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to Tonsillectomy and Penicillin Allergy
I was a little late getting around to it this month, but finally
caught up with the October updates. And
as is often the case, a couple of items in the mail caught my eye.
Keren raised the question
of tonsillitis in connection with P. At
the ripe old age of not-quite-57, I'm in the rather unusual situation of
still possessing both my tonsils and appendix.
There was some risk of losing the former when I was a kid, but this
was back in the days when tonsillectomies in the fall were an absolute
no-no (polio risk, I think), and that's invariably when mine would get
Since even the
appendix is now recognized to have some vague function in the immune
system (probably that's why a white-cell count is THE test for a bad
appendix), my former derm said it was a quite reasonable guess that my P
is so stubborn partly because I have a very strong immune system.
And this is pretty well borne out in practice — if there's any
kind of "bug" going around, I'm usually the last to get it if at
all, the first to get rid of it, and I generally get the mildest symptoms.
D. asked about penicillin as a possible trigger.
I had a fairly severe skin reaction to penicillin several years
ago, which was how I first learned I'd acquired an allergy to it, never a
problem when I was younger. That
in turn triggered a nasty flare-up of the P — fortunately, it responded
well to a double-barreled treatment of the P and the allergy.
And that's an
area I'll have to watch — so far, every allergy I've ever run into has
been a skin reaction, rather than respiratory or other system, for which I
guess I should be grateful since skin reactions are a royal pain but not
anyway, is that it was the allergic reaction, not the penicillin itself,
that the P wasn't happy about in my case.
Best to all,
Response: Thanks, Mike.
As always, your comments and observations are illuminating.
I was particularly intrigued with your interpretation of what happened with the Penicillin allergy and the P. As you probably know, there has been a long-standing issue at FlakeHQ about the relationship between P and allergies in general. Some of us assert that allergies are, in themselves a P trigger. Others assert that P is, in fact, an allergy. And the currently prevailing medical opinion (which, here, is typically second-hand or further removed) is that there isn’t a relationship, that P and allergies are distinctly different things. If I understand your assertion, based on your own allergic reaction to Penicillin, it sounds related to the Koebner phenomenon. The allergy caused the skin trauma which, in turn, exacerbated the P. Interesting. –Ed