Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hand, foot and mouth

There was a period last week when I was debilitated by a nasty little virus called Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  Alice had it first, an extremely mild case, thank God, and then passed it to me.  On Friday night I felt feverish and exhausted.  On Sunday bright red little sores started pocking the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet.  I had a few sores on my face but thankfully I was spared the wounds on the inside of the mouth that make it nearly impossible to eat.

Over the next few days these sores blossomed into bright throbbing little nubs of pain.  I could barely walk.  It hurt to bend my fingers.  My extremities felt red-hot, contorted by this raging pressure.  I went to work on Monday but left after half the day.  My colleagues were horrified.  People asked if I was staggering because of a marathon-related malady, and I told them no.  I had to lean on my desk and lurch sideways to open the door to my students.  I didn't go to the bathroom because I couldn't bear the idea of walking that far.  At home, when I removed my shoes and socks, I felt sure that my feet would be covered in blood. 

At home I crawled to the bathroom on my hands and knees to avoid pressure on my feet.  It felt a little better to elevate my feet, so I sat on the couch, responded to work emails, and watched wretched daytime programming like "The Talk."  I stayed home on Tuesday, in a haze of Benadryl.  By Wednesday the sores started receding, yet even today my hands and feet are still slightly pocked.  The skin along my fingers and toes has been peeling for days now and I don't really know when this process will be completely over.  I am basically molting dead skin over everything. 

The key point here is: it's disgusting, and it knocked me out for a couple of days.  I just wanted to record this for posterity.

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