What a mouth full!! And a pain in the #%&
What it is: Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a form of blood vessel inflammation or vasculitis. There are many different conditions that feature vasculitis. Each of the forms of vasculitis tends to involve certain characteristic blood vessels. HSP affects the small vessels called capillaries in the skin and frequently the kidneys. HSP results in skin rash (most prominent over the buttocks and behind the lower extremities) associated with joint inflammation (arthritis) and sometimes cramping pain in the abdomen. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is also referred to as anaphylactoid purpura.
What causes it: HSP occurs most often in the spring and frequently follows an infection of the throat or breathing passages. HSP seems to represent an unusual reaction of the body's immune system that is in response to this infection (either bacteria or virus). Aside from infection, drugs can also trigger the condition. HSP occurs most commonly in children, but people of all age groups can be affected.
My little boy has this. It's very frustrating for us and painful for him. He had a slight cough in January and this is what happened because his immune system was 'too good' at fighting off his cold. It's been almost 3 weeks since the first symptoms and it seems like it'll never go away. It all started on the 8th of Feb. We've been to the Doctor's office 4 times, the hospital 2 times for 2 different blood draws and he's been on ibuprophen almost the whole time along with a 5 day perscription of steriods. They (the docs) say it could last up to 6-8 weeks!!! We are approaching the end of week 2, so hopefully it will be over before the 8 weeks. They say that he'll be 100% fine afterwards, which is very nice to hear. He has had some good days and bad days, but mostly it's good mornings and bad nights. He's been able to go to school for the most part (there have been a few days when he hasn't been able to walk, so he's stayed home). I'm just ready to have this all behind us.
I forgot to take pictures until after he got on the steroid and the spots were starting to clear up, but since then we have been taking pics almost everyday, depending on how bad it's been.
First off: (Feb 12th) Here is a lovely smiley face we found on one of his legs.
(and yes, he has Star Wars sheets)
It all started with swelling in his right ankle, which you can see here.
After the ankle, the swelling moved up to his knee and he wasn't able to walk because of the pain. After seeing the doc and getting the diaganosis, (Feb 11th) the swelling moved up to his spine and we had to go to the afterhours clinic. The swelling was 4 inches up his spine and 2 inches across!! (I wish I had a pic of this one) That night we were able to get the steroid, and he was walking the next day and felt great. At the end of the meds, (Feb 16th) he was clear of any spots and the brusing that came with the swelling was gone. The nurse told me that it could come back very easily, but I didn't think that it would have been as bad as it has been.
This is 2 days after he finished taking the steroid. (Feb 18th) The spots came back and he was starting to feel pain again. He went to school that day (this is a before school pic)
After school the spots had made a fun design on his left ankle.
The next day, (Feb 19th) he did great in the morning and I sent him to school. But by the end of the 3 hrs, his calfs had swelled up and he could barely walk. So he spent the rest of the day on the couch with his legs up and built a dinosaur lego set :)
The swelling started in his left ankle this time (Feb 21st)
Here he is enjoying some birthday cupcakes with is 'dinner tray'.
He had been really good and stayed on the couch most of the day, but after playing with cousins for a bit, his foot started swelling and the spots showed up too.
I kept him home on the 22nd and we went back to the docs to see if we could get the steroid again. They said no, and to just keep doing ibuprophen and eleavation until it goes away. I was very emotional that day and had a few crying fits.
Here are the backs of his legs (Feb 22nd)
Feb 23rd: more swelling in the left ankle along with the spots.
And swelling in his right elbow:
Feb 24th: more spots on his legs
And swelling in both hands!!
There are even spots and swelling showing up on the bottom of his feet!
The spots show up bright red, then they fade away after a few days. Some days the only way I can tell if he has new ones is to feel his legs because the spots are raised!
Overall, for the past few days he has been doing great as long as we keep up on the pain meds. But usually he gets stiff in the evenings and has a hard time walking. I'm hoping that we've already been through the worst of it, but only time will tell.
***UPDATE: March 2015***
He has had NO other complications from his bout with HSP. He is a happy, healthy 11 year old boy. I hope this will help all those out there that are struggling with this in one of your children. It is so sad to watch them go through this, but it WILL go away. I am so happy that my son is healthy now.