When Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ATTACKS!

I recently spent about a week in hell. I really wouldn’t recommend it. Then again, it’s not like it really could’ve been helped.

You have a kid, right? Kids are gross. Like really, really gross. They share all kinds of disgusting germs with each other and then bring them home and spread them all over us. As if they have nothing to be grateful for. Kind of like one big middle finger shoved in our face. Actually, more like one big middle finger covered in burning, itchy, red pustules of fire and madness. No, wait, that’s not just one finger, it’s your whole hand. Plus, your other hand. And your feet. Oh wait, here’s just one more twist of the knife, there it is all around your mouth and inside your throat, too.

Welcome to a special place in hell, folks. It’s called Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Oh, you thought only your kids can get Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease? Um, yeah, if only life were that kind. But no, you live in hell, remember?! And now you–a fully capable responsible self-sufficient adult–are reduced to nothing more than a screaming heap of rash and unbearable pain.

Okay, before this all gets too out of hand (and foot and mouth, just to be clear), here are the facts of my plight:

When Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ATTACKS! | Denver Metro Moms Blog

A few weeks ago, I noticed my hands started to feel kind of like when you get a little paper cut and then you get salt in it. Know what I mean? Except not just one paper cut. This feeling was completely covering my hands. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, everything just felt pretty uncomfortable. Then I noticed one tiny bump. “Huh, that’s weird,” I thought. Then another. And then another. And before I knew it, my hands were completely covered in hard red bumps. Literally within hours my hands looked like I had stuck them in a hill of fire ants and just let those little jerks go to town.

Within two days my feet were completely covered, as was my throat and my chin and pretty much all around the outside of my lips. At this point, I’d tried all kinds of pain medication to offer even the slightest bit of reprieve. Here’s a short sampling: ibuprofen, topical anesthetic, dermoplast (aka, that stuff they give you at the hospital to spay all over your lady parts after you have a baby), hydrocortisone, benadryl, and finally a selection of other perfectly-legal-in-Colorado substances. There was no combination that even came close to touching the pain. The only thing that gave me just a hint of relief was sitting in the shower with my hands and feet submerged in buckets of ice until they went completely numb. Of course, after the blood returned and my body started to heal from my self-induced hypothermia, the pain came right along with it.

So, why am I telling you this? To warn you. You are not safe. You cannot hide.

When Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ATTACKS! | Denver Metro Moms Blog

But also to tell you that you will survive Hand, Foo, and Mouth Disease.

It will certainly feel like the end of your life while you are in the throes of it, but you will live to see another day. Sure, the aftermath may or may not include entire sheets of dead skin peeling off your hands and feet, or all of your finger- and toe-nails falling off from the trauma of what they’ve just been through. So yes, you will look like a complete monster for several weeks or months afterward. But you will indeed be alive to tell the tale of your ghastly experience.

So, here’s my advice for you:  when your kid comes home from school covered in little red bumps from hell, just kiss him and get it over with. Then load up your Netflix queue, lock yourself away in quarantine, and just surrender to the reality that your life is going to suck for an indeterminate amount of time.

And when your family asks what’s going on, just tell them you have a date with the devil, and he goes by the name of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

What about you? Have you had HFMD at your house? Share your horror stories in the comments below!

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16 Responses to When Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ATTACKS!

  1. Connie December 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Going through hell right now! Right before Christmas! I’m hoping that it clears up before we have family over on Christmas Eve. Imine started at a stomach flu then I went back to the doctors and they told me I had this and strep throat caused by the HFMD . Can’t wait till this is gone!

  2. Jill November 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi, I know I’m late to this post, but it’s been over a month since I had it. I am so freaked out about losing my nails! My big left toenail came off and now I have two finger nails the looks like they are going to come off too. Did anyone else experience this? Also, this is super disgusting but the bottoms of my feet became really hard and tough and are still peeling. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is suffering like this. The best advice I can give to anyone is to use ice packs while the blisters are inflamed and my doctor prescribed 800mg of ibuprofen and some Benadryl for at night. Also after the blisters went down, I began to constantly moisturize my hands and feet with Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion! It definitely helps to stay moisturized during the aftermath!

  3. Alison November 3, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    This is literally HELL!!!!!! My 2 year old son is almost over the blister stage and I’ve just begun the blister stage whilst 4 and a half months pregnant.. kill me now! The burning pain, the insane itchiness and the fact that no one in the pharmaceutical industry has created a cream or medication to help just really pisses me off! I would literally give hundreds of dollars to someone right now if they could make the burning and itching stop. Day 3 for me and counting…cannot sleep! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy!!!! Thank you for the post so I knew I wasn’t alone in this madness I’m currently experiencing!!

