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Old 02-09-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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Asymmetrical Tonsils

On Christmas Eve, I had been feeling nausea all day and I looked into my throat to see if it was red. My left tonsil was swollen and red, and it scared me that it was only one. I went to the emergency room, and after waiting 3 hours, was told that I had tonsillitis, nothing to worry about...and given Zithromax. The emergency room physician told me that if it did not return to normal size within a week to see my PCP.

1 week later, I visited my PCP who, after spending a full 30 seconds with me, said that sometimes when you are exposed to a virus or infection, a lymph node inside of a tonsil can swell and not return to normal size for 4-6 weeks.

Not feeling confident enough in his hasty exam, I went several days later to an ENT. He looked at my throat, and said that the tonsil was only a little larger than the right side. He scaled it as 1 for the right side, and 1.5 for the left. He said to come back in a month and prescribed no treatment in the meantime. Several days later while showering, I notice a lymph node in the left side of my neck. I took another trip to the ENT who said that if I was that upset, he would order a CT scan on my head and neck, but that the lymph node I had found was a normal size lymph node...smaller than his fingernail.

The CT scan came back ok. The results were that the left tonsil was slightly larger, but that the shadows inside the tonsil were in line with a pathologically normal tonsil...just one side bigger than the other.

The ENT thinks that my tonsil has always been this size, and recommended that I come back in 6 weeks. He said he does not at all think this is lymphoma...but I am still concerned. He did say that if I was going to continue to lose sleep over it and not be able to continue a normal life, he would take the tonsil out, but he is 99.9% sure without taking it out to biopsy it that it is a normal tonsil.

I am trying to be mature and not have unnecessary surgery. I have been through a lot in the last two months. For several weeks, my throat really hurt, and it has since gone away...(shortly after finding out that the CT scan came back ok), which tells me that it must have been tension in the muscles in my neck due to stress.

I have pain now in the center of my chest and a bit of shortness of breath...and I am hoping it will also go away and be attributed to stress.

Just wanted to share that I know how scary this can all be. I am 36 years old, and have kids to raise. I would like to be healthy and stick around.

 
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

Try not to get so upset, stress is going to cause you more harm then good. If the CT came back normal, then all should be okay. If this is going to destroy your life then get the tonsil removed, and it will make you feel better. Let me tell you my story, 2 years ago, my right tonsil enlarged, lets say PRETY BIG! I went to my doctor who refered me to a ENT. When I went to him he thought it was a cyst inside my tonsil, but of course it could be the big C word as well. So he put me on power antibotics, my tonsil went down a lot, but was still big and still mishaped, reminds me of a tear drop. The left tonsil was small, actually I couldn't even see it. I for sure I had the big C. So when I went back, he said it looked good and that the tonsil was soft and looking well. He wasn't to concerened, he said somtimes after infection, or a cyst like I had, the tonsil wont really look the same anymore. I went back to him another time a year later for my throat, (wond up having GERD, as well) and I then again, asked him why my tonisl was a different size, and he said it looked okay, but If I wanted it removed he would do it for me, but i declined. To this day, 2 years later my tonsils are completely two different sizes, and its noticeable too.

Who knows, why my tonsil never went back to its original size, but its been almost 3 years since the cyst. and hopefully, I never have one again.

Try not to worry, everything seems to be okay try to not be so stressed and relax, sometimes stress can cause your symptoms to be worse.

 
Old 02-09-2005, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

I also have two different sized tonsils that I constantly worry about. Although my right tonsil is enlarged, my left tonsil is really enlarged and looks totally different from my right. I have been to two different ent's, my regular doctor has looked at them and they are not concerned. It doesn't make me feel any better though. I also have a swollen node in my neck which I'm concerned about but the doctor said it is not big enough to be worried about it. I'm also 36 and feel like I'm wasting my life worrying about this. I would get them both removed as I also have tonsil stones that drive me nuts, but I'm too scared to go under anesthesia and also scared of complications. I heard that it is a very hard recovery as an adult. Sorry I don't have any advice, just want you to know I know how you feel.

 
Old 02-10-2005, 05:20 AM   #4
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

When I found these boards, I was sad to know that there are so many people out there worried about their health. Health scares are no fun.

I read something that said that there are so many lymph nodes in the neck region that if you look for them, you will always find them. I felt one in the shower this morning just below the base of my skull...and of course on the same side of the neck as the swollen tonsil. It's not large....just there...and I never noticed them before.

By the way...my tonsils are also shaped like teardrops. One is small enough to be able to see the tonsillar pillar behind it, and the one that is larger is just covering the pillar at the bottom. I know it was bigger in December when this all started...and redder...but it never returned to the size of the other one.

I read about indolent lymphoma....but I wasn't under the impression it lied dormant for years. I read that it is slow growing but not usually found/diagnosed until it is in Stage 4.

I want everyone on this board to know that feelings of extreme fear are normal. Only people who have been where we are can truly understand. I pray that all of us are healthy.

Last edited by jesuslver; 02-10-2005 at 05:21 AM.

 
Old 02-10-2005, 09:38 AM   #5
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

Well my mom has non-Hodgkins for the past 6 yeas. It is slow growing, and her doctor does the watch and wait at times.

It started out 6 years ago, she found a hard smi-movable lump in her neck. The doctor thought it could be a goiter, since she had one before. By the way it was not small, and it was very noticable to the touch. She had it removed and of course it came back Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She had Chemo. She was then free of it for 5 years and went into remission, then one day it came back. showed up as too little spots on her lungs. She had these shots, I foget the name, and they shrunk the spot and other other went away. So today, she is at a watch and wait approach. She will always have this cancer, it's like a virus, that always keeps coming back. That is why she is checked so often to see if it came back somewhere else. The other day, they found a lump on her stomach, so now she has to have a CT scan to see what could be the problem.

 
Old 02-10-2005, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

Wow! I'm so sorry to hear that your mother has to go through that. I do know that this experience has given me a compassion for sick people more than I've ever had. Your mother is very brave to go through that!

How did they find the spots on your mother's lungs? Does she regularly have to have x-rays?

The node that I can feel on my neck is the size of a pea and it is right on the muscle. I actually can't feel it normally unless I move my head to the side.

 
Old 02-10-2005, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

I've had assymetrical tonsils for as long as I can remember. I'm a 38-year old male. One is significantly larger than the other. Both my PCP and ENT didn't think twice about it and it has never bothered me. I wouldn't worry about it.

 
Old 02-10-2005, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Asymmetrical Tonsils

Thanks, she is a strong person, just like every other that goes through this.

Her lump was like the size of a walnut. Since having cancer, she had to go every 6 months, then after awhile it was every year. Now it's back to every six months since the cancer came back. She has to have CT and PET scans about every 6months to a year. They found the spots on her lung when they did one of the scans. That was over a year ago, and was doing great, last week she went in to her regular GP and as he was feeling her stomach, noticed a lump, but was not sure if he did or not, so he decided to get a CT of her. We don't know the outcome yet.

Lymph nodes can swell all the time, I know the ones in my kneck will sometimes, due to stress, allgeries etc. but they go back to normal after awhile, if you had a CT of your neck and they didn't see anything, I would imagine your neck is fine. However, sometimes, and this is not to scare anyone, it could be a secondary problem, rather then the main problem. If your nervouse I would call your doctor and tell him your concerns.

 
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