Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh what a night!

I can honestly say there is no worse feeling in the world, than when a loved one is sick.

Especially, when that loved one is your 6 year old child.

Last night my little lamb was taken to hospital and diagnosed with HSP.

I know, I had never heard of it either.

HSP stands for Henoch-Schoenlein Purpura

Essentially, it's an inflammation in the blood vessels and/or capillaries.

It usually happens in children ages 2 to 11 and is more common in boys.

The cause is unknown and it's not contagious.

It is believed it's an abnormal response of the immune system.

On Tuesday evening after a lively game of mini-sticks (in my living room I might add), my little lamb complained of a sore foot.   After my careful examination I noticed a small bruise and slight swelling on the arch of his foot.

After a little rest and some ice he seemed okay.  Although limped a bit as he walked.

He then started saying his arm hurt and his wrist hurt, etc.

I just chalked it all up to the good old hockey game.

He woke up around 4am complaining of a sore throat and said his arms and legs hurt and he couldn't sleep because of the pain.

A dose of Advil did the trick, and we were all back to the land of nod.

The next morning he said  "remember I am not going to school today".  I then started to think something was a little fishy and honestly, sad to say, thought he was making everything up.

He stayed home and we cuddled on the couch all day.

He seemed fine, no fever, and ate normally.

This brings me to last night.

His brother had his final game of the season last night and we took him to the rink.   My little guy was all set to play mini sticks with his buddies.

In the car on the way home, he began to cry, complaining how much his arms and legs hurt.

Once home my husband looked him over, said he was fine and we both, once again chalked it up to being tired after a grueling game of mini-sticks.

Then it was my turn, I went over to my little lamb as he lay on the couch and I looked at his legs.  He had bright red bumpy dots all over the lower part of his legs.   Then I noticed lumps protruding from under his skin.

I asked hubby if he had noticed this minutes earlier, but he hadn't.

Almost before my eyes lumps started appearing under his skin, the size of golf balls.

It was terrifying.

I began to panic, we all began to panic.   I was crying, he was crying, we were all crying.

He was whisked away to hospital where he stayed until 130am.   After a battery of blood and urine work he was able to come home, with nothing more than Advil.

He was so brave!

There is no treatment for this strange unheard of virus.   It's a matter of waiting for the swelling of the joints to go down, so he can walk comfortably.  We were told, as well, that once the symptoms disappear, it will likely reoccur within 3 months.

He will have to be closely monitored, with weekly visits to the doctor because the danger here is, that it affects the kidneys and bowels.  It can actually cause kidney failure, intestinal bleeding or obstruction, and in rare cases, death if it attacks the central nervous system.

When I tucked him into bed last night,  I leaned over to kiss him goodnight.  My hair fell down over my face and his.

He looked up at and said "mom you look like Lady Ga Ga with your hair like that".

As I walked back to my bedroom I was left wondering if that was a good thing or bad.

At the end of a terrifying night I was nice to end it with a little giggle.


  1. Oh, please, not to worry you more, yes, HSP can lead to a kidney condition, Advil/ibuprofen is very hard on kidneys. Please have a consultation with a pediatrician or another one. I can't understand why they recommended ibuprofen. A pediatric nephrologist is the kidney specialist.

    Now, to try to reassure you, a friend's daughter had this and had no long lasting side effects and nearly 10 years after her HSP is a healthy teen.

    I will say a prayer.

  2. Oh my! I'm so glad that they figured out what's the problem. Hope your little man is feeling well now.
    It seems something is in the air, I ended up with Patrik at emergency at 2am this morning as well. He couldn't breath, he goes through another croup. Sigh.
    Hope both of them will get better soon and us, moms, can be relaxed again. Thinking of you!!!

  3. I read your post from PW. My daughter had HSP when she was 7. She started throwing up and would not stop. After the second straight day we took her into the clinic and was there for 5 hours while they drew blood and ran test. All they could come up w/ was strep throat and sent us home. third day of throwing up, she couldn't stand up, and she hurt all over, a friend told us about another doctor. We made an apt. for the next day. By then our little girl had lost a pound and was so sick we had to carry her in. By then she had developed the rash on her arms and legs. The doctor took one look at her, excused herself, and came back with a book. "I think I know what your daughter has". HSP. We were both shocked and relieved. The doctor immediately put her on heavy duty antibiotics and gave her a steroid shot to help her throwing up. Within two days she had her appetite back, eating a whole box of Honey Nut Cheerios! :) we were just greatful she was holding something down. It was so scarey to see out little girl so sick. had we waited one more day she would have been in the hospital. it hadn't hit her organs yet. The doctor had told us of a little boy who had HSP and it had already moved to his kidneys. We were very lucky and blessed to be able to find a good doctor, she is still our doctor today. I would say hold your little one but if he is like our daughter she couldn't stand to be touched. By the way, the HSP never came back and she is now 17 years old.

  4. Thank you so much Sharon for sharing your story. With my little guy, he doesn't seem sick at all (thank goodness) it's all in his joints though. He can't even walk without pain. The blood/urine test all came back, showing everything was normal, so there is no damage to his kidneys. We were told it would just take time for the swelling to go down. Today, he has rested, watched cartoons all day and pretty much eaten everything you can imagine. I can't help it, but I still feel nervous. Thanks again for your story. So glad to hear your daughter did well and is a healthy 17 year old now.

  5. Thanks Gabi for your thoughts. Hope Patrik is doing well today! I will email you tomorrow. xoxoxo