Todays uncommon disease is…..

Henoch Schonlein Purpura.

The good news:

-in almost 90% of the cases it clears up with no complications.

-most cases have no lasting effects.

-many cases only last a few weeks.

The bad news:

-in about 10% of the cases it causes kidney failure

-the pain can be so excruciating the patient may have to be hospitalized

-there can be a relapse if the affected person gets another cold

-it can last for months.


So that is our situation right now.  We are waiting.  It started with what we thought was a sprained ankle.  Eslyn fell at school and came home limping.  A trip to the doctors showed no fractures.

The next day she was fine, no limping. Great we thought, it was a mild sprain.  So we shipped her off to grandma’s for a sleepover.  While she was there her ankle broke out in a rash.  We thought, reaction to the tensor bandage.  So we didn’t really worry.  By the next afternoon the rash had spread all over her legs and buttocks and both her her legs were swollen and she was in a lot of pain. So it was off to the ER.

We got lucky, the doctor treating her had seen HSP before, 4 times in fact.  So at least we had a diagnosis.  They checked her kidney function, and so far so good (knock on wood).  She was sent home with some Tylenol, told to rest, and we were given the name to look up.  never Google your child’s illness, never ever ever.

Basically what she has is this; it’s a form of vasculitis, that affects mainly children.  It affects the joints, skin and organs.  It presents  with a rash that is actually a collection of burst blood vessels.  It causes the joints to swell and become painful, basically, arthritis that will get better. The kidney functions have to be monitored for around a year.  It is usually preceded by a respiratory or throat infection. That is what we know.  What we don’t know is will her case be mild or severe?  Will it last weeks or months? Will she be in a little bit of pain or a lot?  How much school will she miss?  Will it return?

The not knowing makes me feel so helpless as a parent.


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