Recently my two year old son (a.k.a. “Little Guy”) came down with a case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It started after the Memorial Day weekend at a party we went to with some friends, and other kids got sick at the same time as my son.
We knew nothing about the disease until after Little Guy started acting irritable and showing small red spots on his legs and hands. The doctor confirmed that Little Guy had the disease and that he would be highly contagious until all the sores healed. That usually takes up to a week.
Right then and there, our plans for the week were over. Little Guy missed his soccer class, I had to work from home for the week in case I got sick too, and we couldn’t take him anyplace in public for fear of getting other kids sick.
The good news is that Little Guy was never seriously ill. Many children get painful sores in their mouths and can’t even drink fluids because it hurts so much. Somehow Little Guy somhow avoided that. He ate and drank fine, and was pretty healthy overall. My wife fed him a lot of soba noodles because they contain zinc, which supposedly is good for when you are ill. Although he is a picky eater, he does like noodles quite a bit. Here is a photo of him playing with his toys.
But the experience made me pause and think about how easily something expected like an illness or some other problem can completely interrupt your life. This was a mild illness and was gone in a week (just like the doctor predicted), but imagine if it had been something even worse like a car accident, serious illness or job loss.
People always expect such things to happen to someone else, but in truth, they can happen to anyone.