Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Saved from a Peritonsillar Abscess

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I came down with an unrelenting sore throat about 15-20 years ago. For years I have tried to be discreet in prescribing antibiotics in most of my patients, for fear of causing resistance in bacteria to the antibiotics. I did for me what I did for most of my patients, which was to avoid the antibiotics. However, after a week the sore throat was getting worse, it was starting to keep me from opening my mouth normally and I was running a fever. I called my friend, an ears, nose and throat doctor who practiced at our local clinic with me. 

He squeezed me into his schedule and took a look at my throat. I noted his eyes got a little wide and then he got up and left the room, returning with a large syringe attached to a big bore needle. It was so quick I didn’t have time to resist and he placed that huge needle into my throat, stabbed the left tonsil, and came back with a syringe full of brown liquid. He smiled and said, “You have a peritonsillar abscess.” 

I had pain localized to the left side of my throat which was made worse with swallowing and which was suspicious for peritonsillar abscess. Other symptoms that could indicate such a diagnosis include swollen tonsil or tonsils, uvular deviation away from the abscess, a mouth that doesn’t open fully, purulence of one or both tonsils, drooling, swollen neck-lymph nodes and finally, a muffled voice.  

Usually there are two organisms growing which makes this condition a double threat. If the infection is allowed to spread, the invasion of many layers of neck tissue can occur which leads to a progressive extension of the infection into deep tissue and possibly a dismal death. The infection can also spread to the other tonsil, which, when swollen and pushed up against the opposite swollen tonsil, can block air flow and cause death from suffocation. 

My doctor immediately sent me down to an infusion room and started the daily intravenous dose of an antibiotic that would be repeated daily for a week. This was not the first time or the last that antibiotics saved my life. Following this experience, I looked much more carefully at every patient with a sore throat, and, although I was still careful about over-prescribing antibiotics, I prescribed antibiotics more often for swollen and ugly tonsils after that. 

Richard P. Holm, MD is founder of The Prairie Doc® and author of “Life’s Final Season, A Guide for Aging and Dying with Grace” available on Amazon. For free and easy access to the entire Prairie Doc® library, visit www.prairiedoc.org and follow Prairie Doc® on Facebook featuring On Call with the Prairie Doc®.

DOC

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Science Behind Understanding Epidemics

It was in London, England, 1854, when a severe diarrhea illness caused the deaths of 500 adults and children over a ten-day period and proved the value of scientific thinking. Physician-scientist John Snow mapped out the locations of those sick, and his work pointed to water... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Shed Those Fears of Cancer Treatment

Mrs. B came into the emergency room one night, years ago, with some stress related issue. After taking her history, I began to suspect there was something else bothering her. As I was beginning her physical exam she blurted out, “I know there is a breast mass but you’re... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Why Are Rural Nursing Homes Closing?

During one of our weekly hospice meetings, the discussion turned to the burden of finding an opening in a facility for one of our patients. Mr. A belongs to the working-poor segment of our society, just above official levels of poverty and yet he cannot afford health insurance... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Opioids: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

My patient was in severe pain, suffering from an obstruction in his gastrointestinal tract as a result of spreading cancer. I knew that morphine, one of the opioids, would provide immediate and merciful relief, and it did. We are thankful that we have something that can palliate... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Kindness in Medicine

This week I spent some time exploring the origins of the word, kind: It comes from Old English gecynd (YEH’-kund) or cynn (kyn), meaning nature, race, family. Another Old English word kyndnes (KIND’-nes) means “nation,” which I interpret as a subtle and... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - How to Live 40 Percent Longer

“Doc, I’ve started on this new diet and I wonder what you think,” said my patient. Then I hear about the patient’s latest weight loss plan. There are so many plans out there...the Noom® plan, the Shark Tank diet, the keto diet, the Mediterranean diet,... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Noise Induced Hearing Loss…What’s That?

