Monday, March 15, 2010

Colin's Mystery Illness -pictures added

Those of you on facebook heard a little about this, but here is the full story:
  • Last Wednesday: I pick Colin up from school to find him limping and crying. As I carry him to the car, he tells me that his left knee really really hurts. When we get home, I see that it is swollen. No redness or warmness, just very puffy. He says he didn't fall or hurt it at school. Soon he starts complaining that his stomach hurts. At around 5 pm he throws up. He has no fever. I start googling and of course fear something like bone cancer. He goes to bed but is awake off and on from 10-2 saying his stomach really hurts. When Chad gives him ibuprofen it seems to help and he sleeps better.

  • Thursday: When he wakes up in the morning, Colin is no longer in pain and the swelling in his knee is gone. I curse myself for not taking a picture (c'mon Katie!!) - I have nothing to show the doctor! His pediatrician isn't in the office, so we see another one. Like I said, there is nothing to show him. The Dr. does a strep test, which, not surprisingly, comes back negative, and sends us on our merry way. That night, I notice a rash on his legs, below the knees. It looks like red pin-pricks. I now have something new to google.
  • I come across information about Henoch–Schönlein purpura or HSP "Classically, HSP causes skin rash, pain in the abdomen, and joint inflammation (arthritis). Not all features need be present for the diagnosis. The rash of skin lesions appears in gravity-dependent areas, such as the legs. The joints most frequently affected with pain and swelling are the ankles and the knees" This sounds exactly like what Colin is experiencing.
  • Friday: The rash is barely noticeable in the morning. I don't want to go back to the same Dr, and Colin is feeling fine, so he goes back to school. When he comes home, he periodically complains of stomach pains, headaches, and backaches, especially at night.
  • Same Saturday and Sunday. Lots of aches. The rash remains but is much more mild than any pictures I have seen of Henoch–Schönlein purpura. I think to take a picture this time.
  • Today: Take him to his pediatrician, Dr. Smoak. I LOVE him. He diagnoses it as Henoch–Schönlein purpura without me ever mentioning it. I am so relieved. The mystery is solved. The Dr. orders some blood work (which almost makes Colin faint. Who knew my boy was queasy about that stuff?) and a urine sample to make sure it isn't something else, and both come back clean.

Colin will probably be dealing with this for the next three or four weeks. He will most likely just continue to have the rash and aches and pains. He is not contagious. It can occasionally cause more serious problems if the kidneys become inflammed, so we will be bringing urine samples in weekly. We will just be praying that it follows the more typical path and doesn't become serious.

I have been so worried about figuring this out for the last few days that until it was diagnosed today, I confess that I hadn't thought much about how hard it must be for Colin to experience it all. I know that when I am in pain and not feeling physically well,'s just hard to be cheerful and everything that goes wrong is much harder to deal with. He has remained pretty happy and active and Colin-like. He is such a good kid.

March 12 in the evening - day 2 of the rash

March 16

March 17, almost a week after his knee first became swollen

Very appetizing right above pictures of the cake, huh?


Billy said...

I'm glad it turned out to be something rather mild. Stinks that he might be miserable for a month but that's a lot better than some of the alternatives. Colin will be in our prayers.

Olivia Carter said...

Ack! So glad to know what it is. When I saw that on facebook I was like, "what the heck could that be?"

Naila said...

Its amazing how we self diagnose our children through goggle. I have done my fair share of googling every ailment my kids have. I think it helps me sound like I know what I'm talking about therefore the doctor actually talks to me for more than 2 seconds. It helps to get him tested for things when the doctor wouldn't even offer to do further investigation.

Ashley said...

Glad you got it figured out! Ugh, when I clicked on the link to read more about HSP the website had a slideshow on the side with pictures of different conditions - rashes, bumps, etc. I'm eating breakfast and I'm feeling a little queasy now!

Jamie Martin said...

It is such a weight off of our shoulders when we find out what is really wrong with our kids when they are sick. I think the mind games we play with "what if" is way worse than them actually being sick most of the time.---- Love Dr. Smoak too, we found him about a month before we moved and were really sad that finally we had found a DR. who understands kids and families and we were moving, oh well such is life!

Audra said...

Whew... so. scary! Seriously! glad he is ok! Come see us tomorrow :)!

Kari said...

Glad you figured it out! Hope he feels better soon with no complications!