I pulled in our garage at about 5:30pm on Monday, rushed into the house, kicked off my shoes, and ran to find Max and Alex. Alex was getting dinner ready in the kitchen while Max played in his Exersaucer. I scooped up the little guy and snuzzled him.
“How was his day?” I asked Alex.
“Good!” he replied, “He got outside today and did well with his food and bottles. They said he had a really good day.”
“Of course he did,” I said, looking at Max with pride while he smiled broadly back at me.
“Oh,” Alex said, “There was a sign up on his room at Daycare. There’s a confirmed case of the Coxsackie Virus in his room.”
And so began our slow march to inevitble doom.
OK, well, that’s dramatic. But from that moment, I just knew that Max would end up with Coxsackie Virus. Every night when he got home from Daycare, I’d check him out and take his temperature. Then I’d do the same thing each morning. The poor kid got his temperature taken more this week than so far in his little life, I think.
By Thursday morning, I was beginning to think that maybe we were safe – maybe we’d beaten the odds and somehow Max was going to escape unscathed! I was wrong.
I decided to push my luck on Thursday and schedule Max’s 6 month photo shoot (you know, 10 days before he turns 7 months). I packed the diaper bag with an adorable picture-worthy outfit and told Alex I’d text him with a time for him to meet me at the mall with Max. I was able to get an appointment for 6:15pm – which I thought was awesome for having called the day of. How lucky! I arrived at the mall a little early and strolled around waiting for Alex and Max to arrive. They got to the studio at about 6pm – enough time to get the boy in his outfit and ready to smile for the camera.
As Alex approached, I could see that Max was passed out on his shoulder. Given the time, that seemed a little unusual. I peeled the little man off of Alex’s shoulder and turned him to look at me – and my heart sank. He had three distinct little red pimply spots on his face just under his mouth.
“Craaaaaaaaaaaap,” I said, turning Max (who was hanging in my arms like a rag doll) around to face Alex. “Look at his face!”
“What?” Alex replied. “He gets spots like that sometimes and they just go right away.”
Max had gotten spots like that earlier in the week that did go right away by the next morning, so I figured that Alex did have a point. Max didn’t feel warm and hadn’t had a fever that morning (when I compulsively took his temperature for the 3 billionth time this week), so I told myself to not jump to conclusions. As we dressed Max for his pictures, he perked up and by the time we took pictures, he was his normal, smiley self:
When we woke up Friday morning, it was a different story. Max’s spots on his face had gotten redder, and his foot now looked like it had a sore on it that had opened up. He had a mild fever too, but of course he was still in a smiley mood. I knew that Daycare wouldn’t take him, though, so I called into work right away. As the morning progressed, Max got clingier and crankier. He also got redder. I’d always heard that the Coxsackie virus caused sores around the mouth, on the hands, and on the feet. Max now had a rash in all those areas but also that covered pretty much his whole body. I called his pediatrician’s office to see what I could do for him and they asked me to bring him in.
I’m really glad they did! Right before we left for the pediatrician’s office, Max’s fever spiked to 103.6. They confirmed that he had Coxsackie Virus and also suspected that he had a staph infection where his foot looked gross. Max was prescribed antibiotics, which I picked up on the way home. By the time I got home, his temp had reached 104 – at which point I realized that no one took his temp at the doctor appointment, which really pissed me off. Although, thinking back on it now, I suspect his temperature wouldn’t have made a difference in treatment… But I digress.
By alternating Tylenol and Motrin, I was able to get Max’s temperature down to a low fever before he went to sleep for the night. And he did, thankfully, sleep through the night. He seemed overall better today – less lethargic and clingy – but his rash got much worse today. He also seemed itchy: he kept scratching at his legs and wiggling around like he was in pain. I ended up calling the doc back today to see what I could do for Max’s itchiness and was told that we could use calamine lotion and/or Children’s Benadryl for the itchiness.
Giving Max medicine is easier said, than done, though. He’s only been prescribed antibiotics once before in his life and yet he already knows that taking medicine sucks. He clamps shut his lips and blows out so that if you do manage to get the dropper or syringe in his mouth, he ends up blowing the medicine back up in your face. Oh, my brilliant little boy… I am probably in for a lot of drama from him as he gets older.
Max’s sores are in his mouth and throat as well, which resulted in him refusing a bottle a couple of times today. A friend had suggested Pedialyte ice pops, but I couldn’t find any at the store, so I froze some Pedialyte in covered ice cube trays to give him in a mesh feeder. Max really like that – and who wouldn’t like sucking on an ice cube on one of the hottest days of the year? When the Wham and Pa were over today to hang out with me for a little bit, Max refused his bottle again. Dad suggested I give him and ice cube to numb his mouth and throat and then try the bottle right after that. I felt like such a tool for not thinking of that earlier. I’d already done the ice cube thing and saw that he liked it! Duh! I gave it a shot and it worked like a charm.
I hope that we’ve seen the worst of it so far and that Max will be on the mend tomorrow. I’ve heard that it can take a week to ten days for the spots to go away, so I have no hope of having a spot-free boy tomorrow. Daycare won’t take him back until the sores have healed over. I guess I’ll need clarification on that – I mean, if they don’t want to see any spots, then we’ll have to figure out something out for a few days this week while Alex is working. Ahhhhhh stress!