Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Toenail Woes and Probable Cause

Remember back in late November when Katie came down with a really bad case of hand, foot and mouth disease and I followed suit four days later?  I think it will be a long time before that incredibly miserable week and a half is a distant memory for me.

Katie has several marks on her that I think are probably scars, and I have a few marks on my hands from the ordeal.  Oh, and my feet are still peeling from all of the blisters that formed under my calloused skin.  Two months later and we're still dealing with the after effects.

I noticed in early December that Katie's toenails were turning yellow and then orange.  Then I noticed that they looked really thick.  I suspected that something happened to them as a result of the virus, but since my toe nails didn't turn yellow or orange I figured it must be something else.  I did, however, notice that two of my fingernails grew in with what appear to be blisters in the nail itself.  It's all so bizarre.  So at Katie's well appointment two weeks ago I asked the doctor if her toenails could have changed color because of the hand, foot and mouth disease.  He told me he's never heard of such a thing and that it was probably something in her diet or a fungus, but he didn't think it was a fungus.  A culture was ordered of her toenail clippings and I just got around to dropping them off today.

I mentioned to Bryan a few days ago that Katie's toenails are now very thick and brittle.  When I went to clip them they crumbled.  I've never seen a nail do that!  Then tonight as Bryan was getting Katie ready for bed he noticed that her big toenail looks like it's about to fall off completely.  The odd thing is it looks like another nail is under the one that is lifting off.

Anyway, we're both concerned about her nails and aren't thrilled that they appear as though they will all likely fall off.  I decided to do a little searching online to see what could be going on based on her symptoms.  One site I looked at the nails looked just like her's and it mentioned that having a virus or a trauma to your system could cause this to happen.  Then I did a search for hand, foot and mouth disease and toenails falling off.  Would you believe I found a story about it?

Apparently there's a newer strain of the virus that is a bit tougher than the standard variety.  The way the rash presents is much like what Katie had happen to her and it's also a strain that adults are more prone to contract.  And then there was the bit that talks about how many kids who have gotten this strain have lost finger and toenails.  At this point, I think it's safe to assume that Katie's nail culture will come back negative for fungus.  It looks like the virus probably the culprit.

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