Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Henoch Schonlein Purpura


Yeah, that's right.

Exactly right.

Remember Drew's trip to the doctor last week, resulting in a double ear infection diagnosis?

Right. Why couldn't it have been just that easy???

Drew began on his schedule of medications last Wednesday, and it appeared as though by Thursday, he was already doing much better. Sleeping well, and no longer complaining of ear pain.

And then Friday happened.

I was giving the boys their baths that morning, and as Drew was getting into the tub, I noticed that he had these little red freckles on his bum and his legs. It looked like someone had taken a red pen and dotted it all over his lower half. Weird.

But what was weirder was that by Friday night, it looked like this:

...and it had "spread" to his elbows...

...and his toosh was especially flaring up, but I'll spare any kind of indiscretion or embarrassment and keep that picture offline. :)

All in all, not looking good.

My initial reaction was that he had developed a rash/hives allergic reaction from his antibiotic. But it was super odd looking, like no other case of hives I've ever seen (not that I've seen a whole lot, but you know, mother's instincts...this stuff looked funky!), or maybe chicken pox? (Can't say I've seen a case of those, either.) So, I called the after hours nurse line. They recommended a trip to the Urgent Care on Saturday morning, and they also said to hold his antibiotic until after I saw the doctor there.

So, Saturday morning, off to our local UC to see a very odd doctor. Nice enough, but definitely not a pediatrician. Anyway, right away he diagnosed Drew with Henoch Schonlein Purpura, which is a form of blood vessel inflammation. Basically, little tiny blood vessels were hemorrhaging, causing these ugly red bumps. He said that it's a condition that typically comes after an infection, and is most common in kids, boys in particular. Symptoms include these red bumps, joint pain, stomachaches (which Drew had been complaining of) and it can also affect the kidneys.

~Let me just interject that I was totally fine until he mentioned major organs, then I got just a teensy bit nervous. Just.a.tish.~

[When we got home, I Goggled HSP, and if you'd like to read more about it, click here. Drew is pretty much a textbook case.]

Anyway, he couldn't say it was a result of antibiotic use or not, so he said to forgo all meds expect for Tylenol for any ear pain, and check in with our pediatrician on Monday.

So, thankful for an answer, not so thankful that my son who has a double ear infection is now stuck with taking only Tylenol for two whole days.


Drew did start experiencing the joint pain symptom, randomly complaining his legs hurt, unable to go up and down the stairs without groaning, and walking around on his tiptoes, legs spread like he just got off a horse.
And being the awesome mother I am, I totally neglected giving him any Tylenol because he said he didn't want it. He was feeling "good."


Ha ha ha.

Come Saturday night, not feeling so good! He woke in the night, screaming in pain, and he and I ended up being awake from 12:45 until 4 in the morning, giving meds and trying to distract so he'd relax and fall back asleep. Finally, at 3:30, a dose of Benadryl, a second dose of Tylenol, and his most favorite Lightening McQueen movie, caused his eyes to close.

Needless to say, all day Sunday (and Monday as I couldn't get him in to see Dr. Hunter until today), he was on a four-hour Tylenol regimen! And he's been doing great on just that, not complaining of anything.

So today, off to Dr. Hunter's office to finish up our week-long Drew drama. She confirmed the UC doctor's diagnosis, but clarified that antibiotics don't cause HSP. It's the infection itself that results in this condition. So, back on the antibiotic he goes (good!) as his ears are still red and fluid filled. She reiterated HSP's symptoms, and said that the one of most concern is the way it could harm his kidneys (very rarely would this cause any long-term effects, so that's a relief, but still important to keep an eye on things now). So Drew gave a urine sample to make sure no blood microorganisms are swimming around in there, and the results came back perfectly normal. *Sigh* HSP will clear up on its own, but it could take anywhere from 2-12 weeks. We'll see Dr. Hunter again in about a month to recheck Drew's ears and to check his urine again.

So, super thankful that we've got this mystery figured out. A little weirded out still by what it is, but thankful that it doesn't bother Drew. As horrible as these bumps look (these pictures don't do them justice...they've increased in number since Saturday and are super red and inflamed, and his bum is absolutely covered!), they don't itch or burn or scab over or anything. And they won't leave any scars.

So... Reed gets herpes.

And Drew gets this.

What's next?!

1 comment:

  1. worried mom -
    Hi there, how did your son do with his HSP? Did he recover? Any complications? How long?
    Doctors think my daughter has it...