Yesterday was absolutely, positively terrifying for us. The day started out quite normally. We got up, bathed the kids, took them to the park, and went grocery shopping. It was a great day until we noticed something odd on Sophie's butt and thighs. Now mind you, she is potty trained and will run around in her panties as she goes to and from the bathroom. We see more of her little tushy than we probably should. So when we saw the scary, angry looking rash appear, we knew for a fact it had come out of nowhere. It wasn't there hours or even minutes before. Of that much, we were completely positive.
And this rash was not a typical heat rash or a bruise. It was flat, reddish-purple, and resembled lots of little pin-pricks. It did not turn white when applying pressure, either. I have 3 kids, and kids get rashes, but this was something I had never seen before.
I made the mistake of doing what many over-paranoid mothers do....I googled it, searching for something that even remotely resembled this rash. To my horror, the closest match was Meningitis. (Yikes!) In fact, it was pretty darn identical. My stomach knotted up, the tears started flowing, and we made the decision to rush her to the emergency room. (Better safe than sorry, right?)
The really scary part was that most of the ER staff had never seen anything like this, either. The intake nurse, other nurses, the phlebotomist, and one of the ER docs were totally stumped. Meningitis was quickly ruled out because Sophie would apparently be much sicker and would have a fever and problems moving her neck if that were the case. So that was at least a relief.
Finally, they called a doctor in that has more than 30 years experience practicing. He said it could be something called Henoch-Schonlein Purpura. (Try saying that 5 times fast!) Of course to err on the side of caution, they had us collect a urine sample which Sophie was very happy to provide, and they ordered some blood tests. I couldn't believe how great she did....She didn't cry or scream once, even when they put the needle in her hand to collect a blood sample. And she held very, very still as instructed. The phlebotomist actually said that she has never, ever seen a 3 year old behave so well during a blood draw.
One of the nice doctors rewarded her with a popsicle for being so brave!
Then it was time to play the waiting game. By this point, I had calmed down considerably, since I knew Meningitis wasn't possible. After an hour or so, they came in with the diagnosis: Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, or HSP.
This itself is rather scary, but will probably not be life-threatening. They don't know what causes it, but it usually crops up after an upper-respiratory infection. (We were all sick recently, so that makes sense.) It's an immune system reaction that causes damage to blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines, kidneys and other organs. It doesn't require medication, is not contagious, and usually clears up within 6 weeks after onset.
Thankfully, both her urine and blood came back perfect, so her organs are not affected at this time. But that could change, as kidney problems occur in about 50% of the cases. Most are not serious or permanent, but of course in rare cases they can be....This scares the crap out of me. These problems can crop up at any time during the course of the disease. So Sophie will need follow-up appointments to check her urine for blood and her overall well-being.
So what do I have to look out for? Fever, abdominal pain, blood in stool, urine or vomit, discolored urine, coughing up blood, headache, seizures, and chest pain. Yikes! I am really hoping we avoid any of these problems, but I do realize it's likely that she will experience some of them as this disease runs its course.
So I am one petrified Mama right now. I am super scared. We're taking her back to the doctor on Monday or Wednesday, and I am hoping everything goes well. I hate seeing anything wrong with my babies!
Have you heard of HSP? Do you know anyone who has had this rare and very odd disease? I could definitely use some feedback and support right now!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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