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Tonsils and Adenoids Options
tootsie
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 11:45:22 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2010
Posts: 6,883
Neurons: 23,730
I would like some advice if at all possible. I have a 6 yrs old granddaughter with eating problems. She doesn't want to eat. and has a gagging reflex when encouraged to eat what she has asked for. Her Father (my son) and her Mother are very concerned and I feel a doctor's appointment is now needed. At first the family put it down to her parent's split when she was two, then she had to get used to my son's new partner, a step-brother and then two new brothers in two years. We thought it may be attention seeking, she can be disobedient and petulant, but then she is only 6 after all, and she does have a lot of attention from all her family, she is mostly loving and very affectionate - adorable I would say but then I'm biased, but also now worried, this has gone on too long.

It was when her Uncle, my youngest son, noticed her tonsils were swollen and I felt she may have tonsilitis (I have suffered throughout my teens with this problem) but there didn't seem to be any infection, just very enlarged tonsils, which to me would explain the gagging reflex. She had grommets placed when she was about 3 yrs old, but she still has problems with her hearing (which we also put down to her circumstances and attention seeking) but I feel something needs to be done now (one of the grommets, I have been told, has "fallen out".

I would like to give my son and my ex daughter-in-law some credible information without seeming like an interfering grandma.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this, maybe I'm just being over precautious because I love them all so much and only want to help.

Thank you
Chrystall
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 2:58:27 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/15/2010
Posts: 38
Neurons: 114
Location: Greece
Hi Tootsie!
Of course the wisest thing to do would be to have her see a doctor. It does sound like a case of tonsilitis to me. I wouldn't put it down to psychological issues - split up of parents etc.
By suggesting that she should see a doctor does not make you an interfering grandmother - it makes you a caring and concerned grandmother. It all depends on how you say things - not what you say.
Good luck!!!
Happy New Year!!!
boneyfriend
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 4:23:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2009
Posts: 2,625
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Location: Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Tootsie, when I was young, in the 40's, we all had our tonsils out at about 2 years old. I did. I don't know why they have stopped doing that. It is a simple procedure. All children in my country had their tonsils taken out.
Alias
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 9:13:12 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2010
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Location: Australia
Tootsie I think you may be on to something regarding the physical nature of your GDs problems. It is always wiser to check out the physical before ascribing complex psychological conditions to someone especially a child.

The alarm bells went off for me when you said that you have observed enlarged tonsils and then you mentioned that she has hearing problems as well!!!! I am sure you are ware that Ear Nose and Throat are linked. Based on this alone I would be suspecting some form of infection..

I dont want to frighten you or her parents but if she has had a low grade infection for some time she may incur more serious and possibly permanent problems.. I would not hesitate to encourage those involved to seek a throat and ear examination as a priority...

The reasons for an infection occurring in this area are numerous. There has been some odd cases for example where a US man had hearing difficulties for 40 years. Finally one day at 46 yo he was receiving an examination when a medico suggested that a cotton bud tip was caught in his ear. When she tried to remove it she realised it was a pearl! His sister had stuck two pearls in his ear when he was six..Doctors removed one pearl not realising there was another still lodged in there.

I am not suggesting this is the case with your GD...just as an illustration that consequences of inadequate prognosis can have unexpected and long term effects. With the dual symptoms of enlarged tonsils and hearing anomalies that your GD exhibits, it is urgent that she is given a thorough examination and suitable treatment, without delay!

If you approach the parents with tact and sensitivity hopefuly they will respond in the interests of their child. They may not realise the possible dangers involved because of the perceived psychological issues ascribed to your GD. She may actually have some psychological issues but surely it wont hurt to rule out other possible causes.


Good Luck Tootsie.

P.S. boneyfriend I know it was common to remove tonsils up until the 1950's but it has been seen as a rather drastic response. Tonsils do provide a function and are not like the appendix which is no longer functional. Infected (and therefore enlarged) tonsils are a frontline defence and warning system to reduce throat infections form spreading in to the easophagus and other areas of the body.
Apple Blossom
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 10:27:26 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/2010
Posts: 472
Neurons: 1,416
Tootsie, you are a wonderful grandmother for being so concerned about your little granddaughter. You've already received some excellent advice here, especially from Alias. I agree it sounds like tonsillitis - I've had ENT problems most of my life and once had tonsillitis so severely that I had to sleep sitting up and would still wake up every hour gagging on my tonsils. As much as I hate antibiotics, I needed them to clear the infection. Since the tonsils are so close in proximity to the ears, an infection can lead to permanent hearing loss, and it sounds as though the infection may have spread to her ears or the swollen tonsils are simply exerting a lot of pressure on her ears, which could lead to permanent damage by making the eardrum (typanum) more rigid.

Also, the tonsillitis is obviously interfering with your granddaughter's ability to eat, which can lead to malnutrition and then to developmental problems. Behavioral problems can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies and even neurological impairment induced by nutrient deficiencies.

Another reason doctors are now reluctant to remove the tonsils is that removal can sometimes lead to complications. I've heard of children becoming seriously ill after the surgery, and many times too much tissue is removed, resulting in a nasally speech. Nowadays, there are ENT's who can perform laser surgery to remove excess tissue (not the entire tonsils & adenoids). My advice to you, Tootsie, would be to find an ENT who can perform this procedure, and present medical literature about tonsillitis and the laser procedure (literature should be available from the ENT) to your son and daughter-in-law. If they and other family member are still unconvinced, you might offer to take your granddaughter to the ENT yourself (is this a possibility?). I know you don't want to seem imposing, but you could tell them something of this nature: "I know you are very busy; if it would help, I will be glad to take her to the doctor myself."

