8 yr old's tummy prob. resolved after infection in tonsils treated....

  1. Being in the medical profession, we are "up" on things, and I usually trust my gut instinct. I have an 8 year old who has been suffering with tummy problems since Christmas. At first we thought it was the standard flu, until he had it 4 times. I took him to our doctor, and inquired as to what to do. I also was concerned about his halatosis. (I instantly thought tonsils, and looked at them myself. I thought that one of them looked like it was ulcerated, with a strange texture.) I pointed out his tonsil, the Dr. looked in his throat, and said "tonsils look fine, but I'll put in a referral for him to see a ENT for the halatosis" She went on to order a complete cat scan of his abdomen, which showed nothing remarkable. We encouraged fluids, with the assumption he was constipated. A week later he was still feeling rotten, and I took him back, Dr. then put him on M.O.M. 30 cc's q day. I again pointed out the tonsil, and she gave me the same answer as the last dr. A week later, after he was COMPLETELY CLEANED OUT, he was feeling worse yet, I took him back, they ordered an Upper G.I. series, and told me to give him Pepcid Complete BID. Once again I pointed out the tonsil, this dr. also said, "they look fine to me". Upper GI showed mild reflux in the supine position. About this time, we were close to our appt. with the ENT. My son's tummy was getting worse by the day. He would wake up in the night, and come crying to me, and many times was in bed with me in the morning, whining before I even woke up. It's so upsetting when your child is sick, and you cannot seem to make it go away, especially when I am a nurse! Well, you'll never guess what the ENT dr. told us. His tonsil was totally filled with infection, and it was so severe it had started to deteriorate (hence the large holes in it). He thought the infection had most likely been present about 4-6 months, judging by the damage. He barely glanced in his throat, and caught it right away. This child never complained of a sore throat or earache at all. He asked me if he coughs through out the night, which he does. The infection was most likely running down his throat. Gee, if it's running down his throat, I wonder WHERE it is going!? ENT put him on atb. and we scheduled a T & A. Here's the intersting part. Since he's been on the atb, no more tummy problems. I am livid with the 3 doctors that missed this!!! What would you do if you were me??
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    Joined: May '02; Posts: 66


  3. by   Hidi74
    I would be thanking God that you finally found a competent Doc!!

    I wish you and your son well!!!
  4. by   kids
    It is not great advice but I would chalk it up to one of those little know quirks about kids (btw, I am a Peds nurse).

    I am almost 40...OK, I am 39 (for reals).

    I had bad tonsils "all the time" as a kid, was on abx 5-6 times a year for it and they improved when I was around 9 or 10. I developed sporatic, intractable abdominal pain when I was 11. I got the full work up, including Gyn & Uro...and ended up with a dx of "irritable appendix", it went on for 2 years, I even ended up hospitialized a couple of times with it for observation, my appendix was never removed because my labs and x-rays never *got bad enough* and the pain would improve.
    I was back in the hospital and was rounded on by a general surgeon who had never laid eyes on me before, the first thing he said to my Mom was "she needs an ENT consult". Sure enough... they were so pocketed with pus and deteriorated they got a full Patho work up when they were removed 2 days later. I never had another "irritable appendix" attack.

    My guess is it is one of those things that is not very common and only a few Docs (besides ENTs) believe in, I know when my kids developed ongoing belly aches the first thing I did was check their tonsils (when they were clear I made them go sit on the toilet and then made them go to school anyway ). My youngest (18 yo) was still having headaches 2 years after a CHI, one of the things they did was to r/o sleep apnea as a cause, his tonsils were HUGE but not infected, one of the things the ENT asked was if he had stomach problems-he didn't, but I thought it was an interesting question. (btw...taking them out didn't help the headaches).
  5. by   pappyRN

    I am an old retired(disabled due to OTJ injury) pediatric/neonatal nurse with 4 now grown kids. They were sick a lot when younger. The youngest just kept getting strep throat and scarlet fever over and over until I finally insisted that the entire family get throat cultures. My second child was found to be a strep carrier.

    My pediatrician told me that the reason kids get tummy aches when it is a throat problem whether or not their throat hurts is that strep is a GI irritant. So, you can be sure that after that any time my kids complained about their tummies I took a good look at their throats. This was very useful info for my 2 yr stint as a substitute school nurse when I was working part time in peds at the hospital.

    Because I went to work in a peds hospital in neonatal services i decided not to do the sibstitute school nurse thing because of all the bugs I was exposed to. I might add that for a while it seemed like I caught absolutely everything!!!

