Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

At two years old, Hallie has gone through her fair share of sicknesses. I still consider myself lucky, because overall she’s a healthy child. She just has these pesky Hazledine genes (her father’s fault) that cause problems with ear drainage. Nearly all the adults on that side of Hallie’s family still struggle with ear infections. Still, it could be worse! Hallie gets three or four ear infections per year, putting her right on the brink of sort of needing tubes but not really. Honestly, the yeast infections from the antibiotics are probably more inconvenient.

We have also had a few run-ins with strep throat. Now, my child is a puker. It’s not uncommon to see her throwing up regardless of what her problem is. She could have simply swallowed air wrong and is rejecting it. Fun times. But puking is a classic symptom of strep in children, so I’m always mindful of that.

But now. We are dealing with a new monster and one that is so freaking unpleasant for all involved. I had heard whispers of this illness and how it spreads like the plague, but I had never seen it firsthand: hand-foot-and-mouth disease. HFM is so more annoying than painful, and I think that’s why I hate it.

Hallie is one of the lucky ones, as I discovered when I made the terrible choice to peruse google images. Don’t ever google. Dr. Google is not a reliable source. Those pictures are always worst-case scenario, and Hallie is certainly not in that group. Still, Hallie has a rash on her poor baby butt. Those blisters are the worst, with a few on her mouth. Regardless, she is playing and eating fine, so it can’t bother her too much.

What does bother her? The itching. Hallie didn’t even know the word until HFM and now she is very aware of what it means to itch. The first night we hardly slept at all as she desperately rubbed her feet and hands together to get some relief, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless. No amount of Tylenol or antibiotics could fix this. The pediatrician admitted there was nothing they could do. So we rely heavily on coconut oil, some calamine lotion, and Benadryl to help her sleep.

What else bothers Hallie? The fact that, other than itching, she feels fine. Why the hell aren’t we out to play mom? Where are my friends. WTF are we still doing inside the house?! I do take her out in the yard, but her little feet can only handle so much before the soreness sets in. So I have an angry, tired toddler that doesn’t know what my problem is.

It is starting to get better. I see light at the end of this tunnel. We get to the end of the day and Hallie wants to be carried because her feet have had enough. We spend only two hours struggling with the itch before fading into sleep, rather than all night. The sores are looking less like blisters every day, and I’m just crossing my fingers that I NEVER encounter HFM again. I try to be reasonable, because it could be worse. This will not be the worst challenge we face, not even close. But right now, it’s annoying and exhausting and I hate it. Rant over.