I knew something was amiss last Friday night when I was dressing Hannah up in her jammies after her night shower and noticed that her upper right gums were unusually red. Yet, she seem unperturbed by it and did not complain of any pain.
I should have trusted my motherly instincts…
On Saturday morning, she registered a fever of more than 39ºC, but after a dose of paracetamol, she was her usual active self. She had fever the whole of Saturday night, but on Sunday, she was okay for most part of the day. She was giving us mixed signals and we actually thought it was because she could be teething.
On Sunday evening, she started refusing her milk…yes, I am still breastfeeding her, and it is very very unusual for her to refuse the breast. She was also biting many of her toys and seemed very contented when I offered her a teether instead. She drank a lot of water, but didn’t seem interested in anything else. And her fever was still fluctuating up and down.
Thankfully, she accepted the breast after her bath and slept soundly after that for the whole night.
Enough was enough. I took her to see her doctor the next morning. Doc said, “Didn’t expect to see you guys in here so soon…” You see, we had just been to the doc’s a week ago for Hannah’s vaccination.
After checking Hannah (her fever had gone up to 39.2°C!), doctor confirmed what Hannah had was a case of herpangina, an infection of the mouth and throat caused by the coxsackievirus. The ulcers were present only in the mouth, thankfully. However, the doctor recommended that Hannah be admitted to the hospital for monitoring and observation, because in some cases, the virus could affect the brain and cause fits.
Hannah also had to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) and take a blood sample, from her arm. She was a perfect angel through both procedures, not crying at all! In fact, she’d also taken a blood sample from the left arm a week before to confirm she’s no longer iron-deficient (she’s not anymore!) and now the blood sample is from the right arm. For a child her age, it is indeed heroic to go through these without shedding a single tear…
So, we got admitted into the hospital yesterday evening, and despite the fact that she is active and her mouth ulcers were getting slightly better, we have to stay on for one more night because her fever is still yo-yoing. Thankfully she is back to her normal breastfeeding routine and is willing to drink water. This morning she even took a few spoonfuls of fish porridge and half a banana for lunch. The recommended diet for someone who has herpangina is lots of cold fluids, including yogurt drinks, probiotic drinks (like Yakult), yogurt and ice cream.
So when Daddy came to visit just now, he brought some of these stuff over. Oh yeah, we decided on the single-bedded room this time round, given that it’s better for Hannah not to share a room with someone else, since herpangina is highly contagious and she will be in isolation. Anyway, we have a mini fridge in the room now, that’s why we can store all this cold stuff!
Because herpangina is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not work, so Hannah is only on Paracetamol for occasional fever and/or pain, oral gel and spray, Vitamin C and another type of Vitamin C to improve her appetite.
Ideally Ethan is not allowed contact with Hannah, but we really had no choice because they are both very close to each other. Besides, Pete is caring for Ethan now while I am in hospital with Hannah, so Ethan will have to follow Pete when he comes to hospital. What we could do was to keep reminding Ethan not to touch anything in the hospital room and keep his hands clean at all times.
I’m praying that Hannah’s fever will be stabilized by tomorrow morning, so we can be discharged. I know she has a strong will and determination, just like me…