Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This post has nothing to do with photography. More of my journey as a mom and dealing with sick kids. Not just the colds, or the flu, or something like that. Rohan has had strep throat (20 months) and an ear infection, and roseola - those were nothing compared to this. This was something awful, it required multiple trips to doctors and the ACH, multiple medications, no sleep and the most crying and whining I have ever seen. Also the most pain. I have never before seen the pain I saw in Rohan's eyes. The complete misery. My heart broke for him and I just wanted to change places with him. Even for a minute to lessen his pIt started out innocently enough..... but very soon it was an out of control raging virus that caused alot of pain for a little boy.
Gingivostomatitis is common, particularly among children. It may occur after infection with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which also causes cold sores.
The symptoms can be mild or severe and may include:
Sores on the inside of the cheeks or gums
General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
Very sore mouth with no desire to eat
It was horrible. Some websites have made this virus out to be nothing. Boy are they WRONG!!!!

Jan 6
He threw up out of the blue.

Jan 7
He seemed to have developed a cold. That night he woke up around 10pm saying his ear hurt. He also had a high fever. Worried it was an ear infection and he acted exactly like he had the last time he had an ear infection we took him to ACH. He was so insanely miserable in the hospital. I didn't know it happened - but I guess a nurse tried to take his temp when I was checking him in and gave up when Rohan hit her. Dion told me later. We had been there an hour, and Rohan was crying the whole time. I finally took him back to admitting where he was given codeine and tylenol. Because he had been screaming so much I didn't know at the time what he had been given. He was screaming and spitting it out all over me. But it finally went down and 10 min later he was a new kid. If you had seen him then you would never know why we were there lol. His pupils were soooo dilated and when someone asked him his name he said 'three'. He was REALLY out of it. Then we waited and waited. After being there for hours we were told he had the beginning of an ear infection. One that he should be able to fight on his own. The dr gave us a prescription for penicillin, but told us not to give it to him unless he was still complaining of pain in his ear in another day or two. When we asked what they had given him at admitting she told us it was codeine. When we asked for a prescription for that she laughed and told us they didn't like to give it out. (this IS important for later) So we went home. Rohan was happy b/c he was given three popsicles there!

Jan 8
He wasn't any better, but he wasn't complaining of ear pain so I thought it was just a cold. But despite all the tylenol and motrin I was giving him I knew he had a fever. I couldn't bring the fever down. In the afternoon his gums started to turn the dark red color. They were bright but a dark color, darker than normal. By then he was starting to know what hurt. He would be fine playing, then he would point to his mouth and yell out how much it hurt. I was getting worried but kept on giving him his medications hoping it would go away. That night was the beginning of a long line of nights with between 2-3 hours of sleep for me, with alot of crying, pain and frustration.

Jan 10
I knew this was NOT going to go away. He woke up with what looked like a blister on his lip. Then another one.... then another. And they turned into sores. It was awful. Some of them sprang up just inbetween me taking the first pic to the fourth. Soon he had about 8 of them. So in the afternoon I took him to the walkin. Which was great - barely any wait at all (it was the first warm nice day in a while). The dr there said he had a double ear infection, mouth ulcers as a result of a virus he had caught and strep. When she was looking in his mouth she pulled back his lips and there were big sores where the gums meet the skin under your lip. His tonsils were huge - I wanted to throwup when she showed me. She said she didn't even need to see the results from the swab, but did it anyways. So off we went with a new prescription for penicillin (she changed it from the one we got at ACH).

Jan 11
Well - the penicillin was NOT going down. No way no how. Both he and I cried over it. He is really good with medicine so after a day I knew I had a problem. He still had the high fever and his lips just kept getting worse. He wouldn't even eat popsicles or pudding - his favorite things in the world. He was just in so much pain and kept yelling 'LIP' cause he could barely talk. By the afternoon drool was actually falling out of his mouth his lips were so swollen and I could see the sores on his tongue even. I had no clue what to do. I had only had a couple hours of sleep because he couldn't sleep at all. We were both zombies.
I took him back to ACH that night. Poor kid was just miserable. He couldn't eat, couldn't drink and was so tired but couldn't sleep. He could barely talk and when he did it was to YELL 'LIP' and start to cry. Thankfully we got in relatively quickly. (I say that because there was a line up just to register - like a take your number, sit down and wait an hour till your number is called wait). They took us in about 2 hours and sent us to a part of the hospital we had never been to. We had a nurse, someone being trained for something, a resident and a dr. They all came in to look, ask questions and then we got our answer. Gingivostomatitus. Uncontrollable high fever, sores, no appetite - it all fit. FINALLY. He also did have ear infections, but as he was not in any pain in his ear the dr said to stop trying the penicillin (yay for GOOD news lol) unless the strep test came back +, but it was rare to get strep and this together. And as we never got the call her 'positively strep' diagnosis was wrong!

Then the bad news. The dr said there was nothing to give him as it was a virus. But he prescribed codeine for the pain. ALOT of it. Codeine...... if only the first dr on the first visit didn't laugh at us for asking for it!!!!

