My son’s neck-lumps: an update

First of all, thank you to all the commenters, emailers and Tweeters who contacted me after I wrote this post about my concerns about two pea-sized lumps that had mysteriously appeared on my ¬†seven year-old son’s neck.¬†

I found everyone’s comments both educational and reassuring. It’s times like this when you realise how brilliant social media is.

And so, a progress report.

Despite taking my telephone number and promising to call me to make another appointment, I heard nothing more from the GPs’ surgery so decided to find out as much as possible about the lumps myself.

I had a fleeting panic attack when I looked into lymphoma after a comment, but then decided my lad’s symptoms didn’t quite match those of that fairly common cancer.

Then I was told that the comment was ‘limpoma’, which I thought was a typo, which turned out to be a harmless fatty deposit!!!

By and large, everyone I spoke to said: ‘Don’t worry. They will go away.’

And then at 5pm on Wednesday evening, my son’s nose suddenly started to stream; then he started to sneeze like a nostril in a pepper factory; and then he started to break into a hot sweat; and then he went cold again; and then he went as white as a sheet. And finally, he asked to go to bed. At 7pm.

But instead of feeling anxious about this flu-like onslaught, I felt a massive sense of relief. For at last it provided a reason for those swollen nodes/glands on the back of his neck: they were raised in defence of an infection that was incubating inside his body but that had not yet erupted from his olfactory system.

He slept the sleep of the righteous on Wednesday night, sweating profusely, but not stirring a muscle.

His Mum and I agreed that he should take Thursday off school. But when he woke up, bright and early as usual yesterday, he was determined to go.

‘I’ve got to do my spelling test,’ he said. ‘I’ve been practising all week.’

Well-trained, you see.

His fever had broken; his nose had dried up; the colour had returned to his face. And the best – the BEST – news of all is that the lumps at the back of his neck and halved in size. They’re still there – and they’re still unexplained (though hopefully nothing more serious than LIMPOMAS) – but most definitely nothing to worry about.

‘OK, if you’re sure,’ I said.

‘Yes, Dad. Sure.’

And off he ran – yes, ran – to school.

Children’s bodies really are miraculous, aren’t they? They fight infections like the SAS – smash, bang, wallop, over. No fuss, no bother, no martyrdom. Just a whole lots of worry for their parents.

Anyway, I’d like to thank everyone once again.

Only one issue remains to be resolved: the lack of contact from the doctor’s surgery. Will they call? And if they do, what shall I say? It is a worry that, as far as they’re concerned, a little boy is running around with lumps on his neck that two GPs had no clue about what they were. Is it really that easy to slip through the net? I know it’s my responsibility to take him back if I’m still worried, but what would be the point, when all they seem capable of doing is ticking boxes and Googling symptoms. It is a worry.

8 Comments

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8 Responses to My son’s neck-lumps: an update

  1. Anton1a

    I am sorry to read that you have been through this worry, and how awful that the GP did not call back. It does make you wonder doesn’t it? Is it really so easy to slip through the net.

    I used to get lumps on my neck as a teenager, they were explained to us as being harmless, and I am glad that your son’s lumps seem to be disappearing.

    I think, even though they are not so bad now, you maybe could take him in to the GP, just to get it on the system and let them have a look to reassure you- you should be entitled to an appointment, and if they question it, explain that you have not had a callback for a child. I would consider a letter to the practise manager to find out why there was no call back. It may be they have a glitch in the system/ an inefficient employee, but whatever the case, it’s not good.

  2. I didn’t have any advice on this subject so I didn’t comment but I want to thank you for sharing this experience. I’m storing up all these posts about children’s health issues, behaviour issues, etc… I’m nothing if not prepared for the next few years of motherhood.

  3. Brilliant news that they’re starting to clear up. This is the thing about tiddlers, they dip down so quickly but can fly high again really quickly. Hope the lumps disappear over the weekend.

  4. You make the call and you call t hem back because then they learn to be more responsible. I’d still have them looked at again. It could have been a virus or not. Doctors also need to understand that families worry, and they dropped the ball. I can’t believe they didn’t call back?(extreme eye roll)

  5. Katelynn

    Thanks for the update!! I’m curious if you found out any more information about your sons neck lumps…I spotted one on my 4 year old a couple weeks ago and then noticed another one today. He’s definitely not sick, so I’m a tad worried. I have his annual physical scheduled in a few days, so I’ll be sure to bring it up then. In the meantime, I’m very anxious! Any information would be greatly appreciated!