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I’m 22 & Got An Illness That 5 Year Old Children Get

It’s kind of embarrassing to be writing this post as it’s currently still ailing me, but what the hell. We all have our up and down days, and while I’m sure my friends at work will rag on me for this forever, I do want to put a bit of awareness out there in regards to this, no matter how rare it is for adults.

I’ve got hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

If you’re thinking, “What the fuck?”, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Here, let me help you:

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful. The illness usually doesn’t last more than a week or so.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is common in children but can also occur in adults. It can occur at any time of year but is most common in the summer and fall.

It is not the same as other diseases that have similar names: foot-and-mouth disease(sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease) or mad cow disease. These diseases almost always occur in animals.

So as you see, it’s mostly common in children but I’m one of the lucky few adults! Most likely, I got it from my girlfriend. She exhibited symptoms of it last week but fought it off, likely because she’s an elementary school teacher and therefore her immune system has built up a solid defense on how to avoid the plague that is slimy, disgusting children.

I wasn’t so lucky. So what happened to me?

Well, Friday morning last week I noticed I was definitely a bit sore, but I chalked it up to a killer workout on Thursday. So I dealt with it. When I got home from work that afternoon, I was really tired though, so I laid down for a quick nap. When I woke up an hour later, I felt like death. I had a splitting headache, my entire body was achy, I felt dizzy, and my body temperature just felt weird.

That night I dealt with a cold sweat; meaning that while I was shivering with goosebumps I was also sweating out my asscrack. I had to curl up under two comforters to make it through the night. All of Saturday was spent on the couch, and that night was almost as bad as Friday.

Sunday I felt better, and my girlfriend came back into town so I saw her. I felt a little tired but nearly normal otherwise. So naturally, we had sex. As soon as I came I felt exhausted. I fell asleep shortly thereafter – and, you guessed it – woke up and felt like death again. Except this time I was just flat-out burning up, and when Holly measured my temperature I was rocking a cool 103.6 degrees.

Keep in mind, these are “dangerous” levels, depending on who you ask. I called out of work sick Monday. I spent the whole day taking it easy and felt relatively better, but now I was starting to develop gum inflammation and cold sores on my lips (no, not herpes for those of you tempted to make that joke).

By now I was getting concerned. So I went to the doctor on Tuesday, she diagnosed it within a minute of inspecting me. She said the fact that I don’t have blisters/rashes on my hands or feet is testament to a good immune system and that I’m actually fighting it off quite well. She said that any antibiotics would simply kill off good bacteria already cleansing my system, and told me to work at home the rest of this week. Of course, my birthday is coming up this week and I had major plans this weekend, so I hope I can recover in time.

Doc did inform me that it’s been going around a lot this summer, even among adults, so if you see someone with rashes on their hands-feet-and-mouths; I’d stay away.

  • July 16, 2014
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