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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2003
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Reoccurring Tonsillitis

    I have never been one of those "healthy as a horse" types that never gets sick when things are going around. Nothing too terrible since really bad pneumonia when I was younger but multiple colds/flus/throat and lung type problems every year. Maybe once a month or every other month. The most reoccurring one is tonsillitis. I generally take some acetaminophen containing cold meds and tough it out for the week or two that I feel like I have golf balls in my throat and run a fever. The fever is annoying as my normal temp is 96 so having a 99 really puts a damper on my day.

    I dislike going to doctors, as I never feel I am “bad enough” to go. During a particularly bad case and because I needed to fly, I went to the clinic inside of CVS. The guy had an utter meltdown - "your tonsils are so swollen you won't be able to breath," "go to the ER immediately.” Tested negative for strep. It was worse than usual, but I was not about to die. I tried to settle him down enough to just give me some anti-inflammatories but no luck. Had to go to the ER for IV anti-inflammatories, meds, fluids, etc which was not cheap (they also gave me a prescription for hydrocodone even though I told them it didn't hurt much?!). I do not have a regular doctor – I move a lot and am 24. I go to my gynecologist annually for the blood tests and such and do not have any needs beyond that.

    What would you do in this situation? Am I doing the “right” thing by just treating it over the counter and dealing with it for 2 weeks? Are there other options? I wanted them to just take my tonsils out when I was younger, but obviously I had no luck!
    ~Isabel

    Proud owner and Head Groom for Infinity Sport Horse
    Facebook :: Website



  2. #2
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    Aug. 7, 2004
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    Default

    As a professional singer, if I was having those kinds of issues, I would say it's time to get to an ENT, tell him everything you've told us, and get on the list to get them out. ASAP. You will be a much improved person health-wise for it, I promise. I'm shocked you've lasted this long!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
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    Default

    Yes- there is another option, surgery.

    Before you shoot down the idea, hear me out! I've been in your shoes. Between Christmas 2009 and April 1, 2010 I had it 4 times. 4 bad cases (several days out of work each time). I finally went to an ENT, had my tonsils out April 20, 2010. Yea, surgery was tough, but worth it!!

    My advise: Do NOT google this surgery! There are nothing but horror stories about adult tonsillectomies. I was sure I would be close to death and bed ridden for at least two weeks (to be fair, my doctor also told me to expect this). I was shopping 2 days after surgery, made cupcakes and went to the barn 3 days later. I was eating "normal" food within a week. When I went back for my post-op visit at 2 weeks, I told my surgeon how easy my recovery was- he told me that's because I was so sick before!

    It's been over 4 years and I've had exactly one sore throat since. It was the best decision I could have made. Good luck to you!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
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    9,173

    Default

    Have your tonsils removed! When I was in 3rd grade, I got every illness that children could get because of my tonsils. Finally, over objection of the family doctor, my parents took me to a specialist who took them out. Instant relief. And all the earaches that the family doctor claimed I was faking? They never occurred again after I had my tonsils removed. Those earaches were real. And from then on I was healthy.

    So years later when one of my aussies started getting sore throats and ear aches, especially when she went swimming, I took her to vet. Vet said tonsils looked OK. I said yank them out. When he took them out, he found that they were enlarged up into her throat and diseased. Coze never got another sore throat or ear ache for the rest of her life and she lived into her teens.

    Have those tonsils taken out now. Btw, surgery for my aussie was minor and she was fine. I had my surgery way back when it was more involved, but the only issue I had was a sore throat. And throwing up "black blood" which my aussie also threw up after her surgery. It does not hurt as much as not having tonsils out hurt. BTDT. Oh, and it won't hurt your singing voice. They just "burn" them off and wake you up, if the surgery is still like it was with my dog.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2013
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    97

    Default

    My brother has had tonsillitis 6 times this year. He's getting his removed on Monday (he's 22). He kept putting off the surgery until he got tired of having to go to the doctor constantly. If they're bothering you that much, I would think about having them removed.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Default

    ...And I am the person who had tonsillitis over and over and over again, until the tonsils were removed, after which, I got ear infection after ear infection after ear infection. My hearing is ruined and I would rather put up with a sore throat than an ear ache.



  7. #7
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    Aug. 7, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    ...And I am the person who had tonsillitis over and over and over again, until the tonsils were removed, after which, I got ear infection after ear infection after ear infection. My hearing is ruined and I would rather put up with a sore throat than an ear ache.
    Tonsils and ears are closely tied... Did you get your adenoids removed as well? If those are getting constant irritation now that your tonsils are gone, then that is likely the culprit of frequent ear infections.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    My adenoids were removed at the same time. Haven't had an earache since both tonsils and denoids were removed. (Don't remember if my dog's adenoids were removed when her tonsils were taken out.) I always recommend going to an ear, nose, throat specialist as my parents took me to. It was something that made me well and happy again after a miserable year of lowered immunity to diseases. (And I have very acute hearing still in old age.)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pony+ an inch View Post
    Tonsils and ears are closely tied... Did you get your adenoids removed as well? If those are getting constant irritation now that your tonsils are gone, then that is likely the culprit of frequent ear infections.
    I believe so, but it was a long time ago. I have never found a Dr. that could stop the ear infections, and I have lived in places where I could use teaching hospitals and really top notch specialists.



