Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's talk tonsils, shall we?

 

I had my tonsils out when I was about 4. On Halloween. (Huge bummer in terms of candy consumption.) I had constant ear aches (that's what they called them back when I was a kid, today they're ear infections) had tubes a couple of times, and still had problems.

When I was about 8, one of my Ear, Nose and Throat specialists actually helped me get my ears pierced. At my first appointment, the doctor said, "So, what seems to be his problem?"

Yeah, thanks for the BOWL CUT, Mom. It really made me look incredibly feminine.

It was actually a score for me, though. I didn't have to wait five more years until I was 13 to get my ears pierced - I believe we went to the mall to pierce them that weekend.

I digress.

Back to Lila.

Lila has been to the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist nearly EVERY MONTH since September of 2011.  (Quite honestly, we were averaging every 3 weeks.)

You think I'm joking?

I'm not.

That poor child.

I literally was SO tired of the CONSTANT ILLNESS when we were about four months in, that I went to Lila's school and met with the administrator and her teacher to complain about how MY KID IS ALWAYS SICK and how it was THEIR FAULT and could they PLEASE not allow SICK CHILDREN TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL?! (Seriously, I'm every school's nightmare. Like Lila's the first kid to have ever gotten sick in her first year of pre-school. Riiiiiight.)

While I still am a staunch advocate of zero tolerance with sick kids at school and I do believe that schools are BREEDING GROUNDS for illnesses, Lila's ear, nose and throat issues are chronic and perhaps attributable to her bum ear genes from me.

She's been living in a constant state of congestion for months. A runny nose develops into coughs. Sneezes instantly mean a cold. A cold means a sore throat. A sore throat means an ear infection. It's literally a vicious cycle.

SO, what is YOUR experience with ear infections for you or your little ones?

Did your little one have his/her tonsils/adenoid out? Tubes put in?

Tell me ALL ABOUT IT.

**As of present, Lila's ENT has BEGGED ME to take out her tonsils and potentially her adenoids. I've disagreed since he's brought it up because I'm a believer that tonsils are the barometer of one's health. Swollen tonsils mean there's a problem somewhere else and getting rid of them doesn't solve the problem. Now, months later - I'm over it. My baby girl needs to feel better. She's miserable. TAKE THEM OUT. (See that little tonsil illustration above? Lila's tonsils are far larger than those infected ones. For real.)

P.S. Lila had NEVER had one ear infection until she was two-years-old. Or, let's be honest - she could very well have had several ear infections and perhaps we didn't know. (Terrible parents.)

Another P.S. We're also meeting with an allergist when we head to Ohio to see if allergies might not be part of this problem.

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7 comments:

  1. Kaylee had tubes put into both of her ears when she was 15 months old because of "gum ear." I think I remember you saying something about that before (basically it's an ear infection that never goes away even with antibiotics). She saw an ENT every 6 months since then. Her tubes fell out when she was 5 (finally!) but then the ear infections kept coming back. The new ENT (LOOOOOOVE him!) put tubes back in her ears on Valentine's Day last year and also removed her adnoides (spelling?). She immediately improved and has not had an ear infection or sore throat since. We think what contributed to this was the fact that she was a finger sucker and it was making the "mucus" not drain the right way and it was just sitting there collecting germs.

    The reason I love this ENT is because ever since Kaylee saw her first ENT (when she was 15 months) they said that she has enlarged tonsils. At every.single.appointment, all of her pediatricians and ENTS have begged me to take them out. I kept telling them no. This ENT, when he told me he was going to remove her adnoids and put in another set of tubes, I asked him if he was going to take her tonsils out too. He gave me a weird look and said "nope. They stay in for now." He said as long as she isn't stopping breathing at night, snore really loudly (like your in the other room with the door closed and you can still hear her), and get constant sicknesses, they can stay in. Kaylee's tonsils have been so enlarged since she was born that it's a little slit in the back of her throat. However, since the adnoide removal and the finger sucking habit gone (YEAH!!), she has slept more peacefully and I don't notice her snoring at all. I think she's growing into her tonsils now.

    Kerrie

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  2. I had to laugh when I read the part about your bowl cut...I had one too...you know, the "Dorothy Hamel"...everyone told my parents "Oh what a cute little boy you have!" ugh!
    Anyway, my daughter never had tubes, but it came close. She had constant ear infections (every other month practically) when she was between 6months to 3 years old. Never tonsil problems though. There was always a high fever accompanied with the ear infections too, I just dealt with it with whatever antibiotics the Dr. gave me and the motrin/tylenol every 4 hours. (I have switched pediatricians since, thank God) So I cant offer much advice in that department, but I do hope Lila feels better soon :)

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  3. Nico was sick for an entire year (2-3 years old). I kid you not. Horrible coughs, fever, infections. I visited diferent pediatricians and ENT during this time.

    My uncle, a very prominent pediatrician in Guadalajara, categorically refused to removed his tonsils and adenoids. All the other doctors said it was the only choice.

    He put him under a general-allergy treatment for 3 months. He magically healed after the first 2 weeks. He has gotten sick (like ugly sick) maybe twice since then.

    I'm not a doctor by any means, but I would try everything before removing ANY part of her body. Maybe the allergist can give you other option that doesn't involves tubes or anesthesia.

    I'm sorry, I know how hard and frustrating it is. Believe me. I was there. I cried. I prayed. I threw tantrums. I'm sure you'll make the right decision for her.

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  4. Oh the bowl cut! Lila will do great....

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  5. You know my thoughts on tubes...yeah, I'll see you next week :)

    As for tonsils. I know when I had mine removed (at age 25) MY LIFE CHANGED. I can't remember if we've talked about this or not, but I was beating down Dr. Merrell's door at least once a month, begging him for abx. I was miserable. He finally said NO - WE'RE GETTING RID OF THOSE! And he did, and I'm not joking, I think I've been sick 2 times since they were removed, ugh...9 years ago.

    From a professional standpoint - there is an arguement that the tonsils and adenoids are a part of the immune system and should stay, HOWEVER I have read several studies that show they were developed to help fight certain types of infections that really are not a threat in today's world (like parasitic infections). In some cases (which Dr. Merrell would argue is what happened to me) they become dysfunctional and can actually hold on to infection - so your body never actually gets rid of it, it just keeps popping back up.

    All this being said, I'm not faced with having to make this decision for MY daughter.

    Just know, more than anything I can share with you personally or professionally, she is in the BEST hands. He is wonderful.

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  6. Emma had ear infections every couple of months as a baby - she was on antibiotics every 10 weeks it seemed. That in itself caused a myriad of issues with her stomach that lead to only being able to drink soy milk until she was almost 2.

    When she was 18 months old she had tubes put in her ears and it was magical. Suddenly there were no more ear infections, no more antibiotics. She had ONE ear infection when she had tubes - and that's it. Since the tubes fell out (about a year ago), she's had zero ear infections.

    As far as tonsils, our pediatrician says kid's tonsils are like sponges and they absorb everything - and despite several bouts of strep with both kids she's never said "take them out!"

    But allergies...oh yes, allergies could be a part of this. Olivia was sick all last summer (or so we thought) and then in September we discovered (through much testing) that she had severe seasonal allergies. Her once huge tonsils are now smaller and she's having less issues now that she's on weekly shots and is taking Children's Claritin every day.

    Good luck!

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  7. Take those suckers out. Adenoids, too. I was sick ALL THE TIME as a kid until I had the procedure done when I was 8 or 9. Since then... once or twice per year. Oh, and I never breathed through my nose before that either. Now I do. Obviously. :)

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