So we went home at 12:30 am. We stopped at Shoppers to get his meds and bought some lip balms the pharmacist there thought would help. We still had to stop at grandmas. Rohan even in his sleepy state was insistent on it. So we visited, got him to take the codeine and took him home.

Jan 12
If you've read this far..... you're probably hoping that was that. But it wasn't!!!! Far from it!
I was happy this morning - Rohan slept in!!! But when he woke up I was floored. His lips were worse, way worse!
So the same morning as getting home from ACH..... just hours later I was back to our doctors. The pharmacist said there was antiviral treatment for the lips to help speed up the healing. Rohan's lips were not getting better, IMO. They were almost totally blistered over. They were cracking, bleeding and new sores were still pooping up. Grandma, Daddy and I had to melt popsicles then drop the juice by spoon to the back of his throat. I even had to resort to using a dropper to get liquids down. He just was terrible. I couldn't get the lip balms on so I was using Q-tips and vaseline. We both cried the first few times because as I was applying it his lips were literally falling off.
So we went to the dr and got a prescription for Zovirax. AKA Gold. That stuff is so expensive. But it did help alot. We would put it on, then cover it in vaseline. But after awhile Rohan just wanted vaseline. The medication had helped but he was getting the pain of his lips associated with the zovirax and didn't want any part of it. But his lips were starting to get better. That stuff works quick! The dr also said he wouldn't be contagious in a few days as some of them were starting to scab over. YAY! Because we had been locked up in the house for weeks (we all had the flu once, some twice just before this).

Jan 13
The next day he was still suffering. Some would crack and bleed (sometimes he woke up with a mouth FULL of blood), and he had a large sore between his front two top teeth that really turned almost black, as did his lips. I was starting to get worried again. He was just crying and crying all the time and still wasn't really eating. He still couldn't sleep more than a couple hours at a time. We were both tired.... he actually fell asleep on the couch just before bed. That has happened once before in his little lifetime, so I knew he was tired.

This was the day I didn't know if we could take any more. The night before was awful. I had a grand total of 1 hour of sleep. He was up almost every hour. And would take forever to get to sleep. I felt so bad for him.
I found out I could use codeine, tylenol, and motrin that morning. I had been giving codeine and motrin, but didn't know I could give tylenol still too. AWWWWWW bliss. He actually played! He played Playdoh - which was huge! It actually made me forget the HORRIBLE night because it had been so long since I had seen him smile. That night he was actually drinking from a straw!!! Chocolate milk!!!! He was starting to get hungry.... but everytime he tried something - even pudding from a spoon it would hurt and he was frustrated and really sore. My heart was breaking for him - I wish it could have been me not him.

Jan 15
After another 'fun' night he seemed to be getting better..... sort of. Some of the scabs were peeling and falling off. But being a 3 year old boy he could NOT leave them alone. So he was picking them off, and he was bleeding EVERYWHERE. All he kept saying was I just want my lips to be small again.......
Grandma and I took the kids around the block on the sled for some much needed outdoor fresh air. Until then I had been out only to the drs, to get precriptions, to the hospital and once to get groceries. Ro had been on all the drs trips and Kade hadn't been out AT ALL poor girl!
They had a BLAST! It was so nice to see them both out having fun for once. Rohan had the time of his life. He seemed to be getting better, but the WHAM it would start all over with the crying. Or he would poke or pick at his lip and they would bleed again.

Jan 16
The day I finally caved. I needed a nap. Thank goodness their grandma loves them, because she watched them and I had a nap. I just couldn't go on. I had only a couple hours of sleep that night. And every night had been a broken sleep in Rohan's bed which FYI doubles are not fun to sleep in with a bed hog toddler!!!! Especially one that's coughing, drooling and crying right beside you! Not to mention hot like fire, you don't want him touching you at all, and all he wants to do is CUDDLE!

Jan 17
A ray of sunshine. This day was the beginning of the end. He was getting better. This was the first day he no longer needed codeine and was only on tylenol. He FINALLY didn't have a fever and the weird fever rash that kept coming and going was GONE. He was smiling and happy. It was so great to see him happy again. He was no longer contagious so his cousins finally came over to visit. They had been gone for Christmas and we hadn't seen them for a LONG time. it was really nice.

Today is Jan 28
He still has moments when his mouth hurts and he still is brushing his teeth lightly. But he is almost completely healed. He does still have a few sores that are healing, but to see him you would never know. The moments of pain are few and far between and only last for seconds.

I am so glad this is over. The next time he gets this it should 'only' be a cold sore showing up lol!

Now...... here's to hoping the cold he just caught goes away soon lol!


  1. wow! I had no idea that this was so bad! I can't believe the amount of pain he was in or how long it lasted! Hopefully he is completly healed soon.

  2. same as above. i had no idea either! poor lil' dude...and you too!

  3. My god, this sounds terrible! Glad he is better.





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Thanks for visiting! My name is Kathy and I am a mother of two and raising them with the love of my life. I have just embarked upon an amazing journey - a photography business in Calgary AB. Always learning, practicing and enjoying every part!