Photo: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine, Flickr Creative Commons
I may die soon.
My son is currently recovering from a bout with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Don't let the commas scare you. The illness isn't really that bad. Sure, it causes severely painful sores in the mouth that in small children often leads to dehydration, but it's not like regular influenza that actually kills people sometimes. It's probably not even as deadly as the swine flu, which has turned out to have killed fewer people than a normal seasonal flu. That's right, all you idiots who ran around sanitizing like a hypochondriac chicken with its head cut off are looking pretty foolish right now. Plus, when you die of a drug-resistant superbug that you helped breed, the rest of us will get to laugh at you before we also die of that same disease.
Getting back to the HFMD my son has, it may have been caused by a virus whose name sounds like Cock Sacky Virus. I like that name. It's kind of like you're calling the virus a douchebag, which it is. The early symptoms are a general sense of being unwell, possibly a sore throat, a rash that doesn't itch, and the rash is usually on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
I woke up this morning with a sore on the palm side of my left thumb and right now I have two more red spots on that palm and three on my right palm. I can only assume that I will be much less brave that my two-year-old who was willing to drink through the pain after we dosed him with a little Lidocaine gel and children's Tylenol. By Friday, I fully expect to have died of dehydration, having refused even beer for the majority of this week.
Of course, my little red spots could be entirely coincidental. This disease is not usually seen in adults, but I was the one who stayed home with him on Friday and cleaned up the puddles of drool (one of the carriers of the contagious virus) that he left behind because he wouldn't swallow his own saliva.
If I do die, it would be entirely justified, though. When my wife noticed a very minor rash on the kid last week, I brushed off her concerns. He's two. He plays roughly and spends a lot of time outdoors. What she showed me looked like a couple of bug bites and the minor skin irritation I'd get from rolling around in the grass. I didn't even see that the first time she showed me. She's gotten herself worried about minor rashes that amounted to nothing in the past, so I told her not to get worried about it. She wasn't fond of my response, but I was busy watching TV or something. I would have felt like a dick when we took him to the doctor on Thursday to find out that this rash was actually something real this time, except for the fact that there was nothing we could have done about it anyway and I was just playing the odds. Why get worked up about a silly rash when they kid was perfectly healthy otherwise? I did let myself get worked up when he stopped eating and drinking on Thursday when we took him to the doctor. It's not like I did anything wrong. I'd think that would be enough to persuade Karma that I did what was right and just.
But this is a good week to die, so whatever.
* I can't even find a metaphorical connection between the title and the post today, so I won't even try. Suffice it to say that ninth-graders like to hit each other a lot and it annoys me.