It’s been a long time since I’ve written on this blog. Hard to believe that when this blog began, my husband and I had just transferred a healthy embryo and I was in the throes of waiting. That dreaded waiting till the first beta. Speaking to a girlfriend who is a day away from receiving what I hope will be great news, I thought of my own experience and how I had documented a lot of those first beginnings here on this blog. My son, the result of a successful IVF transfer is now almost two years old. Oh how time flies and how life gets moving so fast…
So here’s really why I wanted to write again. My Soul has been wanting to speak again through the written word, and share what was supposed to be the beginning of our second go with another IVF transfer yesterday. Instead, we chose to forego the transfer after going through an entire hormone cycle because I caught the dreaded Hand Foot Mouth disease from my little one. To whoever says that adults aren’t really prone to catching it, I say bullocks. I call bullshit. Complete bullshit. And if you are reading this and you’ve had it, I’m so sorry. I’m so very sorry. HFMD is probably the worst virus I have ever caught in my life – beats any gnarly flu, any cold sore break out, any stye. Well, styes are pretty bad and cold sores are horrible, but this…this most definitely takes the cake. This was so bad, I haven’t even thought about the aborted transfer.
To give you a timeline of symptoms starting with my little one, he had a suspicious looking bump on his face in the evening on Monday. Tuesday morning, he woke up with a runny nose and an undiagnosed temperature. I was away working, the sitter said he felt hot, but let it go, and then when I got home and was there to greet him upon waking from his nap, the little dude was burning up. Scorched. I thought perhaps he was bundled up too warmly for nap time? I decided to watch and see.
Within an hour, my seemingly happy child who actually ate a small snack after nap was a completely different child. He whined and clinged and nothing could soothe him. I couldn’t get a temp read because he won’t let me. Finally, Dad was able to get a rectal read as I held him – 102.7 degrees. Frightening given this child has never had a fever that came on so sudden aside from a slight temp when his big teeth were coming in. Wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, so I offered a popsicle. Moms, IncrediPops are the way to go. No fillers, nothing weird…and he sucked on that till that aggravated him. There was nothing I could do except to hold him as I sat on the couch – and he’s not the sitting and cuddling type of child. I held him as he fell asleep at 5pm. His entire body shut down from the fever.
Wednesday. Day 3. Fever. A few bumps on his face crept up. On his chin, on his cheek. I am certain by this point he has somehow caught hand foot and mouth especially after one of our sitters said the other kids she watched had it. Perhaps she carried the virus into our home. Who knows. It’s been running rampant amongst the kids here where we live. Little guy didn’t eat much all day. I offered popsicles, fizzy water, coco water, anything, you name it. He wasn’t interested in food which was ok. I was thankful he was still taking in some fluids.
Thursday. Day 4. More bumps appeared. A few on his little hands, and a few on his little feet. He had more on his legs, especially his inner legs up to his groin. Those didn’t seem to bother him much, but the ones on his face began to each. Calendula cream seemed to help and we made our own blend of essential oils to help assist: 1-2 oz carrier oil of fractionated coconut oil, 5 drops of lavender, 5 drops of frankincense, 5 drops of melaleuca, and 5 drops of lemon. He seemed to like the oil blend for his oils and let us rub it onto the bigger blisters. His appetite came back a bit, and he had a few bites of porridge and oatmeal. Nothing hot. Luke warm stuff, he can tolerate. He had a few blisters in his mouth that we can see, but what was lurking in his throat was unbeknownst to us.
Friday. Day 5. His appetite is building, and his energy is almost completely back. We spent the morning puttering around outside in the backyard so he can feel human again. Still whiny and clingy and generally unhappy, but he is having pockets of feel good-ness. His energy level is getting better, meaning he’s not needing to take a morning nap from being so exhausted from the night before. Blisters starting to harden, redden and crust over. Appetite is returning. I forgot to mention the worst part of the first three days. Little man hardly slept. Every 20 minutes or so he would wail, cry and after about two minutes put himself back to sleep. He’s strong, but perhaps Mom isn’t so strong. I slept in his room with him the first night because it pained my heart to be away from him. That obviously resulted in no sleep on my end…the sleep schedule was all sorts of whack the first 4 days. It is now back to normal. Also, Mom gets the first symptom in the evening. Sore throat. Freaking out. Transfer is happening in a few days and all the hormones have been coursing through my body. If I get sick, all of the effort and the abuse on my body will have gone to waste. I chose to continue with the hormones and have unfortunately also had begun the gnarly progesterone shots and the endometrium suppositories on top of doubling the estrace pills. I was also on medrol, doxy, and one other pill that I can’t recall. No doubt all of this contributed to my weakened immune system.
