Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Need Your Advice

I need your help with my Little Guy. I'm hoping that at least one of you has been through something similar with one of your children and can give me good advice please. Let me lay it all out for you?

When I was about five or six, my little brother and I had our tonsils out. Mom says we were sick all the time prior to that. I know that growing up after that we were almost never sick. I'd wait for my annual cold to have it done with. Even as an adult, my colds are really mild and infrequent.

My Hunny, as some of you know, was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. He stops breathing all night long, causing oxygen deprivation, sending his blood pressure through the roof, making him exhausted all the time. You get the picture. And it's been this way the 16 years we've shared a bed.

Little Guy is my one child who always has a cold. Always a runny nose, anyway. He's taken all kinds of stuff for it. Last year the doc prescribed DAllergy, which he took pretty steadily for awhile and it seemed to make no difference. I've given him NyQuil at night so he could at least sleep and function the next day (when it's definitely been a cold), DayQuil in the morning so his school work won't suffer. And recently we've been wandering upstairs at night to listen to him sleep. Sure enough, when he has a cold he stops breathing frequently in his sleep.

Here I owe a big thank you to Sports Mama. She tipped me off to the possibility of sleep apnea in children, even the possibility that it causes ADHD-like symptoms. I was under the impression that apnea was an adult thing. Thank you SM!!!

Our last visit to the doc, I gave her this whole run-down and she referred us to an ENT, after proclaiming that Little Guy had a sinus infection, his tonsils and lymph nodes were huge, and prescribed antibiotics. I hate antibiotics and avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Another post, another time. He took them, he stopped blowing green, but is still congested. So we went to the ENT this week, who looked and said that the nose looked pretty clear, but the tonsils were pretty darn big. Let's get them and the adenoids out. And let's use this prescription nasal spray for the next few weeks (something we hadn't tried) just to eliminate the allergy question.

Next day we saw our doc again. She says, "Take Zyrtec too, as long as you're working the allergy angle." So two nights in a row Little Guy has taken Zyrtec. It's supposed to work immediately and well (my husband uses it). I walked up this morning to make sure kids were awake and heard Little Guy snoring. He's snored since he was little. It was disheartening.

The surgery (30 minute out-patient surgery now) is scheduled for July. Tonsils and adenoids. I don't have any problem with having this taken care of, given the whole family history and Little Guy's on-going issues. But I wanted to see if any of you have dealt with anything similar and might see something which I'm missing? I don't want to do the wrong thing by my kid if I can at all help it. I thank you greatly in advance.

Until I write again ...

Flea

18 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Yes! I come from a whole family of allergy induced asthmatics. I would have him tested for everything. Good luck.

Marguerite said...

I'd double check with his docs to make sure none of the meds will react with each other and that he really needs them all. I'm VERY skeptical of the whole "throw a pill at it" philosophy.

One day, if you really want to hear me rant for an hour, ask me how I feel about prescription drugs and the doctors who swear by them. Grrr....

Asthmagirl said...

As a non allergic (intrinsic)asthmatic I recommend the allergy testing as well, which I went through to eliminate the obvious. That way you're not medicating unneccesarily.
We considered having tonsils out on middle because she kept relapsing with strep and her throat was constantly swollen. Basically, they said one more bout and they'd take them. Of course she stopped, but I wish they had taken them because I think she'll continue to have trouble there. It seems like she sickens easily... They did tell us that it can be really hard to clear up infections there once the tissue starts down that path....
Sorry I'm not of more help...

Poltzie said...

One of the little gals that I used to work with had a lot of problems like this. Her doctor sent her to a sleep clinic which really helped. Maybe you could ask your doc about it?

Karen said...

My son has allergies - asthma and eczema - and although the drs prescribed him an inhaler and zyrtec, he doesn't use either regularly. I'm really no help, I know. Sorry.

Tammy said...

I'll keep your son in my thoughts and prayers.

Harmony said...

My son Austin is my "sick kid"...he would get sick all the freaking time...year round, the doctor ended up putting him on Nasonex (a nasal allergy medicine)..and it has worked wonders. Any time he shows symptoms of a cold he starts to use it and it clears him up.

