With three little kids, two in daycare, moving around from parents to grandparents -- we have become the Chucky Cheese playground for the growing leisure class of viruses -- or is that virii.
So I should not have been surprised after watching a rashy Noah last week that some oil rich virus family decided to board the S.S. Mark Cruise Ship where, starting yesterday morning, they have been partying like a rock star.
BAGMAN: "What's he talking about?"
BUTLER: "He's just trying to be cute."
BAGMAN: "He sure don't look cute to me."
In my defense, I will say that there are only a few little spots of -- I hate to say the word -- infection on my face. Less than the acne I dealt with as an adolescent. But the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet look like star maps! All four extremities are covered with areas of reddness, little red spots, big red spots, even bigger red spots with white circles in the middle, and places where the skin has torn and left little half-moon shapes.
The journalist in me really wants to take a picture of my hands and feet but they are so ugly that I don't want to look at them. Although, I confess, I sometimes spend a long time just staring at them and wondering what the hell to do.
I did, of course, go to the doctor. It was not our family doctors day in the office so I went to one of the "Doc-in-a-box" urgent care centers. He said it looked like I had a viral rash on my hands and feet.
But, my blank stare told him that he needed to better than that. At medical school they teach you that you need to say something, at least, that the patient doesn't already know. So after hearing about the grandchildren's recent medical history, he told me that there was a particular virus called --- Hell, I don't remember it -- coxificillis or something -- that was transmitted by children and caused rashes on the hands and feet as well as a sore throat. (Oh yes, forgot to mention that I have a sore throat too).
He said the common name was hand, foot, and mouth disease. I'm really pretty sure he made that up.
He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and another for a really expensive skin lotion and told me it would run its course in a few days. Somehow I think he made that up too.
Of course, this has inconvenienced the rest of the adults. I bought some latex exam gloves at the pharmacy because I sure wasn't about to feed the baby or change her diaper with hands that look like they were transplanted from a zombie. But it still didn't take much for me to convince the parents that Grandpa Diggy didn't need to be around their kids, even if they had to change their plans.
So I am alone. The dog can't figure out why we don't do more and longer walks -- but walking is not very comfortable. It is easy to describe the way this feels. I feel like I was walking barefoot and my feet got stuck in a fire ant nest and then I had to dig them out with my bare hands. It kind of looks that way too. When it's not burning, it's itching.
I've never been good at not-scratching an itch.
BUTLER: "Yes. That is a skill that you and Bagman never practiced much."
I guess I'll look up "hand, foot, and mouth virus" on the internet and see if the doc in the box knew what he was talking about. But first...
BUTLER: "NO! Don't scratch that! You will only spread it!!