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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Swollen glands DD10 - can anyone reassure me?

(34 Posts)
LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 26-May-09 11:40:33

Health anxiety stalks me and today I am really, really bad.

Took DD(10) to GP today as she has found a lump in neck, under her jaw. It has been there a few days but DD only just told us. I thought it may be a salivary gland.

GP did not reassure me, other than saying its a gland and she has another one next to it, but 'its nothing to worry about - come back in 2 weeks if its still there and we will do some blood tests'. I was almost in tears with worry, and the doctor was surprised I am so worried.

Has anyone else been through this? I am terrified DD may have leukaemia or something.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 26-May-09 11:42:52

Leukemia has some really nasty symptoms so your GP will have done alot more then say come back in 2 weeks.

I have 2 enlarged glands in the bottom of my neck right next to each other. They don't mean anything and are titchy. Sometimes we get bugs and they don't shrink down.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 26-May-09 11:57:54

Thanks, Fluffy. Its just knowing that the GP can't possibly suspect every child of having something serious, and would have to take a sensible approach to start, but what if DD is one of the unlucky ones?

DD has had a runny nose for weeks, but there is no other sign of infection. The GP did look at her ears, throat, teeth, scalp etc.

In case you think I am a complete nutter and not just half a one, I have been upbeat with DD about the GP visit.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 26-May-09 14:44:31

No, it's OK don't worry. I've seen all sorts of parents. I'd worry if it were my child though but the symptoms of leukemia do stand out a mile away, fatigue (really bad tiredness), night sweats, bruising etc. Doctors will always look for the nasties first as these are the ones that need urgent attention. It's a positive thing that your GP isn't too worried. smile The glands do enlarge when they are beating off a virus or infection. It's their job.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 26-May-09 20:12:00

Its going to be a long 2 weeks. DD is tired at the moment, but we have put it down to too many late nights. But I would not describe it as fatigue as such - she was out playing in the garden this afternoon.

I feel as if I am watching her for any sign or symptom.

Maybe I will take her back in a week if she is no better.

kaylasmum Tue 26-May-09 20:24:44

hi, i also have health anxiety and i know what your going through. Its a total nightmare. My 5 yo dd also has swollen glands in her neck, she's had them for over a year and a half and i've had the gp look at them a few times and they are not really concerned and have said that she has quite a slim neck so its not uncommon to feel the glands. She also has very large tonsils and slight excema and this could also have some bearing on the glands.

I had the same worry as you as well as worrying that it might be lymphoma and of course i googled and scared myself even more. Are you receiving any help with your anxiety? I'm getting CBT which i think has helped me to a certain extent but i still get times when i'm overwhelmed with fear for my children.I hope this has helped to make you feel less anxious.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 26-May-09 20:32:12

Thanks, K's Mum. Someone on MN suggested the online CBT for me a while ago, as I can't afford it privately and the sessions with the NHS counsellor are at a time when I can't get leave from work.

It is such a desperate, lonely place to be.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 26-May-09 20:36:47

Something like Glandular Fever could give her enlarged glands.

Are there any others that are up atm?

kaylasmum Tue 26-May-09 20:41:13

thats a shame that you can't get time off work for the CBT. And yes it is a lonely place to be, especially when you have no-one to talk to about it, only someone who suffers from this can understand. It was starting to take over my life and at my worst i found it difficult to function normally. I'm also prone to depression and have been taking citalopram for the last 4 years. Are you on any meds?

LightShinesInTheDarkness Tue 26-May-09 20:50:52

moreorganised - just one near her jaw, and one smaller one, but she has not been examined to see if any others are. GP did not check.

K's mum - yes, citalopram. And I am not functioning normally today.

kaylasmum Tue 26-May-09 21:05:47

I really feel for you! Please try not to worry too much, i've been told that glands can stay up for a long time after any kind of viral illness. If you do a search on here for swollen glands you will see that a lot of peoples DC have this too.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 27-May-09 11:10:33

Its the next day and I am trying not to panic, but 2 people at work have now told me horror stories about taking people to the GP, who missed important things when the patients were in fact very ill.

DD slept well - I checked her several times in the night.

Should I take her back for second opinion?

kaylasmum Wed 27-May-09 12:43:16

hi, sorry your feeling panicky today. People always have stories like that but i think that doctors are very careful when it comes to children. I've had a few scares with my 2 yo ds over the last year and have gone into full panic mode each time. I seeked reassurances from numerous doctors and they all said the same thing, that if they thought for a second that there was anything seriously wrong then they would have sent my ds directly to hospital. But saying that there would be no harm in you taking your dd back to the gp for further reassurance. Did you tell your gp what you were worrying about in particular? How is your dd in herself, does she seem well otherwise?

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 27-May-09 15:41:13

Hey KM. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

What you have said is sensible - if there was any concern they would have referred us to the hospital.

I did not tell the GP what I was worried about.

DD does seem fine in herself, I left her with a friend today while I am working and we met for lunch. Friend said DD had been her usual, happy self.

lisad123 Wed 27-May-09 23:38:33

I know some horrors stories about GPs missing things but to be honest if she did have leukemica, she would not be well at all. One of the first signs is bruising easily (which our GP missed with DH) and I know my DH was so tired he would fall asleep on the livingroom floor straight after dinner and also could not shake any bugs we had.
Try not to panic, but do trust yourself and take her back. It sometimes helps to make a list of problems before you go in as if your like me, you will panic when you get there.

