Then came the sore throat, followed by the ache in his hands and feet. A short time later the sores formed on his hands and feet and around his mouth. He had all the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease, which is not uncommon in infants and small children. My son is 15 and in high school.
I took him to see his doctor and confirmed that he does indeed have hand, foot and mouth disease. It’s highly uncommon but not unheard of in teenagers. About a week after his symptoms started, his older brother got the fever and sore throat. At the time of this writing, his hands, feet and mouth are breaking out. Now their oldest brother, who is 23, is in bed with a sore throat and blisters starting to form.
The two younger boys attend Terry High School in Rosenberg and they tell me that this appears to be going around the school. Julia Worley, the school nurse, said otherwise.
“As far as I am aware of, your boys are the only ones that I know that has this at Terry High School. I know Meyer Elementary had a few cases over a two-week time period,” she said.
At church on Sunday I was told that hand, foot and mouth disease has broken out at camps at drilling rigs here in Texas. Men as old as 40 are apparently coming down with this childhood disease. I do not have any confirmation of this, but Chris Van Deusen, director of media relations with the Texas Department of State Health Services, informed me that this is quite probable.
“Hand, foot and mouth is a very common viral illness (it can be caused by a few different viruses) that often circulates among young children but can affect older children and adults, too. It can be spread by coughing and sneezing, sharing food and drinks, and the fecal-oral route, so it stands to reason it spreads easily when people are in close proximity and eating together as in schools or oil and gas camps,” he said. “It’s usually a mild illness, especially for older children and adults, in fact, many people who get infected may not experience any symptoms. It usually starts with fairly general symptoms (fever, sore throat, feeling bad), then a rash or blisters can develop in the mouth and on the hands and feet (hence the name). There’s no particular treatment for the virus, so it’s just treating the symptoms.”
I don’t know much else about the disease except, according to my son’s doctor, in a few months we can expect their fingernails and toenails to start falling out. It’s nothing to worry about, as they should grow back.
There is nothing anyone can do about the disease other than practice good hygiene, wash frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, etc. If you or any of your children come down with any of the symptoms, please stay home. Don’t go to work, don’t send kids to school or daycare, and don’t go to public events until your fever breaks and any sores are no longer open.
Baseball is back
Oh how sweet it is! The Sugar Land Skeeters are back in action. As of Sunday night, the boys in blue are 3-0, having beaten the New Britain Bees in all three games to start the series. It’s an awesome way to start the Pete Incaviglia era at Constellation Field.
This is the seventh season for the Skeeters and the first with Incaviglia as skipper. It seems strange not having Gary Gaetti running the team, but this brand of Skeeters baseball is fun and quite aggressive. I love Gary to death and wish him well in whatever he is doing. He is a great manager and the Skeeters were lucky to have his services for the first six years. The Incaviglia era, however, is off to a great start and it’s been a ton of fun to watch so far.
There are only four or five former Skeeters on the roster this year, meaning it’s a whole new ball club. It’s going to take some time before the names and faces become familiar, but I think those of us who have been to games already will agree, we like what we see and we’ll get to know these players quite well in the weeks and months to come. Among the newcomers who are off to a great start are Courtney Hawkins, who not only got the first hit of the season, but knocked an inside the park home run. Matt Chavez is on a blistering pace with eight hits off 11 at-bats. Other newcomers to watch are Barrett Barnes, Welington Dotel, Alvaro Rondon, and Derek Norris.
Returning Skeeters Albert Cordero and Anthony Giansanti are showing strong leadership and great performances so far. On the mound, returning Skeeters Brett Marshall, Mitch Talbot and Felipe Paulino are on fire, as are newbies Logan Bawcom, Konner Wade, Kyle Winkler, and Hunter Cervanka.
It’s going to be great watching this team gel and restore championship glory to this franchise. So far I find Incaviglia to be very personable and resolute in his determination to win and get the best possible out of his players. I hope he’s in for a long run in Sugar Land. I know three games is hardly enough to judge him on, but as a player and coach he has a long history of providing fun and aggressive entertainment on the diamond.
This year the Skeeters are using the theme More Than Baseball. That’s a nod to the many things the team is doing to enhance the ballpark experience. The 50-50 raffle is proving to be a huge success for the team, raising fun and funds for the Sugar Land Skeeters Foundation. The Skeeters are doing a lot more to engage fans during the games, including roving team store salespeople, roving raffle ticket sellers, improved menus at the concession stands, and more activities. Gone is the carousel behind leftfield, but it was balky and problematic for a while.
Another thing fans will notice this year is that the Skeeters and all of their opponents are wearing round, black patches on their sleeves with the letters JK on them. During the 2018 season, every team throughout the Atlantic League will wear the patches to honor the memory and many contributions to the Atlantic League by Joe Klein. He was the Atlantic League’s executive director and passed away last August. He was instrumental in the founding and growth of the league for 20 years.