Best wishes for your sweet little granddaughter!
Susie
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 10:29:38 AM
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Joined: 2/11/2010
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Location: United States
For the longest time my daughter suffered from high fevers. Constantly she was 100-104 Ferinheit. Her doctor had every excuse under the sun for us. After awhile I was asked not to accompany my daughter to the Dr. because I asked too many questions and debated the Dr.'s answers. The final straw broke when after a Dr.'s visit at age 7, my daughter's father told me the Dr. said she had allergies. I questioned, what allergies, and he said, "just allergies". I called the Dr. and he told me the same thing but added, "the usual, animal dander, pollen, etc." I was enraged, since he didn't even test her for any allergies.
That's when I took her to a nose, ear and throat specialist who discoved little "pockets" on her tonsils that were collecting bits of food and bacteria growing on this food was causing infection, which caused the fevers. He suggested removing the tonsils, which I did and since that day she has not had a fever.
Moral of the story, have it checked out, even if just to make you happy. But suggest the idea of a Dr. as gently as you can. I hope all turns out for the best for your ganddaughter and family.
Apple Blossom
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 10:38:33 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/2010
Posts: 472
Neurons: 1,416
Susie wrote:
For the longest time my daughter suffered from high fevers. Constantly she was 100-104 Ferinheit. Her doctor had every excuse under the sun for us. After awhile I was asked not to accompany my daughter to the Dr. because I asked too many questions and debated the Dr.'s answers. The final straw broke when after a Dr.'s visit at age 7, my daughter's father told me the Dr. said she had allergies. I questioned, what allergies, and he said, "just allergies". I called the Dr. and he told me the same thing but added, "the usual, animal dander, pollen, etc." I was enraged, since he didn't even test her for any allergies.
That's when I took her to a nose, ear and throat specialist who discoved little "pockets" on her tonsils that were collecting bits of food and bacteria growing on this food was causing infection, which caused the fevers. He suggested removing the tonsils, which I did and since that day she has not had a fever.
Moral of the story, have it checked out, even if just to make you happy. But suggest the idea of a Dr. as gently as you can. I hope all turns out for the best for your ganddaughter and family.



The doctors always attributed my ENT problems to allergies, too. I remember having blood test (using a big, thick needle) to determine what I was allergic to at age eight. We didn't learn a thing from those tests. In more recent years, I've gotten growths on my tonsils that get larger and larger until I gag on them and they dislodge. They're called tonsil stones (tonsilloliths) and there was an article about them on TFD a while back. They are cause by the pockets in the tonsils which, as you said, Susie, collect bacteria, food debris and such. It was in researching the tonsil stones that I discovered the laser procedure, which cuts away just enough tissue to eliminate the pockets.
Cat
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 10:58:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/10/2010
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Stress induced illness is still illness and needs to be treated. I agree with everyone above and wish you were my grandmother.
kingfisher
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:31:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/15/2009
Posts: 208
Neurons: 633
Location: United States
A few thoughts: 1) enlarged tonsils are not necessarily infected tonsils.
2) We stopped taking out everybody's tonsils because there was really no reason to perform all those surgeries in the first place.
3) Susie: In all likelihood, your daughter was suffering from a syndrome called PFAPA, which is a recurrent fever syndrome of unknown etiology that affects children. Tonsillectomy is curative in about 65% of cases, or so. The "pockets" on the tonsillar surface are supposed to be there; they're called tonsillar crypts and they're part of your normal anatomy. They can collect stuff, but it's not really food, it's generally debris, dead cells, etc. Cryptic debris in the tonsils does not cause infection, nor does it cause fever. So, from what I can tell, your doctor managed to solve your daughter's problem, but did so quite by accident, because he had the wrong diagnosis but the correct treatment.
4) Cat: I agree with you ENTIRELY.
tootsie
Posted: Sunday, January 2, 2011 3:52:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2010
Posts: 6,883
Neurons: 23,730

I cannot thank you all enough - I talked to my son yesterday to ask if I could approach his ex with the suggestion that I could take her myself, and that he could come with me, I felt one parent should be there obviously, which is what he wanted to do in the first place - he gave me the go-ahead because my GD's mother and him are at loggerheads at the moment, so nothing gets sorted. Tonight I've just spoken to (firstly my GD, who rings me all the time, bless) and then to her Mum about my worries - offered her help with an appt and with transport (my partner is also worried - his opinion is f**k work - AJ needs come first) and I've been told by my d-i-l that an appointment will be made for Tuesday. I do hope so - thank you so much for everyone's advice, I will keep you updated xx

Just before I was about to post this, my GD AJ rang me to tell me she was going to see her Dr. on Tuesday, then her mum came on the phone, because her and my son had had a row over the phone about the same thing. I am very biased of course but I listened to her and consoled her and offered our help again. Everyone else wants to blame her, but I cannot, not yet - if the appt on Tuesday and the request for an ENT appt does not happen on Tuesday then all guns will be blazing (well, that's just how I feel tonight, of course)

Thank you all again x

TOOTS
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:58:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/7/2010
Posts: 1,369
Neurons: 4,026
Location: United Kingdom

Just a quick update - the appt was kept by her mum and my GD was given antibiotics for an ear infection. She has an appt for a hearing test next week (both grommets have apparently come out) and also an appt on 14th Feb with a Child Behavioural Specialist and both my son and his ex are going with their daughter. The GP didn't seem too worried about the enlarged tonsils. She still gags, and very often makes herself sick, but my son is dealing with it a lot better as always, my big gentle giant, and talks to his daughter so caringly. He can get uptight of course, but only with the situation, and with worry of course.

Again thank you all for your advice and care, it helped enormously. I will keep you up-to-date.

Oh, and she still rings us, nearly every other night now, bless.
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