Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's so sad that it's almost comical!

In the Khan household when it rains it pours. This morning all the kids woke up feeling much better; no fever, slight runny noses, and coughs that sound like they are getting gradually better. But it doesn't stop there, does it?

Bilal was the first one to rise in the house, as usual. But his time instead of coming downstairs he sat in his room howling. When Zakir went up to see what was wrong, he said his legs hurt. They hurt so bad that he wouldn't put any weight on them. In fact he was screaming in pain. That obviously freaked us out! So after carrying him to the bathroom and back I started checking his joints and muscles. No problem flexing hips, knees or ankles. That was very reassuring. No fever, that was good. Nothing deformed or swollen, good! But he was severely tender in his calf muscles in both legs, and worse when you would cause the muscles to contract. That was rather worrisome. I have been practising as a family physician for about 8 years, and have never seen anything like this.

So I started to do some research. First of all based on his symptoms I thought he had an inflammatory process going on in his muscles, such as a 'myositis'. Also reasoned that it might be related to the fact that he is just getting over an acute illness similar to flu. We thought the kids probably didn't have flu since they've been vaccinated, but it could still happen, of course. So after checking out a medical resource for physicians called 'Up to Date' I figured Bilal has developed a condition called 'Benign Acute Childhood Myositis'. Simply speaking, according to another consumer website:

Benign acute myositis. In benign acute myositis, a young child suddenly develops severe leg pain and cannot walk normally. These symptoms are dramatic and frightening, but they usually disappear within a few days. Benign acute myositis usually occurs in children who are recovering from the flu or some other respiratory infection caused by a virus. Doctors are not sure whether the child's muscle symptoms are caused by the virus itself or by the body's immune reaction to the virus.
 And apparently the condition can last for 3-10 days. There are associated abnormal blood tests which come back to normal in 2-3 weeks after the start of the symptoms. It is most commonly associated with Influenza type B.

So Bilal has been carried around the house this morning, or pushed around in a stroller by his brother. Since he isn't actually feeling sick and we are convinced he has a self limiting condition that requires no further treatment, it is more of an inconvenience than anything else. But a 3-10 day long inconvenience??!! And Bilal is milking it for all it's worth, having everyone in the house at his beck and call. It's not like he enjoys being in the same place for very long; he wants to constantly be on the go. I have a feeling that if this lasts for very long his siblings are going to make him crawl or scoot around, instead of pushing him in a stroller or carrying him.

There's nothing 'normal' about our family, is there?


Shannon said...

Oh, wow!

I guess it's a good thing you all came home early, huh?!

Hoping Bilal has more of the 3 day version than the 10 day! I would hate for him to have to scoot around on the floor! Ha! But at the same time, he deserves to milk it a tiny bit...he is the baby, you know! :)

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