Talk to me about tonsils

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Rollergiraffe, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    The last few weeks Austin seems to have had trouble clearing his throat, he had an ear infection a couple of weeks ago, and he has complained on and off of a sore throat. Last night he woke up saying that he felt like he was choking, and I finally got a good look in this throat this morning and his tonsils are huge. I remember the doctor mentioning the size of his tonsils a few times we've seen him, even when he's been quite healthy.
    We're going to see the dr. on Wednesday because this whole ear/nose/throat thing has been going on a while, and I just want to know more about tonsillectomies and stuff before we go in.
    So, if your kiddo has had their tonsils removed or ongoing problems, tell me all about it please!
    Tonsils is a really funny word if you read or type it too often, by the way.
  2. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Sean finally had his tonsils/adenoids removed when he was 9.  He'd been having ongoing problems with lots of sinus infections, and this repetitive (and highly annoying) coughs.  Constantly clearing his throat.  Finally, after 3 rounds of strep that winter, we went to an ear/nose/throat guy and he suggested the tonsils/adenoids and he lazered his sinus passages, since they are very small he "widened" them a bit I guess.
    Recovery was a bit rough for him, the older the kid is the harder it is.  He was out of school for a solid week.  It took probably 3-4 days before he would willingly drink anything, and closer to a week before he started eating good.  He stayed on the pain meds for nearly 10 days.  I had no idea what to expect or what was normal, the dr just said "follow his cues, if it hurts, keep up with the pain meds, if he won't eat, just make sure he's drinking, a sip every 10 minutes or so".  I was expecting him to be out maybe 3-4 days, but it was much longer than that.
    Unfortunately.....the cough came back.  :/  His allergist finally tried him on a reflux med, said sometimes silent reflux can run up the throat while they are sleeping, and cause inflammation and irritation of their throat and sinus's, which can cause sinus drainage, which can cause a constant cough.  That finally fixed it.

    I don't regret getting his tonsils removed at all, I'm just glad we figured out what that annoying cough was all about!!
  3. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Thanks for the account.. sorry the surgery was so rough for him though; that would be tough to watch.
    That annoying cough is the issue for us right now too! I will mention the possibility of reflux to the doctor tomorrow too. He tries to clear his throat so hard sometimes it has to be contributing to the irritation too. But he's always been the one who gets all the ear infections, the strep throat, the everything, so there's definitely something going on in there.
  4. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I had no idea that reflux could cause that!  Sean had reflux as in infant, we thought/assumed he just outgrew it.  But he's been on reflux meds for about a year now and he only gets the cough back when he has a sinus infection again.  He's got horrible allergies to everything airborn, but has adverse reactions to allergy meds like claritin and zyrtec.  So he still gets sinus infections a couple times a year.  But the cough goes away as soon as we get him on some antibiotics.
  5. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    That would make sense for us too; both boys had really bad reflux as well when they were little. Not painful, but they spit up buckets every day. Austin also seems to be more prone to eczema than his brother. Right now his face is all chapped and red, and he gets like that every winter.
  6. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Jonathan had his tonsils/adenoids out when he was 3 years, 6 weeks old.  He had some random throat infections and snored like a freight train.  He also got more picky about what he would eat, saying it hurt.  Also, one time when I was in his room, I counted about 10 apnea episodes in a a 5 min. time period.
    After surgery, he started eating better, and grew 4 inches in 6 months!  He also stopped snoring, and started eating more.  He is still a picky eater, and I think that has to do with the tonsils, and aversions forming before he knew why.
    His recovery was a breeze.  He had one bad day, and was completely cleared to eat anything at his one week check up.
  7. Kludelhoven

