Hand, Foot and Mouth – with Impetigo added

Hand, Foot and Mouth – with Impetigo added

by Emma Hargan
article from Thursday 19, December, 2019

The Mummy Diaries: One toddler, one threenager – Week 20

WHAT A WEEK! I’d like to be able to tell you that all the stuff we were looking forward to last week, like Jamie and Lily’s Santa visit, the Christmas jumper day and the playschool Christmas sing-along was amazing and the kids had a ball. Unfortunately, not! I’m afraid to say it’s been unsettled nights, crying, temperatures and hospital visits.

The week started as normal. We had had a busy weekend getting the last few presents and bits and pieces as I wanted to spend the next couple of weeks enjoying the build-up and the Christmas events without having the stress of still having to do any running about on Christmas Eve. But it was all going too well.

Jamie woke up early on Tuesday morning and was like a bag of cats. He refused to eat his cereal, refused to get dressed, was fighting with Lily and just generally being a horrible toddler. Everything was a fight from the minute he opened his eyes until I got him dropped off at nursery. I was having second thoughts on whether to even take him to nursery until we arrived and he instantly turned on the charm to the receptionist! He’s fine – off you go!

Ah, peace and quiet. Well as much peace and quiet as I can enjoy with an 18-month-old hanging off my leg crying. What is wrong with my kids today? I thought. Full moon? Tiredness? Or the dreaded thought... something’s working on them. I sat Lily up in her highchair and fed her as much fruit as she could eat and a double dose of vitamin syrup at the same time. Not before Christmas! But it wasn’t Lily I was needing to worry about.

The morning passed fairly quickly as usual with trying to cram as much housework in as possible while Jamie was out and so I could get some work done in the afternoon while the kids were having their naps. Jamie was on great form when I collected him from playschool and was full of chat all the way home telling me how busy they had been and what he had been doing all morning. I was exhausted just hearing about it! ‘Thank God!’ I was thinking, he must be fine now.

Mmm, remember that false sense of security? You’d think I’d have learned by now.

That evening, I think James was grateful that I had insisted on buying the king size bed instead of the standard double. Two adults, one toddler and one very, very unhappy threenager all crammed in. The night was fine, up until James and I decided to go to bed. We literally just switched the light off and the first cries of the evening started. It was Jamie. I tried all the usual techniques, like dummy in, drink of juice, cuddles, Calpol and then finally at 2.30am, I admitted defeat and put him into our bed. Even that didn’t cut it and he was still upset. All the commotion then must have disturbed Lily, who decided she wanted into the bed as well.

Five hours later, and the kids were sound asleep and James and I were exhausted and balancing on the edge of the bed while the two wee monsters were stretched out, nice and comfy. I felt so sorry for James as he got up and started getting ready for work. I knew I was in for a tough day but I wasn’t going to be taking Jamie into nursery and so I didn’t have to get up as early. Or so I thought.

James walked out of the door and Jamie started to cry. I opened my eyes and I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. Jamie’s face was all red, blotchy and covered in blisters. It looked like he had been eating jam sandwiches! I grabbed my phone, turned the torch on and told Jamie to open his mouth. The wee soul had them inside his mouth as well. I got such a fright. Lily woke up then as well, as Jamie was crying, and I threw my clothes on and got the pair of them downstairs for breakfast. I fixed them both their cereal and while Lily seemed fine and was wolfing down her food Jamie was still sobbing and was clearly struggling to eat. I rang the doctors and explained to the receptionist and she said to bring Jamie to the surgery straight away.

By the time we arrived at the doctors, Jamie’s face was looking worse, he was sore with blisters and drooling due to the ulcers in his mouth. I felt so sorry for him and kept saying to him, “Give Mummy a cuddle.” And he would reply, “It’s okay Mummy.” Like he was consoling me! Thankfully we got called pretty quickly as I’d say they didn’t want Jamie hanging about in the waiting area for long. The doctor examined Jamie, took his temperature, listened to his chest and checked the inside of his mouth.

“I’m fairly certain Jamie has hand, foot and mouth I’m afraid.” The doctor said.

“Aw no, what can you give him for that?” I asked.

“Well it’s viral, so it just has to run its course if that’s what it is. I’m concerned about the rash on his chest though and the blisters on his face. There’s a possibility it could be something else so I’m going to do you a letter for the hospital. I want him to go and get checked out by Paediatrics.” The doctor advised.

