Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hand, foot and mouth, anyone!?

When we picked the boys up from the orphanage on Monday we were told that Benjamin had a sore throat and that the doctor would be writing a prescription for some medication that we could fill at a local pharmacy. We filled the prescription, but he seemed to be feeling fine so I decided to hold off on giving it to him (these were not antibiotics, just "cold" medicine and I did not want to medicate him unless he was showing symptoms). The next day, we noticed a rash and, what appeared to be bug bites, on his arms and legs. It has been extremely hot and humid here all week (and my brother and I are covered in mosquito bites as well), so we chalked it up to heat rash and a sensitivity to mosquito bites. Yesterday he started running a fever and we noticed that his hands and feet (soles and palms included) were covered in this rash. I suspected that it might be hand, foot and mouth disease, but, having never experienced it before, I decided I would ask the pediatrician at the polyclinic the next day.

This morning, Thomas woke up with a high fever.

We went to the polyclinic to complete the boy's medicals required for their visas and the pediatrician confirmed my suspicions. Benjamin does indeed have hand, foot and mouth (though he appears to be on the upswing today) and it looks as though Thomas will be following in his footsteps. According to the pediatrician there has been an "epidemic" of hand, foot and mouth throughout Sofia and the surrounding areas over the past month and she was not surprised to see it (and actually diagnosed it before I even had the chance to ask). Unfortunately, because it is a virus, all we can really do is treat the fever and wait for it to run its course. It also means that there is a good chance that we will be bringing this little souvenir home with us.

While my sweet, little boys have had a difficult day, there have still been lots of smiles, giggles, snuggles and loves. The highlight of my day was watching the boys become more interactive with each other. I brought a container of organic puffs with me for the boys to snack on. Thomas loves them, but Benjamin isn't a fan. Thomas brings me the container and does the sign for "more" whenever he would like one. Benjamin usually sits with us and likes to shake the container, but doesn't eat them. Today he decided that he didn't want to be left out and asked for them as well. . . . .then promptly hand-fed them all to Thomas. It was a win-win situation for all parties involved!

Shortly before we went to dinner this evening, Thomas fell asleep on the bed. When Benjamin saw him there he climbed up on the bed and began stroking Thomas' head and kissing him, then tried to lay down and snuggle with him (though I am not sure Thomas interpreted it that way. . . toddler snuggling can be a little rough). It was incredibly sweet and left me with very little doubt that these two will go through life the best of friends.
Benjamin "snuggles" (as you can see, Thomas was not thrilled, but it was a sweet moment)
Kisses and loves for Thomas
Despite the difficulties of the day, it was a blessing for me to be able to love, nurture and care for my little ones in their illness and to witness their sweetness, joy and resilience despite how miserable they were feeling.
Uncle Keenan is barrels of fun

Please pray with us that this virus will run its course quickly and that Thomas and Benjamin will be feeling better by the time we head home on Saturday morning. Also, please pray that this virus will be past the point of contagion so that we do not pass it along to all of our brothers and sisters waiting for us at home (while we Riebens certainly like to keep things interesting, transitions are hard enough without introducing illness into the mix).
Not even hand, foot and mouth can keep us down!


Viviane said...

Seems like Hand, Foot and Mouth has been going around our area (OH/IN tri-state and on) as well. Cousins' families had it and now friends have it. Yikes!

Have a safe trip home!

BrendaB said...

Valerie, my first thought was... they look so much older. It has to be the hair cuts! Josiah had one when we picked him up too. They are adorable. I am so happy they are in your care. Hoping the sickness goes away quickly. Will be thinking of you tomorrow as you travel home. I KNOW your crew cannot wait to get their hands on them. Much love!

Remedy for Sore Throat said...

i hope your too kids recover quickly... and have a good health... they are sweet and lovely...

check page rank said...

they are sweet kids.. have a good health

Anonymous said...

Hi Valerie! Just stopping by to tell you how amazing you guys are for giving these children a chance to have a normal life and making them feel how sweet it is to have parents. Cheers!

Aiko Dumas

Mirembeproject said...

Miss your blogging!