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Need advice or insight, SD tonsils

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

So if anyone has read my blog from a couple weeks ago might of read about BM's concerns on SD's tonsils. To sum up a long story short BM messaged DH telling him she is concerned about SD's tonsils. That SD has had an ongoing issue for several years, but BM changed SD's doctor because BM did not feel the doctor was taking her seriously on the issue. BM also then relayed that she never once has mentioned this issue to DH because the doctors didn't take her seriously so she did not think it was anything to mention to him. I may also add that SD has never in the 3 years BM is saying has had this issue mentioned a sore throat, tonsils hurting, shown no signs of difficulty breathing, etc. Like that was the first mention or indication of any issues we have ever heard of for SD. 

Today was SD's ENT appointment, it was her first and only appointment with the specialist. The specialist is recommending surgery removing SD's tonsils and the glands behind the tonsils. Now I did some research because it just seemed like after reading over the documents from the appointment that the doctor is recommending this because of BM"s testimony on SD snoring at night, having trouble breathing, having sore throat, coughing, and having the symptoms worse when swimming in a chlorine pool. Personally, I was shocked that off of that and one appointment the doctor is recommending surgery for a 5 year old. 

According to Stanford Children's Health a child should be considered for surgery if

-"blockage severe enough to cause a lack of oxygen in the body and cardiopulmonary changes. The following may indicate the need for a tonsillectomy"

-"The child has a severe sore throat seven times in one year, or five in each of two years, or three in each of three years"

-"The child has a throat infection severe enough to cause an abscess, or an area of pus and swelling, behind the tonsils."

-"The child has a case of tonsillitis not helped by antibiotics."

-"The child's swollen tonsils and adenoids impair normal breathing."

Now DH and I obviously are not with SD as often for almost the last year because now on long distance schedule, but in those 3 years DH has been primary parent one year and then had SD every other week one year. In 3 years other than 1 time two years ago SD has not been to the doctor and diagnosed of a throat infection or infected tonsils, none of it. BM has also not provided information that is of the contrary. I have had asthma my whole life even been hospitalized for it, so I know A LOT about breathing issues and I have never witnessed any issues with breathing nor has any of SD's teachers said anything about it either. Again for almost a year now we have only seen SD maybe 10 weeks of it. However we did just see her and witnessed none of these issues then or had any complaints from SD about it. I was home with her the whole visit and I would say during her whole time with us she maybe coughed 10 times total.

So I don't know is this BM making a bigger deal about SD's tonsils and the doctor is just trying to make money and recommending surgery or what? I looked up this specialist and he has A LOT of bad reviews. Lots of reviews regarding tonsil removal surgery too post operation. Any advice or opinions would be great. The reason this post has a lot about "I" in it is because DH is at work and hasn't even seen the messages or results or anything yet. I get notified when BM messages in the app because it was easier for me to message the flight info since it is under my Alaska airlines account, etc. So yes I did do a bunch of work without my DH, but that is not because he doesn't want to or anything, he doesn't even know about the outcome of the appointment yet.

Maybe I/we are being assholes about SD's tonsils and there really is an issue. It is so hard to know though because in these 3 years that BM is claiming there are issues we have not witnessed any of that plus BM does like to blow things up and make issues out of things that are not actual issues. 


Tried out's picture

risks, especially during a pandemic.

Does her dad have any legal rights regarding medical decisions? Could he at least call the doctor himself to share his concerns and ask about the criteria used to determine the necessity of surgery? 


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

BM and DH have 50/50 legal custody so yes he does. He is going to call the original doctor, then the doctor BM changed to that wasn't taking her seriously, and then the ENT to see what they have to say.

