For years we dealt with reoccurring strep throat diagnoses – ever since Cassidy was a baby. Many times the cultures were negative, but all the same signs were there. Sometimes the tests would read positive and the doctors would be shocked. Her symptoms didn’t always seem to fit the typical strep case. Usually headaches and stomach pain (not nausea, but pain) would present with little or no throat discomfort. And other times she would have it all including a horrible raw and ulcerated throat. Because of all of this – and more (possible PANDAS) – we finally decided on a tonsillectomy at the end of 2012. The ultimate goal, of course, was to see no more strep.
Today, two and a half months post surgery, Cassidy was diagnosed with strep throat. Three days ago she began having a headache. It was “really bad” and OTCs gave little relief. Her father and I both have sinus headaches fairly often depending on weather/barometric pressure. And we had one of those headaches that same day. We figured we were just all in the same boat.
Cassidy used to get these sinus headaches almost as often as I did. But when they removed her adenoids – it seemed to have helped eliminate the headaches. Since December she hasn’t had a single one until now. Could have just been coincidence I suppose. We’ll see. Clearly, THIS headache is being caused by strep.
The next day came a little bit of a sore throat, stomach pains (biggest complaint as usual) and dizziness. By last night, the throat started to really hurt. During all of this her temps ranged from 99.7 to 102.5. I have been alternating Tylenol and Advil (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) – not on a regular schedule, but when she needed it.
I decided to bring her in today and the Nurse Practitioner checked everything out and said she had a lot of drainage and some swelling in her ear and nose. Told me to get an antihistamine and decongestant. She also ordered a UA – I suppose to rule out a UTI.
I asked about a strep test and explained her history. She said sure – just in case. After testing and waiting she came to us and said she was really shocked, but that Cass did actually have strep. I knew it, of course. I always know it. I just doubt myself or live in denial once in a while. But I always KNOW.
So now she is on a stronger-ish antibiotic (because in the past the regular stuff didn’t kick it), taking OTCs and vegging on the couch. I hate it so much when she is sick. Which is stupid to even type because what mother DOESN’T hate it? But yea, it bites.
It especially gets to me because of everything we went through – everything SHE went through recovering from that surgery. It was awful. She was in a lot of pain for quite a long time. Missed a shit load of school too. Was it all for nothing? I sure hope not. Maybe she is still healing and will start to grow out of it soon? I don’t know. And I don’t have a friggin DeLorean time machine so what the hell can I do about it anyway.
So I will spoil her for a couple days, hope the medicine works quickly and beg the heavens that this is thee LAST case of strep to enter this house!!
It just occurred to me that I had never written an update about Cassidy’s surgery.
It took forever for me to decided to go through with it. And I knew that if we were going to do it, we should do it by the end of the year since our deductible had been met. I waited until the last-minute and she had it done early December.
She was SO brave. So much better than I would have been. I was a nervous wreck but she was fine. She didn’t want to know or hear about anything. Hearing about it gave her anxiety. She was just like, “Do it and shut up”.
The surgery itself was a snap. She was seriously in and out within 20 minutes. And she was pretty funny on the versed pre-surgery. But the two weeks after…hell. She was in so much pain. In her throat and her ears. She was taking vicodin around the clock. But the alcohol content burned her throat even more and she started refusing it. Then we had to depend on OTCs and ice packs.
She lost like 6 pounds and wouldn’t talk for days. She had a bell that she rang CONSTANTLY. Ate hardly anything. And would only drink water. It was really rough. Much more so than I expected.
Thankfully she got through it without complication. And I really do hope it makes a difference. More than anything I hope I do not see any other PANDAS signs. That was the scariest part of any of this.
Here are a couple of videos of Cass right before surgery and right after the versed (chances are this will be a complete bore to anyone other than…well…Cassidy or me…oh well).