    Personally, I think this is a very useful piece of information for Moms and peds nurses to see if a connection can be made from tummy pain to throat infection.

    Warm personal regards,
  6. by   the new girl
    It's nice to know this is not an isolated event. I am still very dissappointed with the care he received from the HMO, and ER setting... I changed to a pediatrician and my children will never have to go back to those doctors again. I tell ya, I wouldn't trust them to cut my hedge!!! I thank you for the feedback, this has been an educational experience, to say the least.
  7. by   Disablednurse
    I know that you are livid with the docs that missed the dx. I would make sure that I told them what was wrong with your child. I had a cyst on my ovary that was making me deathly sick. Cyst showed up on x-ray and on ultrasound. Docs said don't mean nothing. I had surgery to remove it. I really got satisfaction telling the ob/gyn that was called in and said that it did not mean nothing. He did have the grace to blush and apologize because he and the other doc did not act on it.
  8. by   the new girl
    Well, the surgery is set for 4/23, and I'm nervous. His tummy has been remarkably better, which I am grateful for. He has developed quite a cough however. He was seen on Friday for his pre-op physical, and to evaluate the tummy.
    Besides the regular concerns that parents have when their child has surgery, I have another fear. My nephew passed away from ALL about 15 months ago, and they actually found it, doing a routine T&A. I have no reason to think he has anything more than infection in his tonsils.... but that dark fear is always in the back of my mind.
    Please send us some positive energy........
  9. by   plumrn
    Many fears will enter your mind until he is through the surgery, and bouncing around again. Your fears are normal, and this will soon be all behind you. My prayers for a smooth surgery and fast recovery are being offered.
  10. by   the new girl
    Post-op day 2:
    He is one hurtin' little boy!!! The surgery went well, but the tonsils were embedded deep, and his adnoids were enormous from all the chronic infection. He told me this had been going on for a "long, long time" and that this was going to be a really rough recovery,.. days 5,6,&7 being the worst. He's already tired of eating pudding and ice cream. Anything warm has no appeal so far. Last night, the alarm didn't go off for whatever reason, and so we missed the 4 hour time for the Lortab, and when he woke up from the pain... he was a MESS! Playing catch-up is agony... as I'm sure all of you know. I guess I'm just holding on to faith that he'll get through this. Doc assured me that he didn't feel like any of it looks cancerous, which was of great concern for us, so that is somewhat of a relief too.
    Thanks for your input and for listening...
  11. by   KaroSnowQueen
    New girl,
    Just some advice from someone who's been there and done that. My youngest had tonsil infx for YEARS before they would take them out. I expected her to bounce right back and be all better within a few days to weeks.
    She did not. Evidently all that infx had taken it's toll on her system, she was a skinny little thing. About six months after her tonsils were out, SUDDENLY she was all better. Bouncy, bouncy, MUCH more energy and gained weight, her complexion turned pink. THEN she was a different child!!!!!
    So just bear with it, newgirl, in time your kid, will also feel like a new boy, just be glad you found a doc who would help, I too made the rounds, doc to doc, etc. The lengths we go to for our babies!!! And I would BE SURE med records sends the old doc a copy of what happened, just to rub his nose in it. (Did I say that????)
  12. by   the new girl
    He was really slow going as far as recovery, needing pain meds around the clock through day 6. Then he started bleeding, A LOT. And they rushed him back into surgery yesterday. He also had a gut full of blood, some of which he vomited, the rest they sucked out during the surgery. What a nightmare. He was so upset, he was convinced he was going to die, and he still questions if he is going to live. Frightening for an 8 year old, and his parents.
  13. by   Mimi2RN
    Same thing happened to my stepson who had his tonsils out at 25. He had bleeding day 5, went to ER, cauterized and sent him home. 2 or 3 days later, he started bleeding again, went to ER, sat in the waiting room 2 or 3 hours. Finally saw the doc...and vomited blood on him. He went to OR, had to stay in the hosp and be transfused before d/c next day.

    T & A's may be a one day surgery, but it's when the scabs come off the problems start!

    Hope your little boy's recovery continues,,,,,,,,,mimi
  14. by   the new girl
    The boy is doing quite well as far as healing goes....
    RUNNING, sliding, batting, and pitching... He's a NORMAL active boy!! I am so thankful! Still has some tummy upset, and ped. is still doing tests, but he feels pretty good.
    Thanks again everyone....

    New Girl

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