Thursday, October 16, 2008

Anna and the Horrifying Tonsils

Anna had her 1-year well child visit this morning. She's back on track as far as weight goes, and her exam was perfect ... except for one part. Her tonsils.

"For her size, they are enormous. I was horrified when I saw them," Dr. Sarah explained.

Outwardly, she is showing almost no signs of infection. She's drooling a lot, but she is also cutting a tooth. Her ears aren't infected, and her nose isn't running. Our only concern today was a hacking cough she gets when she lays down in her crib.

The tonsils are causing sleep apnea and obstructing her airway when she sleeps, which is why she snores and wakes up frequently. It's also why she coughs only when she's lying down and why she drools like a Saint Bernard puppy.

The first course of action is two weeks of antibiotics on the slim chance that there's a deep infection in her tonsils that didn't clear on its own. We go back to Dr. Sarah for a re-check in 4 weeks. If her tonsils are a normal size, we're fine. If they aren't, we'll be referred to an ENT. The doctor said that surgeons are VERY hesitant to remove tonsils on a child her age. They prefer to wait until 2 or 3 years old.

Honestly? I'm very worried about her. Chris has sleep apnea and has to wear a CPAP at night, so I know a little about the condition. It's risky territory. But I'm also relieved that I'm not going insane. Whenever I tell someone that Anna is still waking up every 2 hours or so at night even now that she's 12 months old, I feel a bit like a failure, like maybe we didn't stick with sleep training long enough or maybe I'm drinking too much caffeine and it's affecting the breastmilk. Knowing that there's a reason why she's waking up all the time ... well ... it offers some comfort for me.