According to reliable medical sources and the American Pediatrics journals, unless BM has been lying and not sharing SD's medical history and SD has had 7+ throat or tonsil infections in the last year or 5 in 2 years, etc. SD does not meet the criteria. Plus they state that before surgery is even considered for children there are other remedies to be tried such as antibotics, etc. Which as far as BM has notified us, in the last year none of this has happened

Miss T's picture

Even in the best of times, which due to the pandemic these are not, tonsillectomy is not a trivial thing that every kid should have done. If indeed your SD's father has equal say, he is right to push for more information and an independent opinion, preferably from a physician of his choosing. You are not out of place urging him to do this. However, the mother must not know that you're pushing to reconsider. If she gets wind of your influence, I guarantee she will dig in her heels against whatever opinion she thinks you have, regardless of whether that's best for the kid. And it does sound like surgery is not what's best for her.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

all of which BM has not provided information that back up that this has been ongoing for the last 3 years. BM agreed to a second opinion, but basically said if DH does not agree than she will get legal permission to go forward with this to improve SD's quality of life.

DH has mentioned multiple times he needs medical documentation backing up the need for this surgery, a second opinion, and then he will share what he believes is best for SD.

Now all of a sudden SD's issue is she has problems sleeping and eating. Which again we have never witnessed. BM then says SD spends more time with her so she would know. DH then tells her that he has been claiming it has been ongoing for 3 years, but until July 2021 never heard a word of it, never saw medical documentation, and he also spent up to a year ago equal if not more time with SD so her claim is ridiculous.

Miss T's picture

... when "if DH does not agree than she will get legal permission to go forward with this" it becomes a battle between physicians, assuming your DH will get a physician to back up his refusal. I seriously doubt these professionals will want to get into an argument, and if they have any sense they won't want to wade into a battle between warring parents. Just be aware the the physician recommending against surgery will likely back down as a CYA move. 

Try not to sweat it. Certainly in your place I would try to take a step or two back to get away from the emotional tug and pull of the ongoing power strugle between your DH and his ex. You do know that's what this is, right?

You want what's best for SD and you want to see your DH at peace, but this is a no-win for you. Step back. From the sound of it, you need all the practice you can get in stepping away from the power struggles that I guarantee will continue for years between your DH and his ex. The ability to find peace in a maelstsrom is a learned skill, and a gift in step life.

Winterglow's picture

Besides the second opinion that he wants, also consulting an allergy doc might be a good idea ...

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

doctor and DH is pushing for SD to have a more extensive test then seafood, dairy, and nuts

Winterglow's picture

Add in gluten, there's a simple blood test that can tell you if there's a high possibility or not (up to you if you want to take it any further). 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

DH wants to get more testing done before even thinking about agreeing to SD getting surgey so I will let him know to request that be one of the items they test for

Survivingstephell's picture

My BD 12 started snoring like a truck driver when she was 5.  Saw a ENT doctor and he poo pooed me but did agree to X-rays.  Come to find out her adenoids were so swollen, she had very little room for breathing.  Doctor was so different on our follow up appointment and scheduled surgery.  She's fine now.  DH has a CPAP machine so I was concerned.   She didn't have sore throats or was sickly.  As long as the proper steps taken to diagnose are followed and BM isn't pushing her agenda for attention, she might need something out.   My BD 26 had hers out at age 4 ish.  She was sick with sinus issues often.  

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

really what is best. SD has not had these infections and she hardly snores again at least here. DH is pushing for SD to have an extensive allergy test since SD does not experience these issues on our time in 3 years that perhaps SD is allergic to something especially when BM has mentioned SD gets these weird skin rashes that they don't think is ecezma anymore like they used to think. If it was unrelated to an allergy to something in BM's home why in 3 years has SD not had these issues? Three years ago DH had primary custody, then the following year it was every other week, then this last year we have been on a long distance schedule so we would have experienced something I would think if it was not related to an allergy. Again, not a doctor though

Winterglow's picture

Has anyone considered that any or all of these conditions (supposing they actually do exist) could be caused by stress? 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

point. I know DH nor myself have thought of that. I could definitely see SD dealing with stress over at BMs. I do know suggesting to BM that this could be stress induced would make BM fly off the handle even more.