It is strep throat season and long gone are the days when doctors scheduled Tonsillectomies on a regular basis. Being a mother of three children, I have seen my fill of Strep Throat. My oldest and my youngest were the main ones to get strep. My oldest (daughter) had it constantly when she was little as young as two years. The first time she got this it was not “plain old” strep, she got Scarlet fever (this was her favorite one to get). Scarlet fever is basically a stronger version of strep throat or strep throat with a rash. The rash starts on the chest and abdomen and then spreads, the rash is tiny red dots with white centers. For more information on scarlet fever here is a CDC link. She wound up getting either scarlet fever or just strep twice a year from the age or 2 until she finished school. Now, in her 20’s she gets strep on a yearly basis. No to the middle child, he is autistic and most autistic children have lots of tag on diagnosis but not mine just lots of autistic symptoms. He has only had strep twice in his life, go figure? Then there is the baby…like his sister he got strep every time I turned around. After he turned two (maybe three) if my daughter got it, he was soon to follow. Our pediatrician knew us so well, all I had to do was call his office and say “they have strep again” and he would call in a prescription or two. Sadly, this pediatrician retired and we had to find another one. It took taking my youngest in to various peds to finally hear, “I think that he may need to get his tonsils out?” His first year in school wound up getting strep throat three times. We scheduled an appointment with an ENT and the first visit he told me, “it is not an emergency but, his tonsils and adenoids need to come out.” That summer we scheduled the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. He has never had strep throat again. You would think with all of my illnesses and craziness, I would have wound up with strep throat or scarlet fever. But, I never did? Maybe, it is because I had my tonsils out when I was about two?
Here are several really good news articles that I found on tonsils and strep throat.
People who have or have children who get strep throat that often should bypass the family doctor or general practitioner and see an E.N.T. (ear, nose, and throat doctor, also called an otolaryngologist). There is no reason to go on being subjected to strep on a regular basis. My family doctor was still telling my parents I'd grow out of it when I was 18. At the age of 20 I picked up summer strep while visiting my aunt, a nurse. She took me to see an E.N.T. who looked in my throat and said, "No, you will not outgrow strep." We scheduled the tonsilectomy for later that summer. The following year was the first year in my memory that I went an entire year without getting sick.
The recovery from a tonsilectomy can be harder on an adult than a child, but that was not my experience. I found it no more painful than strep throat and there was the added benefit that I knew that when it was over--this time it would stay over.
Noone needs to live with recurrent strep infections.