The Coxsackie virus, as some of you may be aware, is highly contagious and is the cause of foot-hand-and-mouth disease.
So far the foot/hand involvement has been minimal for my girls (knock wood). A few little pimples; Bun had a blister on her thumb. The mouth involvement, however, was brutal. Imagine how it would feel if your throat were lined with canker sores.
Now imagine being 15 months old.
On Wednesday, after I had been at the office for about 45 minutes, DearDR called.
“Bun is very clingy and whiny, and she’s still feverish,” he said.
“Do you want me to come home?” I asked.
So I drove the half-hour home to hang with Bun. I just figured she as running a fever as a reaction to her MMR last week. (And if you want to read some really scary Internet stuff, just google “fever after MMR shot”, and read the non-official sites.) After she woke from a short, restless nap, I got a look down into Bun’s throat. She was screaming at the time, so it was real easy.
When the doctor saw it, he said, “Hmm. That doesn’t look like strep.”
They did a culture anyway. Negative for strep throat.
I have to admit here, that for the first time, my pediatrician’s office let me down. I don’t know if the doctor (one of our regulars) was booked or in a hurry to get out of there, but he gave no advice (except for the parting shot, “Tylenol” over his shoulder as he walked out the door) and answered no questions. A nurse answered some of my questions; my brother (a dermatologist) answered a couple more; and the Internet alternately scared me and soothed my fears (see links above).
And no one — not the doc, not the nurses, not even DCL — suggested I keep the girls at home. I mean, how dumb is that?
I think the reasoning was that they had a virus (well, to this point, Monkey didn’t have it, but she was raging with a juicy fever by the time I picked them up from daycare Thursday), and the other kids were already exposed anyway.
In short, I did end up staying home with them on Friday. And somehow or another, I actually got things done around the house over the weekend (this is where the in-laws were invaluable). I sorted through the girls’ clothes, swapping out fall/winter clothes for spring/summer, next sizes up. I got through a mountain of paperwork in the office (this due to a three-and-a-half hour nap on Bun’s part and DearDR’s occupying Monkey during that time).
Also, somehow or another, DearDR and I managed to spend some quality time as a couple. I think our mutual support and team-work fostered a sense of intimacy.
We weathered Bun clinging to me like a barnacle all day on Sunday, and the whining from both girls all weekend (this is where the beer proved invaluable). And now it’s Monday, the in-laws have the girls — we figured one more day at home would be in everyone’s best interest — and I am back at the office. I have my fingers crossed that everyone is on the mend.
Edited to add: Of course, I should have sucked it up and stayed home Thursday, too, but I felt… I don’t know, weird about it. Worried about my job and what my boss/employer would think. I was worried about the wrong, thing, I can safely admit now. I don’t know if I will lose vacation/personal time, or if it will count as sick time, and that doesn’t really matter, either. Everyone’s okay, and I’m certainly glad I stayed home on Friday, and that we’ve made it through the weekend.