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Viral tonsillitis

(13 Posts)
toffeefee Mon 01-Oct-12 09:37:10

My DS (age 3) is on his 9th bout of viral tonsillitis this year. We take him to see the GP most times as I wanted to get it recorded how often he was getting it, but they just keep saying that it was his body's way of fighting viruses and that there was nothing they could do. I was told that taking his tonsils out wouldn't do anything as they are swelling due to an overall infection, not because they themselves are infected. I am to give calpol and cuddles and ride it out.

My worry is that surely a little boy shouldn't be so poorly so often. He really does suffer. Today he is on the settee under a blanket saying his neck, tongue and tummy hurts. He has to have calpol for his high temperature and is very unhappy generally. I am paranoid that people think I am hypochondriac-Mum!

Should I be pushing for a referral to an ENT specialist, or is the GP right and it is normal and we just have to wait until he grows out of it? I really don't want him to keep having time off nursery (and school when he starts next year) but I can't send him when he is this bad. I don't think his tonsils went down fully after the last bout (3 weeks ago) so I shall take him in when he's better to discuss that and so that the GP can see what they are like when he is not ill, but we seem to have the same conversation each time and I don't want to be wasting their time if there really isn't anything they can do.

PS, sorry for the awful typing, I've been up all night with him, and have a cold myself, so feeling a little out of it!

frazzledbutcalm Mon 01-Oct-12 21:33:01

I'd push for referral. Even if ENT agrees its normal then at least you know you've done everything you should as a parent. Don't be fobbed off, just tell GP you'd like referral, and keep saying it wink

toffeefee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:50:06

Thanks for the reply! I think I'm going to take him tomorrow as he's been so ill today. He can't carry on like this. He's going to miss so much nursery, and it's just miserable for him.

bruffin Mon 01-Oct-12 22:55:37

I thought that 7 bouts in a year was the trigger for a referral.
Tonsolitis is miserable. I has it on a regular basis until I was ten and they finally took them out.

frazzledbutcalm Tue 02-Oct-12 19:59:50

A friend of mines dd has just been told she's having her tonsils out as she's had 8 bouts in 12 months..

toffeefee Tue 02-Oct-12 20:13:32

Thanks for the replies!

Bruffin - I mentioned that to the GP last time we went in and was told that 7 times was only for bacterial tonsillitis, but he seems to just want DS to keep his tonsils for as long as possible regardless of his pain! DH checked the NHS direct website which says 5 times in a year and they'd look at removal. DH had them out when he was at uni because he's had it so often. Horrible op as an adult, but luckily he has had no problems since. Do you mind me asking, was the operation ok for you?

Frazzled - That's good to hear. I'm taking DS tomorrow to the Drs, so I am going to really push for a referral. He has been so miserable today, not eating and just really hot and bothered. Hope your friend's DD gets on ok!

miaowmix Tue 02-Oct-12 20:16:59

Poor little thing.
My dd gets it sometimes - she has it now in fact and it is pretty miserable, but my GP told me that they need it at least 6 times a year for a referral for tonsilectomy - so I think you should push for one.
But I am quite thick in matters viral/infection and don't really understand the difference blush.

frazzledbutcalm Tue 02-Oct-12 20:24:02

I know 2 children who've had tonsils out ... not a problem, all went smoothly. Think they have to stay off nursery/school for either 1 or 2 weeks afterwards, so now is the best time to have them removed whilst still at nursery.

toffeefee Tue 02-Oct-12 20:48:05

Greygardens - hope that your DD feels better soon. It is horrible and people keep asking me why I don't just send him to nursery anyway, but I don't think they realise it is more than just a sore throat. I'm going to stand strong tomorrow as if they won't refer a child who has had it 9 times (and that is since Christmas) then I'm not sure who they will refer! I was told that viral tonsillitis is where the tonsils swell as a protective mechanism to another infection in the body, where as bacterial is down to the actual tonsils being infected with bacteria (or that's how my GP described it!).

Frazzled - That is reassuring to hear. I am really worried that I'll push for treatment and it end up being worse for him! (Mother's guilt never stops!) I really want it sorted out before he stars school in September.

miaowmix Wed 03-Oct-12 10:16:55

Thank you Toffee - she's on the mend so I've packed her off to school.
I really would push for a second opinion on your DS - 9 times is an awful lot since Christmas. Good luck!

toffeefee Wed 03-Oct-12 21:42:44

Glad she's feeling better today, GreyGardens! My DS is still really poorly, and we had the appointment today, but they said that he is too young to refer to a specialist! They did swab his throat as it is definitely bacterial this time, and he has a 7 day course of antibiotics. They will then swab his throat 10 days after he's finished the ABs and see if it has fully cleared. We will then take it form there. I am exhausted from being up with him in the night and I hate to see him so ill so often. I am hoping that this course of treatment will give him a much needed break from this!

dikkertjedap Wed 03-Oct-12 21:44:39

How does your GP know it is viral, did he take a swab?

Could you go and see a different GP? Definitely insist on a referral to a specialist.

Is your son starting to improve? Otherwise I would insist on antibiotics. Normally you will see an improvement in 12-24 hours after taking antibiotics, if not, it could mean that they are the wrong antibiotics. If prescribed erithromycin, then insist on clarithromycin (the newer, more effective and more expensive antibiotic which only needs to be taken twice rather than four times a day and which has far fewer side effects than the horrible erithromycin).

I hope he gets better soon. Stand your ground.

toffeefee Thu 04-Oct-12 09:57:37

Think we X-posted, dikkertjedap! Previous GP said that it was viral as the tonsils were clean, but swollen. The Nurse we saw yesterday took a swab as he said that this bout was definitely bacterial, and will do another swab after the course of ABs to check that everything is gone, then we can see where we go from there.

He is starting to perk up after 3 doses of the ABs (penicillin, but have had the joy of erythromycin myself!) so hopefully we are over the worst of it. DH is going to go for the follow up appointment as he is much more forthright than I am!! grin

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