Fox ache.

I rang James from the car park and said he would need to come home as soon as possible to look after Lily while I took Jamie up to the hospital. Half-an-hour later and James arrived home and I had packed my handbag with all the essential items you need to keep a toddler amused for a couple of hours in a hospital waiting area.

  • Sandwich
  • Juice
  • Banana
  • Mobile Phone
  • Charger
  • Wipes
  • Change for the vending machine


Jamie and I arrived up the hospital and as usual, the place was absolutely packed. There was a queue at the Reception desk so I lifted Jamie up and prepared myself for a long stand. The queue actually moved quite quickly and before my arms were about to break from holding Jamie, the girl at the desk called us forward. I gave her the doctor’s letter and she confirmed all Jamie’s details before advising us to take a seat and the nurse will shout us shortly.

I looked around and there was one seat empty in the corner. Bingo! Jamie was happy to sit on my knee and watch all the goings on around us. And there was plenty going on. Kids running about mad, a man lying in the corner with a sick tray making noises every now and again so we knew he was still alive, ambulance crew running through A&E with people on beds, others sitting with masks on. Well, if we didn’t have any diseases before we arrived, we definitely would by the time we left!

After only half-an-hour, “Jamie Hargan please!” The nurse called.

I’ve never moved so quick in all my life. Excellent! We’ve not got long to wait.

We sat down and by this stage poor Jamie was really weak and teary. The nurse was so lovely with him and even managed to get a smile out of Jamie in the end.

“It looks like hand, foot and mouth to me but it also looks like he has a wee infection too.” The Nurse said. “We’ll get the Paediatrician to see him. Take a seat back in the waiting room and the doctor will give Jamie a shout.”

We reclaimed our seat in the waiting area and sat. And sat. And sat some more. In fact four hours had passed and still no sign of any doctor. But by this stage, Jamie had devoured the sandwich, the banana and I was running low on change for the vending machine too. To say I was super proud of him would be an understatement. While the other kids were running havoc around their poor Mummies, Jamie hadn’t moved from my knee.

It wasn’t until the six hour mark had passed before I needed to bring out the phone and bring kids YouTube to the rescue. This thankfully bought me another two hours.

By 8pm that evening, I was starting to lose my patience. Not because Jamie was getting fed up or misbehaving but because I WAS! Just as I joined the queue for the Reception desk…

“Jamie Hargan please!” a voice called.

20 minutes of being prodded, poked, examined, undressed and dressed, the doctor said he may need to keep Jamie in overnight as he’s not happy with the skin infection on his face. At this point, the doctor said he was going to put some magic cream on Jamie’s arm and on the back of his hand and he started to rub the cream on and put a sticky plaster on the top. Jamie freaked at this.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“It’s to numb the area so we can put a line in if we need too.” The doctor replied.

I don’t know if it was my face or if Jamie knew what was about to happen but he just burst into tears and to be honest, I couldn’t blame him.

“Take a seat in the waiting area again and I’ll shout you in a few minutes.” The doctor advised.

A few minutes turned into another hour. I was ready to lose the plot.

“Jamie Hargan?”

We walked back into the room again and the doctor sat down and said, “Ok so I’ve checked with the Paediatric team and we’re happy to let Jamie home with an antibiotic for the Impetigo on his face. Keep an eye and if he takes a turn for the worst just bring him straight back in here, don’t bother with the doctor.”

I don’t know which of us was more relieved. Me or Jamie?

9.30pm and I got Jamie into his own bed. The wee soul was exhausted and after a dose of antibiotics and Calpol, I think he was looking to crash out.

Two days later and while Jamie is slowly recovering, Lily now has it as well. Thankfully, there were no more trips to the hospital but the two of them are now on antibiotics and although James and I are fine, I’ve warned everyone to stay away from the house with the plague!

Last week, all I was hoping for was the Santa trip and the sing-along but in a heartbeat, all I care about now is that Jamie and Lily are back to full health again by Christmas which I’m sure they will be. Kids have a way of recovering as quickly as they take sick. Me on the other hand, I take a bit longer to recover and usually require the odd glass of medicinal liquid (Mummy’s special juice) to bring me round again. I know Jamie’s feeling better as I asked him what he wanted for breakfast this morning and he replied, “I’ll have a burger and chip with a chocolate milkshake please!” His sense of humour still intact.

Only six more sleeps to go….

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