Good luck x

MerryPonymum Thu 28-May-09 10:11:53

Lightshines, I have been where you are. I drove myself nearly (literally) insane with leukaemia worries when my DDs (both of them!) were small. I've done the maddest things in my worry - shone a torch on their limbs in the night because I felt bruising might have developed since they went to bed, hidden outside the playground at school to see if they were playing normally or showing signs of tiredness. I totally understand what you're feeling. It gets a grip on you doesn't it, and you can't shake it off.

A lump under the jaw is something one of mine had a few months ago. It went some time after her respiratory symptoms ceased - you say your DD has a runny nose so it's perfectly normal to have a swollen gland in those circs. There will be lots more swollen glands to come - they do come and go throughout childhood.

My sister did have leukaemia and my mother said it made itself obvious. She became very ill, very quickly. You say your DD 'seems fine in herself' and was playing happily. My sister didn't do that, she slept and cried miserably and had no energy and was desperately, desperately pale (not a normal pale.)

Poor you - I want to give you an un-MN hug - I know how these things get a grip and the thoughts just won't be shaken. I did confess my worries to my GP in the end as I was always taking DD to him with one ailment after another (they got lots of illnesses, as children do, and I was sure each one was the start of leukaemia!) He was reassuring and a bit scathing (in a nice way) - I think they see more mothers than you'd think with this same fear, so don't feel embarrassed to tell him what you're really worrying about. Then you might feel reassured that at least you mentioned the fear, thus he would have taken it into consideration when assessing her.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Thu 28-May-09 10:16:50

I am trying not to panic. She seems quite well in herself today, not falling asleep or anything. DH thinks a gland may be up on the other side of her neck now, but she is not ill, as such.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Thu 28-May-09 10:31:06

Sorry, MPmum, cross-posted. I have read your email several times and I am sure I will come back to it many more. It has given me a great deal of support. Thanks.

I know that no-one on Mumsent can tell me whether my daughter is ill or not, but the shared experiences are so helpful.

MerryPonymum Thu 28-May-09 13:34:26

I understand completely. I didn't enjoy my girls' childhood as much as I should have done for all those obsessive worries.

Try and hold onto what's reassuring: the doctor didn't seem concerned, that 'if she seems well, she IS well', that she WILL get illnesses/swollen glands/be tired and it is HIGHLY unlikely any of them will be what you fear. Google is no friend in this case - for it will throw up sinister causes for very common and harmless symptoms as if they were just as likely, which they are not - and your anxious mind will latch onto those and disregard the much more probable and totally benign causes.

Do let us know how she gets on. My heart goes out to you and it does get easier, although I can still worry about my DDS it's less severe and frequent than my old complete shaking/palpitating/certain-of-doom terrors.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Fri 29-May-09 11:27:02

Thanks MerryP.

I am still panicking, but as we went swimming yesterday and DD was still awake to watch the end of the semi-final of 'Britains Got Talent' at 10pm, my logical brain was screaming at me that she is unlikely to be really ill.

But the voice in my other ear is still reminding me of my fears, which is why I noticed she has a new bruise on her arm.

I hate this fear, its eating me up.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sat 30-May-09 12:55:24

I'm still here, quietly panicking away. Hardly slept last night, had to keep getting up to check on DD. She was peacefully sleeping, no fever.

Still worried about small bruises on her legs, but DH says she has always bruised easily (she is quite clumsy) so its not a new thing. He thinks the gland may be going down a bit.

Surely if she was terribly ill I would know about it? I mean, she would not be mucking about in the kitchen with DS, would she?

I am going crazy, I'm sure.

fifitot Sat 30-May-09 19:11:46

I really sympathise. My DD had swollen glands from being about 6 weeks old. At 9 months they referred to a paed who took bloods and nothing much showed up. We eventually had them removed and checked - done privately though, cost a fortune. It was fine.

I suffer from health anxiety too and went through everything you describe. I couldn't focus on anything else. The blood tests will hopefully put your mind at rest.

If you can afford it, get yourself to a private paediatrician and get blood tests. They get them back to you in a couple of days. It will cost though,but I found it worth it to avoid the waiting.

What I would say though is that the doc said sometimes glands go up after an infection and then never shrink back again so try not to worry.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sat 30-May-09 22:35:33

Thanks fifitot. There seem to be quite a few MNers who suffer from health anxiety and have been through what I am feeling.
I am not going to pay privately - we can't really afford it, but I really think I need to get my anxiety under control. If the worst is going to happen, I am going to have to be much sronger than this.

MerryPonymum Sat 30-May-09 23:02:25

Lightshines, it's just horrible isn't it. It really is. It's not so easy to get those obsessive fears under control and rein back that constant checking and adding two and two to make a very wrong five. I had just about got over the obsessive, frantic fears with DD1 because I'd been worrying for so long - years - that I realised I was being daft - and then along came DD2 and the whole thing began again.

It's unfortunate that kids do bruise so often for perfectly normal reasons, isn't it? Because mothers like you and me just get driven crazy with worry over the perfectly normal knocks and bumps every child gets, from climbing frames and bike pedals and just the impetuous way they go about. Mine always seemed to have a bruise somewhere or other which fed my fears to fever-pitch.

I finally named my worry to my GP and I think you should too. I'm not saying this because I think there's anything to worry about, because I'm as near as can be certain there isn't - I recognise my own aberrant way of thinking in the way you're feeling too well - but because it will give you peace of mind.

Big warm best wishes coming from me.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sun 31-May-09 20:02:44

Thanks MerryPMum. I think you are right about going to my GP. I am overwhelmed by fear, I can't stop crying. I took photos of DD in the garden today, thinking to myself I will need to remember her when she was well. It sounds so sick, but I am out of my mind with worry.

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