    • Megan L
      Megan L November 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

      Yes, you’re right! Literal hell! It is the worst. I felt the same away about modern medicine–my husband is a doctor so I was like “for sure this dude has some good drugs”. NOPE. Not a thing. I mean I tried EVERYTHING and, you’re right, there is nothing. How is that possible??? Hang in there, mama! You’ll survive this!

  4. Kelly-Anne Martin March 23, 2017 at 4:40 am #

    I’m fairly certain I’m about day 1 or 2. I’m still music my little one ergo has had it for a free days now. I have the blisters on my nipples.. Its excruciating.

  5. Dustin December 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    My daughter currently has this, and now I am pretty certain that I am getting it too. She got it from daycare. I have read on the internet that only adults with weakened immune systems get it, which is strange because I consider myself to have a strong immune system. I guess maybe I’ve just exposed myself to it too much from being around her. I’m starting to get small bumps on my hands and I’m worrying what is coming next.

  6. Andrea December 2, 2016 at 3:55 am #

    I am suffering with this also…I’m over the horrible fever and the rash has started, so far just on my hands. No sleep at all, the burning itch is so intense! My 18m son had it first, and my daughter and husband are in the fever/sore throat stage…my house is going to be the pit of hell soon…

  7. Rob November 28, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    I’m dealing with this RIGHT NOW! And I don’t even have a kid. I have no idea where mine even came from. It started on Thanksgiving night. I began watching a movie. By the time it ended I had a horrific fever and was breaking out. The next day I went to urgent care and was told I had this. I’m on day 4ish and I’m in hell. My pharmacist has me on a non drowsy antihistamine during the day, Benadryl at night, and urgent care gave me a liquid compound made up of Lidocaine, Benadryl, and Maalox. I hope this goes away soon. I’m supposed to meet some friends in NYC on Dec 6 and I don’t want to be covered in spots and blisters OR scars! I pray it heals and I don’t give it to anyone. This is awful!

    • Megan
      Megan November 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

      I hope it heals fast for you, Rob! Try to think of it this way–if you lose your finger nails and all your skin peels off like mine did, at least your friends will think you are a total bada** for living to tell the tale! You got this! Hang in there!

  8. Corinne November 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi! Just curious – were your hands kind of numb before the rash showed up? My little guy had HFM right now and my hand has been bothering me (tingly and uncomfortable) all day. Am I about to be in hell????

    • Megan
      Megan November 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

      Hi Corinne,

      I hate to break it to you, but my answer is yes. Before it started it kind of felt like when you get a paper cut and then sweat into the cut…or when you get lemon juice in a cut. A burning sensation. Hopefully, you just have a paper cut that you got some salt in! If not, just remember you’ll live to tell the tale. Best of luck!

  9. Jim November 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    I’m on day two of this diseased I consider hell. I never would’ve imagined not being able to feel my hands or feet because they burn so bad!!! And the sensitivity to temperature and touch is incredible. Already have cleared a week off from both jobs in hopes that is all it’ll take to get back on my feet. I have blisters insanely all over my face and the red spots covering my hands,feet and throat. I honestly rather go into a coma until this goes away!!! I went through a nearly bursting apendix and I thought that was painful!!! Lack of sleep the past 2 nights due to fevers AND irritability. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. If you have this, good luck…

    • Megan
      Megan November 28, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

      Hope you made it through relatively unscathed, Jim! Did you have any of the peeling or nail loss afterward?

  10. Jessica August 30, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    I’m in it right now. This is literally hell. My hands and feet feel like I lit them on fire and they itch like mad. Did all your bumps turn to blisters? If so, I’ll have well over 100 blisters per hand. I’m going on night 3 of this… 8 haven’t slept the past 2 because of the burning and itching. And you are right… No amount of medicine is making this any more bearable. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Glad to hear there is a light at the end of this pitch black tunnel. Still looking for it…

  11. Anne August 29, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    This article makes me so happy!! I too, endured this hell last December. In my opinion, it was worse than childbirth… Especially because you really are reduced to a whining heap of burning, itchy flesh. Almost a year later, I still have a few scars on my wrists and fingers as a reminder of this dark time in my life ?

  12. Casey August 22, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    Yes! I am one of the other unfortunate adults capable of catching this childhood disease and came down with it earlier this year. The worst part is IT LASTS FOREVER! Also, I got hit the worst INSIDE my mouth… those little ulcers… ahhhhh. the worst pain. Only calmed by McDonalds milkshakes. I survived on those for a full week. I hope I never get it again… THE WORST!

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