Love, Juliebug: My Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Experience

My Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Experience

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11 Comments
I did tell you I had hand, foot, and mouth disease recently, didn't I? A miserable little virus that is. Have you ever known someone with it? Most people have told me they've never known someone that has. Hello, my name is Julie. Now, you have. My five year old must have had it in a much less severe way, thank goodness.

Warning: I am sharing my story with you and that includes rashy photos of my hands and feet. They may be too yucky for you. You have now been warned. lol

It started out with an intensely high fever for me. 103.3 is where it hit at its highest point I think. Then, my fingertips were highly sensitive to touch and heat. They felt bubbled at the tips and sort of numb.
The next day I started getting these.


These little red dots. Itchy little demons. My hands and fingers itched and burned. Nothing seemed to relieve it. Then, it happened to my feet. Like this. 


This was not the worst of it. Taking photos was, not surprisingly, low on my list. My mouth and throat had some. I was also one of the "lucky" ones to have them all over my scalp. All over. More itchiness and pain.
Within four to five days the rash was beginning to fade a bit. Why? My awesome friend Mandy brought something by the house for me. It was olive oil mixed with tea tree and thieves oils. I began using it quickly and I know it helped. It started helping with the itch and new spots overnight.

My finger tips began feeling numb and sort of had this hard bubbled feeling to them. I can't quite explain it. They started peeling which relieved those feelings but didn't look so great.  Well, that just got worse.






The amount layers of skin that was peeling off at once was insane. It was thick and the skin underneath was still quite red and sensitive. My skin now (almost a month later) is still peeling though not as bad as the above photo. I got a bunch of little white blister like spots that all peeled. 

Recently, I noticed my daughter's nail had cracked and lifted width wise. She said it doesn't hurt. My nails have started showing some strange characteristics as well. Apparently, we got a very bad strain of HFMD which can lead to these issues. I think I might lose at least one nail but we will see. Below are pictures of my hands right now. 



I am so glad to be nearing the end of this illness. It was so miserable. I'll just say it. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'm so thankful that Abby didn't get these really bad aspects of it. She had the fever, a couple of red bumps, a little peeling, and now the nail issue. 

**Update: It is April 2014 and I am nearly at the end of my experience with this. Thankfully. I ended up having about 6 fingernails grow out from the cuticle with no nail behind it and a new one under it. So odd. They are back to normal now. My feet peeled as bad as my hands did and I had a few toenails do the same as my fingernails. One is still not quite done growing out. I've heard Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is worse for adults and I would agree.**

Have you ever met someone who has gone through this?


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11 comments:

Becky Dougherty said...

Oh goodness, Julie! You poor thing! I'm glad you and Abby are both feeling better!

Madonna said...

My daughter had that when she was about 5 but its been so many years I can't remember much. I do remember hers was mostly in her mouth and she had an awful time eating. I don't know if it helps but my aunt once got a horrible fungal disease from gardening and the dermatologist recommended she use hand crafted soaps. Thats all any of us have used for years now.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your experience! I looked everywhere on the internet for photos of the during and after HFM and there was nothing until I saw your blog. Adults are hit harder with this. I wish I could share photos of the bottoms of my feet. They look like the peeling of a burn victim and feel not too far off. If this is normal than it sucks but, I feel strangely relieved to not be alone. *hug* I'm glad you and your daughter feel better. BTW, funny story. I am a Wyoming native struggling to adjust to life in Arizona! Thanks again and be healthy!

Claudia Ramona said...

I got the same disease from my 3,5 years old. For her it was a easy form, but for me it was horrible. Now i am at the falling nails step. I want to ask you if you treated youre finghers with something during the falling of the nails. (did they have a risk of infection?, did you saw a doctor? how long it took thdem to grow back?).Thank you and a lot of health.

Christopher O'driscoll said...

I have this awful thing right now. It's the worst thing ever. Your blog gave me help though. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Julie, I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that! I got Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (caught it from my 1 year old niece) on August the 12th...starting with a fever of 104, then the blisters and EXTREME pain that landed me in the doctor's office twice, then the numb peeling fingertips and feet, and now I have the white marks on my nails. How long was it from the time of the white marks appeared on your nails until the time you were back to normal? And, what exactly do you mean when you say the nails were growing out from your cuticle with no nail behind it? I'm curious and a little scared to see how it will end up! I said the same words as you though when I was in pain, "if I had a terrible enemy, I would never ever wish this on him or her!

Julie said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this! The nails actually came out of the cuticle with a big gap as it grew and the new nail was not attached to the part growing. It was underneath. I don't know how to describe it. Honestly, I'm not positive how long it all took. The whole experience was about the end of August to April but hopefully yours isn't as bad. :/

instances101 said...

I had a terrible, horrible, AWFUL, bad case of HFMD on Halloween 2014!!! I have photos and have intended to write a blog because I couldn't find anything on the web that compared to what I was going through, everything I read made it sound like IF an adult got hfmd it'd be a milder case. So WRONG! I described it as flesh-eating Fire Ants!!

Debbie Snell said...

I havent heard many who have had it. And was horrified when my 4 month old baby got it. I thought he had chicken pox but his cousin had put her fingers in his mouth not knowing she had it. Poor things were so miserable

Susan M. said...

So sorry you had to deal with this! I don't know anyone who had the disease but I have heard it is very painful; glad you're better now!

Meghan said...

Ugh! That looks/sounds just AWFUL! Sadly I just found that I was exposed to this virus several times last week. Last night I had a terrible fever with full body sweats & shaking chills. Today my throat is getting sore & I have a mild headache. I had a severe case of poisons oak & ivy over the summer for about a month 1/2 and just about lost my mind from the blisters. After reading your account of HFM with the skin sloughing & losing nails weeks after ON TOP of the painful & itchy blisters, I just don't know if I can handle all that...

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