    Kludelhoven Well-Known Member

    My DD had her tonsils and adenoid out in Aug so she was 3.5 years.  I was so worried about recovery and she did great.  We had 1 bad day where it clearly hurt but after that it was like nothing happen.  It has made a world of difference for her.  She would get constant sinus infections, snoring, congestion and apnea like episodes and nothing since the surgery.  I'd say she has had at least 3 colds since then and none of them turned into any type of infection and no snoring(which is huge).  If he needs them out do it now, they say the older they are the harder the recovery.  Make sure the Dr does the newer laser surgery to remove them instead of the large incision, I think that really helps with recovery. Hope this helps in your decision!
  8. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    Allison had hers removed, Sarah did not.  Allison had had multiple positive strep tests (5 within 4 months I believe), her last test was positive and she had no symptoms (Sarah was sick and so I just had them go ahead and swab Allison as well just to be on the safe side..Allison was positive for strep while Sarah was not).  Their ears, nose and throat Dr. decided based on all this that Allison was a carrier of strep (why she tested positive and had no symptoms) and Sarah was getting sick because of her.  So Allison had her tonsils and adenoids taken out.  Sarah has not been sick since, so I assume he was right and Allison was the carrier. 
    ETA:  Allison had hers out at 6.  She did fine, but she complains that her throat stays dry all the time and she will still talk funny in the morning after first waking up until she has some water,.  Not sure if that is from the surgery, or from being so scared of having surgery (if that makes sense)
  9. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    So just to follow up: we never got a referral the last time we had a dr's appointment, but Austin just came home with an ear infection again. So he's been coughing, sniffling, and had swollen tonsils or ear infection since September. Kris took him to his own doctor today (because ours had the flu, and he didn't know that until he showed up for the appointment!) and the doctor agreed to give us a referral to an ENT so we could see if we have any options. I have heard from others that they don't do tubes or anything up here unless the kids have a ridiculous number of infections in a short time (like 6 in 6 months or something like that? UGH) so I don't know if we'll qualify, but hopefully we can figure something out and get that poor kid some relief. He now dreads getting sick because he knows what's coming. Miles just sails right through it.
  10. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Luke has always had tonsil problems. Multiple infections (tonsillitis, strep, sinus, ear) since he was around 2. Huge tonsils (even when healthy), lots of snoring, a bit of sleep apnea when he was younger, the throat clearing, coughs that linger, we have had it all. There were times when he was on antibiotics or steroids once a month for several months in a row. Our doctor is not one to recommend surgery of any kind if it is avoidable, and even though she would often say maybe we should refer him to an ENT, she would want to wait, then he would get better for a few months and we would start all over. She always told me she really felt like he would outgrow it (or grow into his tonsils) but it was so frustrating. But, I had him in a couple of weeks ago for a lingering cough (bronchitis), and she pointed out it was his first round of antibiotics in 18 months. I hadn't even realized it had been so long. The snoring is almost gone & his tonsils are looking better. I guess he is going to outgrow it after all.
  11. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    Here the general policy is to try adenoid and/or tonsil surgery without tubes first and to wait if the number of ear infections significantly decreases. This is what we did with DD and we are happy with the result. She has had only one bad ear infection since and that cleared without antibiotics.
    The reason our pedi and ENT gave us is that complications from tubes are rare but if they occur can be severe so they prefer to wait even if that means 2 surgeries in the end.
  12. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    That seems so crazy to me because a tonsil removal is such a bigger deal than tubes.
  13. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yeah, the tonsils are permanent! Tubes don't seem like a big deal to me.
    So it turns out that Kris's boss's wife is.. a pediatric ENT surgeon! She was talking about tube surgery and how easy it is, and even offered (jokingly) to do it in the hotel when we go on the company retreat in January :lol: . Anyway, we're going to follow through with the ENT referral and see what happens.
    Ozzy also has very large tonsils, but I think they play a role in immunity later in life, so I would be hesitant to remove them unless we had to. I guess it's weighted against the suffering and ensuing behavioral issues he's having now. I also don't like the idea of him being on antibiotics as often as he is, especially as he's allergic to penicillin and we don't have as many options for treatment. I think in general we need to overhaul our diet a little too to eat more vegetables and get more exercise. I know viruses are viruses, but we need to do a better job fighting them off.
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