I swear I don’t spook off for no reason. Here’s a post to prove it.

Ellen Curtis
Ellen Curtis

Ok, so the last post I had was about our *lovely* experience that lead us to move from our old apartment out to Paradise. We had just about recovered from that, gotten all settled in and taken a week of vacation however when I decided it was time to take another proverbial punch in the face.

Part of moving to Paradise meant we get to spend more time with our friends, and our friends kids. Unfortunately, hand, foot and mouth disease has been pretty rampant in town lately, and both of the girls ended up getting it, as did their parents. Matt was a little worried about getting it as well, as he never had it as a child, but I figured I was in the clear because I had it before. Most people have assured me I was right in thinking this. Then I started to feel sick.

I figured I may have picked up a little stomach bug, as I’ve been needing to go to the doctor regularly for check-ups on a back injury and there have been people coughing and hacking there every time. Around day 4 of the stomach bug though, I started getting a high fever and a sore throat. I had my first day of the semester the next day, and immediately popped back some Tylenol and tea with honey. Believe it or not, I just kept getting worse.

I woke up the next morning thinking I could psyche myself up enough to go into class, but within an hour of trying to drag myself out of bed and shower I knew it wasn’t happening. Matt brought me into the doctor to get checked out and told her my suspicions, that I was on track for my second helping of hand, foot and mouth. She was a little skeptical because I had it when I was younger, but said I was definitely sick and should come back if I got the spots.

I tried to sleep as much as possible for the next few hours, but I was achey and feverish. When I finally did get to sleep for the night, I woke up with my hands and feet burning a little, as if I had a mild rope burn. It was dark, so I flicked on the light to take a look at them and didn’t think I saw anything, just that they might have been a little red, so I tried to go back to sleep.

When Matt woke up for school he went to check on me and realized that my fever was breaking and went to get me some more medicine. Unfortunately, when I went to take it, I realized that my hands weren’t “just a bit red”, they were covered in little welts. There were so many welts that my entire hand looked red and swollen.

At this point, we booted it back over to the doctor and had it confirmed: my lame immune system is even more forgetful than I am and managed to forget its proper immune response. My doctor’s words when I showed her my hands? “You poor thing.” Apparently, I have to do everything to extremes.

The girls had only gotten a mild case of hand, foot and mouth, so I was in no way prepared for how bad I got it. I literally could not hold a remote properly. The best way I can describe the pain of it is that it is like burning yourself with a straightener and having pins and needles. It was so bad I couldn’t sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Unfortunately, Matt had to go back to work while I was off and I ended up spending the majority of being sick alone. I had zero energy and no appetite, not to mention I could barely walk, so one day I only made it out to the kitchen twice, only having 120 calories worth of grape popsicles to eat all day. This was in between soaking my feet in ice water in the bathtub to relieve the pain, and taking a nap with one icepack between my hands and one between my feet so I could actually get to sleep. As soon as the icepacks melted, it was back to the bathroom for another cold bath and a popsicle.

When a few days and the pain had passed, it was still difficult to walk due to the blisters, not to mention the ugly mess that was my hands. Hand, foot and mouth does this lovely little thing where any skin that blisters dies, so I had a mess of dead skin on my hands and feet that is still not completely gone. You would think that just meant that the first layer of skin died, but it actually means every layer of skin affected  by the illness is killed off, so I was left with weird, multilayered patches of skin as it peeled off.

Unfortunately, the skin on my feet is taking longer to heal and has become more painful. I am not a fan of feet, so I tried to avoid looking at them too much until a few days ago. Worst. Idea. Ever. Let’s just say I will post a photo of my hands at the end of this, and as yucky as that might be (and that was before the peeling started) there is no way my feet are being photographed in this state.

Mostly, I am feeling better now. I’m back in class (trying to catch up) and went back to work. I haven’t been on here much, unfortunately, but that’s as a result of pushing to get The Tourniquet Reprisal sent off to the printer. It will launch at the upcoming Hal-Con. A few other new-to-Halifax titles will accompany it, such as Kevin Woolridge’s The Man with the Hole in his Head, a collection of Engen Universe shorts titled light|dark and the latest novel in Matthew LeDrew’s Black Womb Series, Gang Wars. Hal-Con will also see the premiere of Black Womb in our international format, something we are working on doing for all our older books.

Anyway, as promised, here’s a picture of what kept me from being a productive member of society for a week and has given me a backlog of stuff to be doing. Avoid this stuff at all costs. I wouldn’t wish hand, foot and mouth on anyone.


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