Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shingles and Hand, Foot & Mouth

Can you even imagine it? Yes, poor little Cole had both of these at the same time!

He has had a cold for at least the past month and twice I had sent Joe with him to see his pediatrician. The first time I was certain he had an ear infection. We had been up most of the night and he 'seemed' to be trying to get to his ear. The doctor sent them home with "It's just a common cold.". Once again, I just knew 'something' was going on as his lymph nodes in his neck were swollen (Grandma was the one to point this out first). You guessed it..."It's just a common cold. No infection.".

The Sunday before last, I was forced to camp out on the floor in Cole's room. At one point his temperature reached 105.6. Now, before you think I am a bad mom for not taking him to the ER, keep in mind this is my third child and I know they would simply give him Tylenol or Motrin and make sure his fever went down. I figured he would be much more comfortable at home than sitting in a waiting room. So, I gave him meds and checked his temp every 15 minutes.

It was my turn to take Cole in to see the doctor the next morning since I had made Joe look silly twice already. I confirmed with our pediatrician that I am NOT that over-protective paranoid mom that I was starting to appear to be. I explained how high his fever had gotten, that he had screamed all night and would not eat or drink as his mouth was swollen. He checked Cole's ears, throat and chest and said there was still no infection but he would give us a prescription for Amoxicillon to try to get rid of whatever he had.

Before we left I remembered seeing a rash on his right knee and asked what that may be. When I pulled up his pant leg we could see that the rash now had pustules. The doctor examined the rash and determined it was shingles. Hmmm, strange! I thought that only adults got shingles, but apparently not.

I could not imagine that Cole had shingles in his mouth but knew his mouth/throat was swollen and he would not eat. Then, I find out he had been exposed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. This is fairly common in daycare/school settings as it is a virus. Most adults have built up enough immunities so it is not as common for them to get this.

On the positive side of things both only lasted a little over a week. Cole is currently taking Neurontin (anti-convulsant/seizure meds) to help him sleep, he does not have seizures. I was told they often use Neurontin to help with the pain associated with the shingles. For that week I gave him a dose at both, morning and night. Now we are back to only at bed to help him sleep and both viruses are gone.


  1. Poor little guy. How are you holding up mom? I hope he gets better soon.

  2. Sorry little buddy!! We had hand, foot & mouth when my oldest two were still in daycare. It was not fun. Thankfully Cole's cleared up pretty quickly! Hugs to all of you and I hope you're back to sleeping well!

  3. I'm so sorry he's got the crud. I didn't know they used Neruontin to sleep...I'm tempted to make a phone call. They said they wouldn't use anything on Jack until he was 2---and we just hit that! He has NEVER slept and I am constantly worried that he'll strangle himself with the feeding tube. Anyway, GLad that you got an answer...and you're not paranoid! I prefer to think that we are just paying the doctor's rent on their offices! :)

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  5. Thanks for the tip on the Sharpie. I am so sorry to hear about your son. It just breaks my heart when I come across blogs such as yours. I don't know how you do it. May God's presence be close to you and may you be re-assured that through it all, God has a plan and a purpose for this challenging season of your life. I hope you will stop by my other blogs as well and find some encouragement and hope. Love in Jesus, Robin

  6. Poor Cole!!! I've heard shingles are very painful :( My little one went through hand/foot/mouth and I swear I'd thought it was an animal thing. Don't ask why I thought that, but I did. That was AFTER he had impetigo!
    I'm with you on not running to the ER when you know exactly what they're going to do. No use in scaring them half to death when you can see the doctor the next day. Stay strong, momma!

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