Hello, I am a 21 year old female with swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I've had them for a year. They used to come and go, but now they won't go away. In the beginning, my PA thought it was caused by a retracted eardrum (I've had constant ear infections/problems) and I was prescribed antibiotics, steroids, nasal spray, and ear drops. I would get all four prescriptions each time I went back to the doctor when the swelling returned, which is about three or four times. With each time, I was prescribed stronger antibiotics and they seemed to work in reducing the swelling, but it would always come back once I finished the medication. The time between each occurrence would increase and finally, I'm at the point where the swelling will not completely go away. The size of the swelling will change, but it's always there. It's not necessarily painful, but I can feel a tenderness. After several rounds of antibiotics and another doctor visit, my doctor believed the swelling to not be caused by my ear problems, because the lymph nodes that are swollen are further down my neck than the ones affected by ear retractions. I had a CT scan with contrast that revealed that I have two swollen lymph nodes (no mass) and then I had bloodwork done, which came back normal. (CBC, Platelets & Aut Diff; SED Rate Erythrocyte; TSH; EB Antibody Early Antign; EB Antibody Nuclr Antign; and EB Antibody Viral Capsid). I then had an MRI (with and without contrast) which revealed the exact same thing that the CT scan did. The doctor said that the lymph nodes are not swollen enough to get an accurate biopsy. He wants me to come back for more blood work to test for less common causes: cat scratch fever and rocky mountain spotted fever. I have not been around cats in years and I am fairly certain that I haven't been bitten by any ticks either. The other symptoms I have are as follows: night sweats, fatigue, low grade fevers that occur often, and very mild bladder infections. I've noticed that the swelling gets bigger in the morning when I wake up (so after I've been laying down), with stress, and with alcohol consumption. Any thoughts?
Well I don't like to give people bad feelings about what they may be going through. I can tell you what happened to me and I am not saying this is what is happening to you ok? Think good thoughts don't think the worst that's what I want to say first. In 2010 I had been having several infections like you and went through all the doctors telling me it could be this and that but no one was doing anything so I found a different doctor and asked for a sonogram o be run on the lymph node in my neck to make sure it wasn't something that I was just over reacting about. They did that and soon after I was refered to a doctor to have a biopsy on it and see if they could find any cancer cells to worry about. Now comes the bad part I had the surgery and the surgeon came up to me while I was still just barely lucid after and surgery and said I am sorry Ms. Smith you have cancer. wouldn't tell me what kind and it was on a Friday so I had to wiat until Monday to find out what it was and how to fight it. I just so happened to have Hodgkin's Lymphoma and was told it was very curable but not the terrible things that I would have to go through to win the battle. But listen to me you can do it if it is the worst thing you want to hear you can fight it and win. so go in with that attitude and remember when you run out of strength at times find those that you can lean on. I just so happen to have a large and caring family and my daughter was seventeen and dropped out of school to help me fight this. I did not want her to do that but she was determined that that was what god had put her here for. To take care of me when I couldn't do it. she always said mom you took care of me when I couldn't do it for myself even though I told her it was my job she was my baby girl she said yes and now its my turn. You just go to sleep and let me battle this for you. of coarse I couldn't do that I fought and fought for a long year and there were times I didn't want to keep going but I made it and am cancer free and have been now for almost five years. So I just want to say to you take charge of those doctors demand more that just antibiotics if you have had them that many times there is something not right. Make them find out what it is. Maybe it is nothing maybe you are just in a weak point in your life and need vitamins or some such. Maybe you just have lymphedema that is where you lymph nodes swell up and you have to have lots of strong antibiotics and eat right and take care of you. Get rest. lots of it if you can. If you are the partying type give it up you health will get better and then you can go back to it but do it with a better view of you and what you need to stay healthy. If you need someone to talk to post back I will be here. Good Luck and Prey it helps too.
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