herpangina

i have been sick since monday morning, march 27th. i woke up at 5:45am, needing to leave the house at 6:30am to arrive at work at 7am. one boss had an early meeting and the other was on a business trip, hence the early hour. the alarm went off and as soon as i stepped out of bed, i felt like i was going to throw up. i told myself to just keep moving and it would go away. i honestly rarely feel good in the morning anyway. so i got in the shower, again feeling like i was going to throw up. i got out and sat on the floor in front of the toilet. this is the main reason to keep your toilet clean. for those of you who clean your toilet because you’d be embarrassed if your friends lifted the lid, you’re wrong. you do it because you don’t want to be staring into a stained, spotted, hairy toilet while waiting to vomit.

no vomit came so i got up and forced myself to get dressed, brush my hair, and start my makeup. again, feeling like i was going to vomit, i decided to take a break for a few minutes to rest on the couch. at 6:00am i sat down. at 6:03am i thought i should call my boss to say i was sick and couldn’t come in, but instead i told myself i could make it if i just rested a few more minutes. at 6:15am, i got up and climbed up the stairs to the bathroom. i picked up the hairdryer and once again, felt like i was going to throw up. i started to cry and stumbled into our room. josh was sleeping. did i mention it was his first day of work at his new job? i wanted to be so cheery for him this day, so excited for his new job. instead, i was pukey and crying.
i called off work, feeling very guilty about it. yes, guilty, even though i was sick.

i fell asleep almost immediately. i slept for a good 15 minutes until josh’s alarm started going off. i still felt like throwing up and now i felt feverish too. great, the flu. i went back to sleep while josh got ready for work. i woke up just in time to see him flipping through his ties. “you’re wearing a tie today?”, i said. “yeah. i thought it would be appropriate for my first day.”, he said. “you hate ties.”, i said. “don’t wear a tie. put on a sweater and a button down.” back to sleep i went, only to be awakened a few minutes later by the very urgent need to go to the bathroom. yes, diarrhea. i know it’s gross but you need to know that to understand why i kicked my husband, who had just started brushing his teeth, out of the bathroom on his very important first day of work. he had to finish at the kitchen sink and i said goodbye to him with the bathroom door in between us.

after the bathroom i went back to bed. i slept all morning. tried to eat some saltine’s, but only managed to get two down. tried to drink some juice, but felt like it was going to come right back out. josh came home for lunch. i was strewn all over the couch, looking very sick. i had a fever, 101.9. i slept almost all afternoon, eating two more crackers and drinking a tiny bit more juice. when josh came home from work, he was frustrated that i had not eaten more. nothing sounded good. he spoke very sternly to me, insisting that i eat something, anything. practicing for fatherhood?!? i ate a piece of toast. it tasted horrible. back to sleep.

tuesday morning(day off), i woke up to josh’s cell phone alarm. he decided to sleep on the couch monday night, hoping for avoid catching whatever i had. i got up, let the dog out, and went right back to bed. i started to notice my teeth were really hurting. i went to the bathroom to check them out. my gums were really red and swollen. i flossed which absolutely killed. i brushed, which hurt more. then i realized i didn’t brush my teeth monday. gross. could my gums be swollen and red just from one day of skipping brushing? i know i skipped sometimes in elementary school, especially at sleepovers, but i didn’t remember the pain afterward. i spent some time during the day searching sypmtom checker sites online to find something that has the symptoms of fever and gum pain. i found nothing. josh forced me to eat another piece of toast. well, not really forced, more like begged. back to sleep. the rest of tuesday went like monday except my temperature went up to 102.9. wasn’t too excited about that. i googled ‘fever’ and found that a temp of 104 means a trip to the hospital. didn’t want to go there. i had some soup for dinner after josh said he wanted me to attempt to eat a whole meal. yes, in our house a bowl of ramen noodles is considered a meal. i promise that will change once children arrive. i took a bath, then went back to bed for the night.

