Stomatitis

This past winter felt especially hard on our family. In addition to relentless dark, grey skies with limited snow, the hubs lost his job, had kidney stone surgery, then had complications from that surgery that put him back in the hospital for a few days. It seems like everyone had been fighting illness or some form of or another.

One of the weird illnesses that made its way into our house was Stomatitis. A ‘scary’ sounding name for a mouth virus in the herpes family. Closely related to canker sores or cold sores, stomatitis makes the mouth and tongue itch.

You can read about Stomatitis via Wikipedia here, but a simple explanation can be found at the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health where it states:

Stomatitis is an inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth, which may involve the cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, and roof or floor of the mouth. The word “stomatitis” literally means inflammation of the mouth.
Depending upon its cause, stomatitis may or may not be contagious. Herpes stomatitis is considered contagious. Children may be exposed through kissing, sharing food, or playing in close contact with others who have an active herpes infection, such as a cold sore. Aphthous stomatitis is not contagious.

Poor E had been dealing with an itchy tongue for several weeks. However, he only mentioned it to us once or twice during that time. Then, one night, it got bad. We tried allergy medication, we tried numbing cough drops; after lots of commotion he finally fell asleep many hours past his bedtime, only to wake up again after just three hours of sleep. The next day, we had to cancel our family plans for the day due to his limited sleep and, after trying to get through the day, took him to urgent care.

With fresh diagnosis in hand, he was prescribed a lidocaine-based mouthwash to numb the tongue and mouth as needed. Basically, since it’s a virus, it must run its course.

Unfortunately, the sensations of itching and numbing pushed E into sensory overload for days. There was much more stimming, tempers and overloads; so much so that his ability to focus and follow directions as normal was just about non-existent. It was challenging, but we survived, and it passed.

One of my favorite sayings that is all too familiar in our house (although I don’t know the author) is:

“This too shall pass. It’ll pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass!”

Categories: Autism, Parenting, SPD

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