Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hong Kong Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

One week ago, we were in Hong Kong. Little A went on his 3rd ever plane ride, all of which have been to the same destination. My husband had work to do, so we tagged along. It was Little A's first plane ride since January and now that he's very much mobile, we were a little worried he'd go ballistic, bouncing off the walls.

We took an evening flight to get settled in before my husband's meetings started early the next morning. Little A hit the airport fresh from a long nap and, as expected, was like a toy with brand new batteries. He ran around while we checked in, while his dad lined up at Immigration, and through the terminal areas. We blagged our way into an Executive Lounge where he calmed down, had a bite to eat, and picked up a spoon that he ended up holding onto until the plane ride home.

By the time we boarded, he was tired. Hooray! The first half of the two-hour ride, he was fast asleep. When he woke up, he got to his feet and ran straight into the galley area, where the stewardesses where packing away the food trays. We amused him as best as we could, and the plane landed shortly afterwards.

At Hong Kong airport, he raced about again as my husband lined up at Immigration. During the train ride into the city he was a little impatient, wanting to get out at every stop (there were 2 before ours.) When we finally got into the cab to go to our hotel, he was very glad to be sitting on his own and not in my lap.

The hotel room was a new playground. As we checked in close to 9pm, we ordered room service immediately while Little A enjoyed dimming the lights, turning on the tv and watching a Baby Einstein video. He then went for a swim in the bathtub and played some more before finally falling asleep at midnight.

My parents came along too, though they stayed at a different hotel, because they wanted to give me a hand with Little A. As it turned out, he was feeling separation anxiety in a big way, and refused to let anyone else so much as carry him. That first morning, we went for a walk and stopped at a nearby bookstore before he went down for his nap. My parents came over and insisted I do some shopping while they watched him, but almost as soon as I stepped out of the hotel I had to rush back as he woke up and cried furiously because I wasn't there. We then left for my parents' hotel, which was atop a big shopping mall. After lunch and a couple of errands, Little A explored my parents' room and took another short nap, whereupon my mother insisted I have tea at the Executive Lounge. Within 10 minutes, she had Little A up there, as he'd woken up again and was looking for me.

The second day was no better. He cried angrily the entire time my dad carried him around H&M, and ended up back in my arms. After a nap (during which time we sat at Starbucks nursing a cup of coffee), we hit a baby store where my parents insisted on buying him a new travel stroller (which he immediately hated). It ended up carrying our shopping. I took him back to the hotel in the mid-afternoon, and my parents went back to theirs to pack, as they were leaving early the next morning.

On Saturday, things were marginally better, though Little A refused to let even his own father carry him. We did our shopping and took him back to the hotel for a proper nap, and when he woke explored the immediate area, discovering an entire floor full of children's stores in the building right next to our hotel. The next day, we would fly home.

On Sunday Little A was irritable, crying as we checked in and throwing a huge tantrum on the train to the airport. He finally fell asleep, right up until it was time to board. The plane ride was a little tense, but I put that down to ear pain and as we were about to land, he fell asleep again, waking up just in time to get into the car and ride home.

That night, he had a hard time sleeping. He woke up twice crying, and I figured that since he was drooling madly, his back teeth may have been coming through. Monday was more of the same - waking from his nap crying three times, and being very clingy. Both days he didn't take much milk, though his appetite seemed fine.

On Tuesday I saw a blister on the palm of his hand. When I saw tiny ones on his feet, I realized my son had hand, foot and mouth disease. My husband left work at once to drive us to the pediatrician's, where Little A had another crazy crying fit after the doctor forced his mouth open to check for sores. She didn't find any, but told me to watch out for them in the next 2 days. Otherwise, he'd be fine within a week.

Wednesday was another hard day, but by the evening, Little A was better. His milk appetite had returned and he was more energetic. Most importantly, he didn't wake up crying anymore, though since the previous day, I'd taken to rubbing teething gel on his mouth when he'd start pointing to his cheeks. I found one sore on the inside of his cheek, a long one.

This morning, he was almost back to his old self, but I woke up with a mouth full of sores. The reading I'd done said adults are generally immune to hand, foot and mouth disease, though it seemed I was one of the few in the world who wasn't. Just my luck.

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