Saturday 9 November 2013

HOPE - James - Hand Foot and Mouth Experience

Saturday 5th of October 2013

We woke up all smiling and went to the library as we normally do and in the evening we went to my sisters birthday party. James started coughing a lot and we put this down to the cats in the house and a possible allergy. When we got home we gave him some paracetamol as he was feeling quite warm.

Sunday 6th of October

At 2am I woke up to the sound of a choking cough from James I immediately rang into his room and picked him up to comfort him and gave him a drink of milk to settle him down. I asked hubby to raise his cot as we normally have to do with any coughs or colds and put a calpol vapour plug in his room whilst I settled him to sleep. Throughout the day his nose was running and coughing fits were occurring plus his cheeks were red and my first thought was this is a teething cold as for every tooth we have had a cold has occurred.

Monday 7th of October

James was coughing most of the night so I called our GP surgery to get an appointment we were seen almost within the hour. The doctor ruled out a chest infection as his chest was clear but prescribed an inhaler for the cough and to give paracetamol when necessary.

Tuesday 8th of October.

The coughing seemed to have subsided after using the inhaler so I decided we would go to our usual playgroup so James could see his friends. On returning from playgroup I was changing his nappy and noticed a rash on his bottom and legs. I immediately did the meningitis check and called the GP surgery who insisted he got seen as an emergency by the nurse practitioner. On arrival at the surgery the nurse who I don't particularly get on with due to the lack of patient social skills said he was fine it's just a virus and was quite dismissive of my concerns. Bath time was full of tears which is unlike him.

Wednesday 9th of October

Throughout the night it was like having a newborn all over again we were up every hour and as soon as James settled to sleep he would wake up again sobbing which is totally out of character for him as he loves his bed. I decided I wasn't going to take him to playgroups and keep him in although I ended up having to strap him in the car and go for a drive as he wasn't settling with calpol, milk or Mr Tumble and I knew he needed sleep. It was only when I parked up at my hubby's place of work for a toilet visit as I had got him to sleep and dare not move him out of the car, that I noticed spots appearing on his hands and the coughing had turned worse again. I took the motherly instinct and went straight to the surgery and demanded to see my GP who kindly fitted us in and diagnosed James with having Hand Foot and Mouth and recommended using calpol and ibuprofen until the weekend to provide some comfort to the symptoms.

Thursday 10th of October

Another sleepless night all round lucky if it was 30 mins at a time. Wasn't interested in eating very much so just kept him hydrated with milk and yoghurts. James tried walking and was screaming with every step it was like watching someone doing fire walking. I checked his feet to find huge blisters covering his toes and ankles. I spent most of the morning having to carry him around to console him and I knew he was so tired but every time he laid in his cot he would start coughing and crying. The doctor did inform me that because he was teething at the same time he would produce more saliva as the body produces more with mouth ulcers and this was causing the coughing to occur. I had no other option but to put him in the car and I drove for almost 2 hours thankfully he had some sleep I wasn't too bothered out sleeping myself as I think as a parent you have some kind of energy reserve that kicks in when your child is ill.

Friday 11th of October

Another night of no sleep we took it in turns to sit up with James we even played Mickey Mouse on the iPad at 2am just to keep his mind off any discomfort he was having. On Friday afternoon I decided to go to the supermarket just for a change of scenery for him as he had seen no one for days and he doesn't like being cooped up in the house for too long. Is spoke to the pharmacist about him not eating and she recommended I bought some stage 1 weaning food as his throat would be sore and he would be unable to chew with the ulcers without being in pain. I also had the chance to speak to my cousin who is a nurse and delved into the experience so far of him not eating or sleeping very well. The suggestion that my cousin had was to use calamine lotion in the bath and calamine cream after his bath and no sleeping bag in his cot. I decided to give this a go even though that pharmacist thought I was nuts asking for calamine lotion to go in the bath. Bath time came and calamine lotion was used the crying in the bath stopped and he was happy splashing away. I applied calamine cream liberally all over his feet but not his hands as he has a habit of putting everything in his mouth. Bedtime came and I placed him in his cot with a light blanket and read a story and went to bed myself at 7pm not knowing what the night would hold, the next thing I knew it was 6am and my baby had slept through without the need for calpol or ibuprofen. We also had another tooth.

I decided to wait until Wednesday 16th October before taking James to any playgroups as I was informed once the blisters start to scab over he would no longer be contagious.

I must say that the Hand Foot and Mouth virus is horrid and painful to watch your child suffer, however if your child does catch it I recommend the following.
  • Plenty of cuddles
  • Calpol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Calpol plug in vaporiser
  • Calamine lotion
  • Calamine cream
  • No sleeping bags or socks
  • Cooling head strips
  • Dentinox
  • Stage 1 purees
  • Ice cream
Plenty of coffee for the parents as well as chocolate boosts too. 

If you have a story you would like to share; that could help others please do get in touch. I welcome any subject and if required I am happy to post anonymous.


  1. We had the a very similar experiance with Charlotte recently and hand foot and mouth although her blisters were mainly in her mouth. We were given a mouth spray to help numb the pain so that she could eat And it was a god send. Myself and my husband then contracted it aswell and I have to say I can certainly understand why they get so upset x