Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease 

6

About two and a half months ago Smushface got Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It’s a relatively mild illness in kids. She was unsettled for a few days with a considerable amount of crying. And then it passed. No big deal.

Then I caught it. And let me tell you… HFMD is no fun for adults! Nearly three months later and it is STILL affecting me! 

Apparently it’s fairly unusual for adults to catch it, but it’s usually worse for adults. Worse?! It’s bloody awful! Unfortunately though I struggled to find much info online about it, it’s so unusual. So I want to give a bit of info here to anyone out there looking for information. 

So first off I got the spots of course. Just one itchy dot on a hand to start with. Then more. And more. After a couple of days my hands and feet were covered. 

   

I also had cold-like symptoms for a few days. 

Nothing prepared me for what was to come. 

A day or two after the spots appeared my hands started to hurt like CRAZY. Honestly they felt like they’d been dipped in boiling water! I could barely touch anything. I had to take painkillers just to be able to function. My fingertips especially felt like they’d been burned off. I remember having to change Smushface’s nappy the morning they started to hurt and being on the verge of tears while I did it, it hurt so bad. 

And my mouth too felt like it was burned. It was very painful to have anything in my mouth. 

But the worst… my nipples. My nipples became blistered and sore. What on earth nipples have to do with HFMD is anyone’s guess but mine hurt like crazy. Breastfeeding was agony for about two weeks! They were covered in bleeding blisters. It was awful. 

Anyway, after a week or so the symptoms subsided and I started to feel normal again. I figured that was the end of it. Wrong!

Everywhere I’d had blisters I started to notice my skin was peeling. It got worse and worse. The skin on my hands, down the sides of my nails, on the soles of my feet… it all started blistering and peeling off in great lumps! And two months later it’s still happening. My hands are healed now but the soles of my feet, presumably because the skin is thicker, is still peeling in great chunks. 

But the worst. The WORST… my nails. Because the peeling didn’t stop at my regular skin. Oh no. About two weeks ago I discovered my nail beds were also blistering and peeling! To the point where a few of my nails are starting to separate from the skin underneath!

  
Anyone who knows me probably knows about my nail phobia. I have a phobia of damaging my nails. So this, right now, is totally messing with my head. I’m trying my utmost to avoid ripping the separating nails off! I keep painting layer after layer of polish on them to try to seal them, but as they grow longer the separation is getting worse. I caught one under a tray today and it separated from the skin just a little bit more. They are really, truly freaking me out!

So yeh, that’s Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in adults. If your kids get this generally mild illness I advise you to try not to catch it at all costs!

Stand Up

0

Time to get back to blogging I think. The demands of looking after two children leaves me little time for anything, particularly blogging. But today I have something to say.

The recent events in the world are leaving me, as many others, very depressed, distressed and sad. The actions of our government leaves me ashamed. I was with everyone else last week emailing MPs, signing petitions, tweeting and sharing, trying to prevent our government’s actions in Syria. All in vain of course. I’ve spent quite a lot of time and money buying and sending things to help refugees, sending funds to charities on the ground in Greece and Calais, spreading word about how people can help. It’s not enough. It’s a drop in the ocean. But it’s something. I’ve gotten into so many arguments with people online with their right-wing opinions. I’m tired of it all. Every time the weather is awful outside my heart breaks thinking about all those refugees with no shelter. My Facebook timeline is constantly full of pictures of injured and dead children… I can’t even say anything about that. Words can’t describe. What can you say?

The whole situation is so depressing. What the fuck is wrong with our species?!

Anyway, yesterday I attended a meeting arranged by Stand up for Racism and others to discuss how we can help. There were speakers from Unite, a gentleman who was as asylum seeker from Eritrea (and if you don’t know about what’s going on in Eritrea I urge you to find out!), and other people from other organisations who are trying to help refugees and asylum seekers. Some of them are making regular trips to Calais with supplies. Their stories would break your heart.

I could talk for a long time about what was said in the meeting, but the thing that struck me the most was the talk about creating a “hostile” environment. This really got to me. You see, it’s actually been our government’s policy for quite some time to deliberately make our country as hostile as possible for refugees – supposedly to discourage more from coming. It doesn’t, of course. They will still come. But our government is determined to make it as unpleasant as possible for them while they are here.

So they deliberately make it difficult for refugees to access funds, housing and support. There was one story about a refugee lady in our town who was expected to walk, weekly, from our town to the next city, (a walk of about 24 miles!), to claim her benefit money and if she didn’t it was stopped. The charity Unite claimed that refugees who often do not speak English are given forms to fill in with no help at all, and again if they are not completed correctly their money is stopped. (In our town they now have a volunteer translator and they will provide free support for refugees for one year). Refugees are housed like the Victorian poor, cramped together in tiny houses forced to share rooms while their landlords make a fortune by cramming as many people as possible into their housing.

How is this acceptable?! Have we lost our humanity?! And this is after they’ve managed to get here. Because creating a hostile environment involves making it as difficult as possible to get here. Barbed wire fences, etc at Calais itself. The refugees will still come, they will just end up horrifically injured in the process. And we hear stories all the time of the refugees being injured trying to jump the fences and steal onto lorries passing through Calais. There is no medical centre in Calais. They limp back to camp and treat their injuries themselves.

These people are not pests! They are not vermin, as the Daily Mail and The Sun would have us believe. They are people, just like you and me. They are doctors and teachers, solicitors and University lecturers. They are fathers and brothers and mothers. They are PEOPLE. Imagine if we accepted them into our country and offered them employment. Wouldn’t these people work their socks off?! It’s shameful. Absolutely shameful.

I am ashamed to be a member of “fortress” Britain. I’m ashamed to live in “fortress” Europe. Where walls are being constructed to keep out refugees from countries that WE destroyed! It’s a fucking disgrace.

That’s it. That’s all I have to say for now.