Small red spots on the hands and feet, a sore throat and a fever over 100 degrees are the symptoms Juan Carlos experienced due to a mysterious illness he caught.
“I was at work and my hands started to itch and they felt like ant bites and a few days later I noticed red spots all over my hands,” Carlos said.
Carlos caught a viral infection that is common among children known as hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The disease causes sores to appear on the hands, feet and the mouth of the person who has contracted it.
Although Carlos experienced the different symptoms that go along with the virus, he still could not pinpoint what it was.
“Once the red spots started to appear I knew something wasn’t right because I knew I didn’t put my hands in any ant piles,” Carlos said.
Carlos, a student at Hillsborough Community College who manages a Sonic Drive-in, does not have any children, so it was weird to him that he caught a children’s disease.
He says that he probably caught the virus from either an employee or a classmate who has children. When Carlos noticed the abnormal changes he was going through, he ran to his wife Gloria Mendez to ask her what he should do.
“When he came to me I was freaked out and didn’t want to touch it so I immediately took him to the doctor,” Mendez said.
Once the two arrived at the clinic, Carlos explained to the nurse practitioner the symptoms he was experiencing and the cold that he had before the symptoms occurred. Carlos was tested for strep throat, but the results were negative. The nurse informed Carlos and his wife that he may have hand-foot and mouth disease.
Unfortunately for Carlos the disease is incurable and usually lasts a week and was told he would have to wait it out, but Mendez didn’t want this illness to get the best of her husband.
“At that moment I went to the drug store and bought Benadryl, Aveeno lotion, Tylenol and oatmeal body washes and cortisone,” Mendez said.
Mendez’s love for her husband was put to the test, once he began to experience the serious stages of the illness. She says her husband drove her crazy for seven days.
“He had a list of all the different medications he needed to take and what time he needed to take them, and he called my phone consistently each time,” Mendez said.
Mendez says that while her husband was sick she felt as if the two were back in the dating stages because she didn’t get close to him one time.
“I didn’t kiss him for two weeks straight , at times he wanted to kiss me but I told him I can’t get sick too because I have to work,” Mendez said.
Although her husband’s illness created a lot of germs, Mendez made sure her house was germ free.
“Lysol was my best friend, I would spray it throughout my house and washed my sheets every night,” Mendez said.
Throughout her husband’s sickness Mendez stayed by his side, day in and day out.
“Regardless that my husband’s condition was contagious, when I married him it was through sickness and health. So if he was going down I was going down with him,” Mendez said
Carlos is now experiencing the healing stages of the illness and plans to see a doctor in the next few days.