’t too put out by it, so we didn’t worry about it much.

On Sunday, she skipped lunch altogether. There was a fruit and nut cake (made by yours truly), but she skipped that too. Hmmmmm…

In the evening, she wanted cake, so we gave her some. As soon as the first bite entered her mouth, she put it down, drank a gulp of water, and practically ran away from the room. That was really strange!

That night, she refused to let me brush her teeth. I looked in her mouth and saw a small blister on the inside of her lip. Okkkaaayyyy… we skipped the brushing. Half an hour later she was screaming blue murder. Holy cow, her mouth was full of blisters! Amit called the doctor, who recommended a gel called Zytee. He got off the phone and headed out the door to get some, but before he could close the door behind him, I saw something that made my eyes pop. Her hand was erupting with blisters!

I called him back with a note of panic in my voice, which threw Mrini’s composure and sisterly solicitude to the wind. (She had been very solicitous till this point, offering Tara water, offering to hold her, and patting her on the back!)

It looked like a histamine reaction to me, specially given the rapidity with which the blisters were appearing. Was it a reaction to the nuts in the cake? Was it related to the fever? And what was that funny-looking blister thing on her bum?

Amit called the doctor nearest our home. He was away from home (and clinic) and would available at 9.30 – more than an hour away. Tara was very uncomfortable, but the blisters had stopped popping up, so we decided to wait. By the time 9.30 came, she was uncomfortably asleep, lying on her back because it hurt to put her cheek on the pillow. Amit took her to the doctor and was soon back with a diagnosis: hand, foot and mouth disease.

It was a relief to know that it wasn’t a nut allergy – that is a lifelong problem, and a big one – but… hand, foot, and mouth disease? If it hadn’t been for Sadia’s blog several months ago, it would have been something I’d never even heard of. Apparently it’s a fairly common viral, which only affects small kids. As with all virals, it is transmitted by coughing, sneezing and so on, and as with all virals, you can only administer symptomatic treatment and wait for it to run its course. At least it was nothing serious.

Still, it’s terrible to watch your child suffer. Tara slept through the night and was quite happy in the morning, until she tried to eat breakfast. Then she discovered that it still hurt to eat. I put the gel all over her mouth, but it didn’t work. Even swallowing water was difficult. The only thing she could eat or drink was milk. At lunch time she was desperately hungry, but everything she tried she rejected after a bite. Poor thing – she drank some milk and went to bed hungry.

Next will be Mrini’s turn. It’s impossible to keep them from infecting each other, especially when these virals are so vicious – people become contagious before they are symptomatic, which means, you have already spread the disease to others before you even knew you were sick. Nasty, no?

So next will be Mrini’s turn, no doubt.

And tomorrow we have to go to Pondicherry.

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