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Please Give Me Your Thoughts: Swollen Lymph Nodes
An_242909 posted:
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?

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