wednesday morning(scheduled to work 8-7, called off again), josh’s cell phone was the alarm. he spent another night on the couch. my mouth still hurts and i am noticing a little bump on my lip. i thought it was from a piece of dry skin i pulled off, but maybe not. hhhmmm. toast again for breakfast. this would be the life if i didn’t have a fever and pain in my mouth. wednesday played out much like monday and tuesday except i had times during the day when i felt better. my temperature seemed to be dropping until late afternoon when it went back up to 100.9. yikes! i had never had a fever for three days in a row. and this mouth pain. i called my mother in law for advice. she thought going to the dr. thursday might not be a bad idea. i called my father and asked him to pray for me, he advised the dr. too. josh advised me going to the dr. on monday, but of course i had to be sick for three days first, and seek advice from his mom and my dad before i’d make a move. off to the shower, then back to bed.

thursday morning(not scheduled to work till 3, but i can’t do it, called off again), i called the dr. the dr. wanted me to come in. i called the dentist too because my mouth thing is just weird and my throat is starting to hurt. they too thought it was weird. the dr. had an appt. open at 9:45am, the dentist at 10:30am. i ate half of a piece of apple cinnamon coffee cake and had some water. half a piece of coffeecake equals not much, but my mouth hurt too bad to keep eating. driving felt a little weird. my vision seemed very slightly impaired. maybe i shouldn’t have been driving, but i did get there and back okay.

once i arrived at the drs. office, all of me didn’t feel good. maybe i was nervous that there was something really wrong? who genuinely likes going to the dr. anyway? i perked up a little when i got weighed, being sick has knocked off a couple of pounds. the nurse did the usual blood pressure check, ear check, fever check. no fever anymore, though i felt like i had one.
the dr. came in and did a review of my symptoms. fever, no appetite, malaise, sore throat, mouth pain. oh yeah, and this odd spot on my lip that i thought was healing dry skin but now looks like some kind of sore. the dr. checked my throat, looked around inside my mouth. she said my throat looked red so we should do a strep test. strep? could that explain the painful gums? i don’t think so.

the nurse swabbed my throat. the dr. came back in. “the strep test is negative. i think you have herpangina.”, she said. “herpan what?”, i said. “herpangina. don’t worry, it’s not related to herpes.”, the dr. says. but it is gross, and it hurts, and i hope no one reading this ever gets it. for those of you who have never heard of it, here you go, courtesy of dr. greene.com. substitute ‘kirsten’ when you see ‘children’ or ‘kids’.

Herpangina

Introduction:
A mouth filled with painful blisters.…This common infection can make kids miserable for the better part of a week.

What is it?
Herpangina is the name of a painful mouth infection, usually with a fever. Even though the name sounds like herpes, almost all of the many viruses that cause it are coxsackieviruses or other enteroviruses, not herpesvirus.

What are the symptoms?
This illness starts abruptly, usually with a fever. Often the fever is high (103 -104°F). Occasionally, children lose their sparkle (and appetite) a few hours before the fever begins. The mouth sores usually begin at the same time as the fever or shortly afterward. Children average about five blisters in the mouth. These blisters are surrounded by red rings and can occur in the back of the throat, on the roof of the mouth, on the tonsils, on the uvula, inside the cheeks, or on the tongue. The blisters may start as small red bumps and may go on to become ulcers after the blister stage. The illness usually lasts 3 to 6 days.Almost all children with herpangina have a decreased appetite. Other symptoms might include headache, backache, runny nose, drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea. Children first become ill 4 to 6 days after being exposed.

it’s now monday evening, april 3rd. i am still suffering from some mild mouth pain and malaise. simple tasks make me tired. i changed the sheets on the bed today and broke out into a sweat.

i don’t think i have ever been this sick before.

better news next time i post, i promise.

2 Comments

  • ben smith

    Get better soon. And keep your feet out of your mouth, gosh, that’s so sick K. K is for Kirsten, i decided i would start calling you K earlier today.

    OK . . . K

    seriously get well soon, we missed you at church sunday.

  • zac

    I had no idea that reading about someone else’s misery could be so entertaining. You must be a good writer.

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