  10. #10
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    Jan. 22, 2003
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default

    Trust me, I want them out!! But can I just go into an ENT and ask for them to be taken out? I tried when I was younger, but I think "regular" doctors either thought I was faking or I wasn't bad enough.

    I have NEVER had an earache, not even when I was younger. I will mention this to the ENT, but I would like to keep it that way.
    ~Isabel

    Proud owner and Head Groom for Infinity Sport Horse
    Facebook :: Website



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
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    Charlotte
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CatchMeIfUCan View Post
    Trust me, I want them out!! But can I just go into an ENT and ask for them to be taken out? I tried when I was younger, but I think "regular" doctors either thought I was faking or I wasn't bad enough.

    I have NEVER had an earache, not even when I was younger. I will mention this to the ENT, but I would like to keep it that way.
    Yep, you can! After infection #4 (well, during, actually), I went to my primary physician and asked for an ENT referral. ENT told me there really wasn't anything to do- until I asked him to take them out. As soon as I suggested it, he was on board, but I don't think he would have suggested it had I not asked. Same with my primary. So yea, go to the doctor and let them know that's what you want to do!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2003
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default

    Um, I can't remember the last time I was at a primary doctor (maybe high school?). Can I just get an appointment with an ENT? Silly question, I know, but I've never really done this whole "go to the doctor" thing except for shots, school physicals, etc. I looked for an ENT in network tonight and was just going to call tomorrow morning to see if they magically have an appointment for tomorrow so that I have proof (in my throat) that this is happening. If not, I was just going to try to get in and talk them into it. Does this sound like an effective plan?

    If not, I am ripping them out myself
    ~Isabel

    Proud owner and Head Groom for Infinity Sport Horse
    Facebook :: Website



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    Default

    seriously- i had tonsillitis my entire life. i finally got them out a few years ago. i have not had a cold ever since. idk why, but when i had them, it seemed like i could get sick all the time. and stay sick. and have fevers. I won't tell you about the pain i was in after surgery, but it was still worth it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Do you have health insurance? If so you would need to find out what they require as far as specialists go. Some require a referral, some do not. Make sure you play by their rules exactly or it will hit you in the wallet.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    Default

    Yes, you need to know what your insurance considers Necessity for tonsil removal because, yes it's true, Tonsillectomies are considered 'Elective Surgery.'

    For my insurance company, it was 7 documented throat infections in a year. Puhleeze, I met the criteria within 12 weeks. My doc said "Even a tiny piece of tonsil pus, CALL ME. I'll call in the antibiotics and document it."

    I was 34 at the time but it was one of the best things I ever did. I had recurrent, chronic tonsillitis since I was a kid. No more strep!!!!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    Yes, you need to know what your insurance considers Necessity for tonsil removal because, yes it's true, Tonsillectomies are considered 'Elective Surgery.'

    For my insurance company, it was 7 documented throat infections in a year. Puhleeze, I met the criteria within 12 weeks. My doc said "Even a tiny piece of tonsil pus, CALL ME. I'll call in the antibiotics and document it."

    I was 34 at the time but it was one of the best things I ever did. I had recurrent, chronic tonsillitis since I was a kid. No more strep!!!!
    Mine were not elective they were necessary. if they were an elective surgery, my insurance would not have paid for them.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    That was what I am saying: Insurance deems tonsillectomy elective surgery UNLESS you medically-prove the necessity. Hence, documentation via a physician.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2006
    Location
    Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatchMeIfUCan View Post
    Um, I can't remember the last time I was at a primary doctor (maybe high school?). Can I just get an appointment with an ENT? Silly question, I know, but I've never really done this whole "go to the doctor" thing except for shots, school physicals, etc. I looked for an ENT in network tonight and was just going to call tomorrow morning to see if they magically have an appointment for tomorrow so that I have proof (in my throat) that this is happening. If not, I was just going to try to get in and talk them into it. Does this sound like an effective plan?

    If not, I am ripping them out myself
    With most insurance plans, you will need your primary care to refer you to an ENT. Do you have an assigned primary care? Usually need to pick one to get your health insurance card.



  19. #19
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    Aug. 7, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshfield View Post
    With most insurance plans, you will need your primary care to refer you to an ENT. Do you have an assigned primary care? Usually need to pick one to get your health insurance card.
    This. Are you still on your parents' plan or do you have your own? Either way, a PCP appointment is necessary to get the referral--heck the PCP might have a suggestion as to who to go to. I have had good and truly horrible ear problems since the day I was born, and my physician ended up recommending me to one of the most renowned surgeons in the ENT world. I stayed with him for over sixteen years until I aged out. Now I see one of his good friends for my follow-ups every four months or so.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Default

    I actually sell almost all types of insurance but medical so am generally familiar with how insurance works but have never had to go to a specialist. I have UHC through work. I will have to work on getting a general doctor, although getting a dentist, dermatologist, and a gynecologist may come first. I travel so much for work plus own three horses, so there is not much time for "normal human" stuff! I promise I am a functioning adult, just one that does not go to the doctor much Do I just go to the general doctor for a check up/physical and talk to him/her about it then? Maybe I will get one at the hospital that has lots of in network doctors and is close to me and is ranked 17th in the nation for ENT.
    ~Isabel

    Proud owner and Head Groom for Infinity Sport Horse
    Facebook :: Website



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