On the other hand he has had no tonsil issues. My neice (6 y/o) just had her tonsil and adnoids removed...and what a difference that has been. She suffered horribly up until her surgery, it affected her breathing during sleep and when she was awake..a constant and steady snore...she was continually sick with no definite remedy until the surgery. In fact her voice is even different, her tonsils having muffled it for so many years. Her recovery was quick..and seemingly painless (as she was medicated for the pain), she handled it well and is very happy with her results!

I know this is a difficult decision for you and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!

Tanya Brown said...

I have no helpful advice, but it sounds as though you've taken your time and researched the situation fairly thoroughly. Happily, I suppose that as surgeries go, the tonsil/adenoid thing is fairly innocuous. I think that at one point in time, taking kids in to have both out was fairly standard.

Wishing you and Little Guy the best of luck -

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Get a MULTITUDE of doctor's opinions. I had an issue a couple of years ago... and I went to 3 different doctors in 3 different cities. I am so GLAD I kept getting opinions.

Coffee Bean said...

Sounds like you are doing what you need to do. I would have him tested for allergies though.

April said...

If you haven't already, I would have him tested for allergies. I was tested when I was a kid (about 9 or 10, I think?)and found out I was allergic to dust and mold spores and my parents ended up taking the carpet out of my room (so it was just hardwood) and that helped. I was never really put any specific medication for it thought...

Flea said...

Thank you all! So far, really, his only consistent meds have been the Strattera and the Dallergy until this week. He's off the DAllergy and trying the Zyrtec and Nasocort.

In Florida we had no carpet but he still had the problem. I'm considering the sleep clinic. But according to the doc and ENT, the tonsils and adenoids will most likely eliminate the problem.

As to allergies, here's my question: if he's on meds for allergies and they don't work, wouldn't that rule out most allergies? And would allergies make his tonsils huge? I guess I'll have to research that too.

Thank you all! More to talk to my doctor about. :)

Katie said...

I had my tonsils out at 20, and if I could offer one bit of advice, I'd say go ahead and do it now. Because they aren't going to shrink and it hurts A LOT when you're an adult and the recovery is supposedly much easier as a child.

Admittedly, I still snore, but aside from one step infection, I have not had a single sinus or throat infection in the past 4 years. It was a miracle. A really really painful, wish I had done it as a kid, miracle.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

please say that your dear hubby has a cpap or bi pap... tonsils and adinoids can be a huge help ... once they are out. mine were removed when i was almost 3 and made a huge difference... if after he still has apnea symptoms I would insist on a sleep study.
My son is my allergy asthma kid... he is better sort of ... now at 20 but he never had surgery meds seemed to help alot. he is still ADHD however. wow brain fog happening sorry to ramble. HUGs sounds like you are doing all the right things.

The Sports Mama said...

My oldest had his adnoids removed, but left his tonsils. He was born with enlarged adnoids, but they weren't really "discovered" until he was about 4, and I finally got someone to listen to me about him not speaking well. Enlarged adnoids cause a mulitude of problems, as they block the air pathways and the drainage pathways from the ears and nose. They also affect speech, since they block ear drainage and with build up there you can't hear well enough to hear how words sound.

All of that to say that if the adnoids are enlarged, getting them out of there is a really good thing. :)

Jan Parrish said...

My son had his tonsils out when he was 20 and it really helped him. I was 18 when I had mine out - same issue. I really recommend it.

Mayberry Magpie said...

I wish I knew more about this topic. The only thing I do know is two adult friends who have sleep apnea got machines (C-Paps?) and it changed their lives. They sleep now and are so much happier and alert. Is this a possibility for children?

Oh, yeah, there's a sleep clinic in Tulsa at Hillcrest. I noticed it the other day while getting a mammogram.

Mayberry Magpie

Colleen said...

that's weird that they would tell you that Zyrtec works right away, because it actually needs to build up in your system for a good week or so before you actually start seeing some relief (have at least three family members on it for severe allergies).
My husband, my godchildren, and several others I know are on Singulair and that seems to have made ALL the difference in their allery sufferings. It's one pill a day and Justin can bury his face in a cat without an allergic response.
But I'm with you, too...didn't realize allergies would enlarge your tonsils or adenoids? Maybe a 2nd opinion would help...possibly from an Allergist.