Saturday. Day 6. His blisters seemed to re-aggravate him and started bothering him. Rougher morning. We put more of the oil blend on him and made sure he wore socks. Socks socks, socks everywhere. Socks to bed. Now focus is shifted to Mom. I went for my usual acupuncture appointment to prep for transfer and my girlfriend right away put me on a heavy dose of antivirals, against my doctor’s orders. I had no symptoms other than the sore throat and a few suspicious looking red bumps on the roof of my mouth. By the evening, the sore throat was still there, but 4 tiny red bumps popped up on my left hand. Touching them felt odd, painful like a paper cut almost. Weird, but I’m on high alert. Freaked out. Freaked out at the possibility of catching this horrid virus and more so at the thought of foregoing the transfer. I’m upping all the C’s and zincs and garlics, but had to pass on the usual oregano and astragalus and wellness pills because my fertility doctor recommends against it in fear that it might affect my body in some weird way as it’s building up the fluffy lining.
Sunday. Day 7. I’m certain I caught HFMD from my little one. Those bumps got more painful and have spread to both hands. Still barely recognizable accept that the few areas infected were somewhat redder than the rest. I still had a sore throat, but it didn’t get worse. Still on the darn progesterone shots, but feeling really certain about canceling the transfer scheduled for the next morning. Bummed. Super bummed. Spoke to our doctor and decided it was the best thing to do. Transferring a super healthy embryo to a virus infected body isn’t the best decision, so got new prescription of prometrium to help my beautiful lining to shed. More medication, but apparently this one had to be taken at night as it causes drowsiness and nausea and dizziness. She warned me about going to the bathroom at night and being careful not to fall over. By the end of the day, my hands were on fire. It was covered with gnarly flat blisters, non-flat blisters and I was miserable. My hands were useless. I couldn’t bend the fingers much and normal day to day tasks were completely impossible. I was using my elbows and forearms to do the simplest tasks like opening the fridge door, turning on the faucet. Opening a bottle? Out of the question.
Monday. Day 8. The worst of it happened last night when I couldn’t sleep. My hands hurt and itched and I couldn’t find relief with anything. I tried all the remedies I read about online – baking soda soak, yogurt soak, ice, ice packs, cold water, all the essential oils I had…you name it. What finally worked and brought a little bit of relief was ibuprofen, and then laying my hands on icepacks. I slept for two and a half hours. It really was a miracle I caught any sleep at all. Upon waking, my hands looked red, angry and blistery. Much of it was still covered in flat blisters, the ones that lay under the skin. A few big ones had overhead blisters. Those itched. New ones continued to creep up till they started to slither up the sides of my fingers working its way to the top of my hands. My feet introduced a few new growths, but the bulk of it was still on my hands. This was probably the WORST day of this virus. The absolute worst. Blisters were boiling, and the only new thing I tried was soaking in a cup of Epsom salt. Like one cup of epsom to 4 cups of water. Insanely drying, but it seemed to hold off the pain and the itch for a good half hour. Amazing. Then I slathered on some calendula cream and the two together seemed to work. This was the best remedy I’ve found in combating this stupid virus. I spent the day miserable, making everyone else around me miserable and the worst part of it was that I still was totally helpless and had to ask my Mother and my Husband to do even the most menial tasks and then feeling like they were annoyed with me because it sounded like I was just ordering them around left and right. The good news was, by nighttime, I was still hovering both hands on ice packs, but dozed off with a super strong dose of ibuprofen. I slept for chunks of hours straight. Woke up a few times, but I slept. Amazing.
Tuesday. Day 9. I’m typing. My fingers feel like they are covered in super glue, lacking sensation and completely hard to the touch. Pressure underneath my nails – I am certain it will fall off in a few weeks like some of the horror stories I have read. HFMD. The gift that keeps on giving. I was able to move around a bit more today, although more new blisters popped up on my feet which made walking slightly more miserable, however, I got a little bit more use out of my hands. They feel like the skin have shrink wrapped around the bones and stretching my fingers out completely seems like an impossible task as is making fists. Some blisters are still angry, but some have simply numbed out. Best day yet. My sore throat has subsided and my energy was better than the previous days. I hope this is the worst of it and I can get on with my life.
Some additional suggestions:
Sponge bath your kid(s) – I didn’t know how painful it was to even be near any sort of heat until I got it. It’s painful to be in a tub of water. Now I know why he was crying and hated it the first few days. We didn’t brush his teeth for a week. Still haven’t. Maybe tonight we will try. Socks are a must. In prevention of spreading the virus too.
Personally I haven’t showered in three days, or is it four!?! Disinfect like crazy. Diffuse oregano, or Thieves or Onguard constantly. Tea tree oil and lemon and eucalyptus to disinfect. Or any citrus oil for that matter. Wear gloves so you don’t spread the virus everywhere and yes, you can catch this virus again. Let’s hope not.
This thing has been so vile and gross and made me so miserable that I haven’t even spent a minute thinking of the missed transfer. That’s telling.