Of the 40 million people with hearing loss in the U.S., 25 percent of those, or 10 million, have lost their hearing as a result of exposure to excessive noise. But how much noise is too much?  Measured as decibels (dB), the acceptable manufacturing noise standard is to... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Language, Literature, Ethics, Music and Spirit

A muddle and mixture of family and friends surrounded the dying elderly woman like she was a campfire. They came to honor and pay their respects; many generations, from all over the country. This group seemed well educated, well-read, and the intellectual discussions were tossed... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court September-December

Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving.  Bench Trial – Not... [More]

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

March District Court

On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]

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NEWS

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Dollar General Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the Dollar General will be this Saturday, January 25th from 8 to 10 am.  There will be  free totebags and cups, and the first 50 customers will recieve a $10 gift card.  Cake will be served.  

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Farm Credit Seeking Scholarship Applicants

The Board of Directors of Farm Credit of Western Kansas, ACA is pleased to announce the continuation of the Farm Credit Scholarship program.  Farm Credit has $8,000 available to High School Seniors, a $500 per semester scholarship, which is renewable for up-to four years... [More]

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Sharon Springs Wildcats Take On Weskan Coyotes

Jace Mackley shoots a basket for Weskan in the game between Wallace County High School and Weskan High School last Friday.  Weskan Boys won 71 - 51. JC Allen (WHS) shoots over Brookley Dinkel   (WCHS) during last week’s game.  The Lady Wildcats won... [More]

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FHSU Students Earn Fall Semester Honors

Grady Hammer and  Dalen See are among the 1,596 students named to the Deans Honor Roll for the fall 2019 semester by deans at Fort Hays State University. The Deans Honor Roll includes undergraduate students only. To be eligible, students must have completed 12 or more... [More]

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KSU Students Earn Fall Semester Honors

More than 4,220 Kansas State University students have earned semester honors for their academic performance in the fall 2019 semester. Students earning a grade point average for the semester of 3.75 or above on at least 12 graded credit hours receive semester honors along with... [More]

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Sexson Returns From Retreat For Rural Leaders

Lissa Sexson of the Wallace County Visitors Bureau attended the 27th Retreat for Rural Leaders facilitated by the Kansas Sampler Foundation and held at The Barn Bed and Breakfast Inn near Valley Falls. Lissa was one of 34 people from across the state to attend. The group was... [More]

My Favorite Hiding Spot

Sandi Kerr-Jordan’s 8th graders discus hiding spots as they learn about interactions between the Jews and the Nazis during World War II. Here are some of her student’s personal hiding spots - My hiding place is my room. It is really the only place in my house... [More]

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Acoustic Eidolon to Perform

Back for a third time in recent years, Acoustic Eidolon will perform for the Western Plains Arts Association, Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Wallace County High School Auditorium, 521 North Main, Sharon Springs. The program begins at 2 p.m. Mountain (3 p.m. Central).  Admission... [More]

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Jan 16, 2020

This Sunday, the Fort Wallace Museum is looking forward to hosting Greg and Cee Heller from Kannapolis for the screening of the new documentary film “Fort Harker: Gateway Post to the Frontier.” Please join us at 2:00 pm MT for the 45-minute film, followed by discussion... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 9, 2020

Happy New Year! The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to a fun and full 2020; we invite everyone to join in and help make it our most successful year ever!  There are two ways to join our organization. “The Fort Wallace Memorial Association”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 12, 2019

Christmas arrived at the Fort Wallace Museum this past Sunday, with the annual “Candlelight Christmas” service, followed by a festive gathering inside the main building. The 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for the traditional service. Worship was... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 5, 2019

In 1865, David Butterfield raised money from New York investors to create Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stage Line along the Smoky Hill Trail - the shortest route from commerce centers near Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields near Denver Colorado. In 2019, Butterfield’s... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Nov 7, 2019

On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 31, 2019

The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 10, 2019

This Saturday night, we are delighted to welcome Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran “The Singer and the Songwriter” to the Fort Wallace Museum for an evening of live music at 7pm as part of the High Plains Public Radio Artists Series! The Singer and The Songwriter is the... [More]

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