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Old 05-07-2018, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
15,378 posts, read 14,730,178 times
Reputation: 35196

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Hello, my daughter has a recurring, inflamed lymph node under one arm. This is the sixth time, in 18 months, that the very same lymph node was red and swollen. Normally, it stays inflamed for a week or two and then disappears.

One time, it was much larger, and much, more swollen than the other times, plus she had a fever, while shaving she must have nicked it and clear fluid poured out. As she pushed on it, more liquid came out and then it started bleeding. My daughter said that the liquid did not appear to be pus.

The problem is that my daughter does not have easy access to medical care (as she is a Peace Corps volunteer in a poor African country). She has contacted the PC doctor (by phone) each time this happened and he just "brushed it off" and said that it was not anything to be concerned about. But, this is the first time that she had ever a problem like that (it started while she was in Africa).

Question? My daughter needs special permission (by the PC doctor) to leave her post/village and it will take several days to get to the capital city for the PC doctor to see her. It this something that she should insist that the doctor take a look at? She is concerned that there is some type of underlying problem that is causing this one lymph node to swell every two or three months and it needs to be examined. Also, if there is a problem that needs to corrected she has medical insurance now (through the PC) but will not have it after she leaves the PC (until she gets a regular job).

Suggestions? Ideas?

Thank you.

BTW, local medical care is pretty basic so that really is not an option for this situation. Some/many people still go to "traditional healers" (witch doctors).

Last edited by germaine2626; 05-07-2018 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
10,608 posts, read 1,892,980 times
Reputation: 16088
Yes, that's a predicament....

before she gets special leave, maybe check with your family MD on if this. Read up on causes first...

We here on cd are powerless to diagnose for you.

She sounds like a fine young woman...

google webmd.com or mayoclinic.com

for swollen lymph nodes...there is a list of criteria that if present may indicate problems.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:14 PM
 
2,233 posts, read 878,554 times
Reputation: 4347
Does your daughter have normal insurance or is it some special sort of insurance through the PC? Do they not have any sort of service where she can talk to a nurse who might have more time to take a detailed history? I have a similar issue with lymph nodes in the base of my skull and I have some sort of scalp skin condition. I have noticed that whenever I get a breakout, the lymph node nearest to the breakout will swell, but it always goes down. I talked to a few doctors about it and none of them seemed concerned. Does she have any sort of issues with folliculitis or other inflammation in her armpit area while shaving? If so, that could cause the issue.

However, I can totally understand her concern since armpit lymph nodes are also associated with breast cancer and that can be really disconcerting for any woman to be away from medical care and have a concern about that. That’s why someone needs to at least get a detailed history from her... You’d think that with better technology the PC participants would have better access to telehealth resources since most countries at least have good cell service.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
15,378 posts, read 14,730,178 times
Reputation: 35196
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Yes, that's a predicament....

before she gets special leave, maybe check with your family MD on if this. Read up on causes first...

We here on cd are powerless to diagnose for you.

She sounds like a fine young woman...

google webmd.com or mayoclinic.com

for swollen lymph nodes...there is a list of criteria that if present may indicate problems.
Yes, it is sort of a dilemma. If she was in the US she definitely would have already seen a doctor in person.

Of course, I'm not looking for a diagnosis and I have checked on medical web sites.

The PC doctor said that it probably caused by shaving under her arm and using anti-perspirant AND it is hot in her country. But, she has shaved under her arms for 15 plus years and has never had this problem before.

And, if it was caused by shaving/deodorant/hot weather wouldn't women in the southern US have this problem, too?

Last edited by germaine2626; 05-07-2018 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
15,378 posts, read 14,730,178 times
Reputation: 35196
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
Does your daughter have normal insurance or is it some special sort of insurance through the PC? Do they not have any sort of service where she can talk to a nurse who might have more time to take a detailed history? I have a similar issue with lymph nodes in the base of my skull and I have some sort of scalp skin condition. I have noticed that whenever I get a breakout, the lymph node nearest to the breakout will swell, but it always goes down. I talked to a few doctors about it and none of them seemed concerned. Does she have any sort of issues with folliculitis or other inflammation in her armpit area while shaving? If so, that could cause the issue.

However, I can totally understand her concern since armpit lymph nodes are also associated with breast cancer and that can be really disconcerting for any woman to be away from medical care and have a concern about that. That’s why someone needs to at least get a detailed history from her... You’d think that with better technology the PC participants would have better access to telehealth resources since most countries at least have good cell service.
She can talk with doctors and nurses in the PC (assuming that she get a phone connection) but she was wondering if she should insist on being seen in person. Also, the PC has very, very detailed medical information on all PC volunteers (heck, her pediatrician even needed to check records that were in long term storage to get specific details from when she was a preschooler for her PC medical forms).

Nope, she does not have folliculitis or other inflammation in her arm pits.

Last edited by germaine2626; 05-07-2018 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
10,608 posts, read 1,892,980 times
Reputation: 16088
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Yes, it is sort of a dilemma. If she was in the US she definitely would have already seen a doctor in person.

Of course, I'm not looking for a diagnosis and I have checked on medical web sites.

The PC doctor said that it probably caused by shaving under her arm and using anti-perspirant AND it is hot in her country. But, she has shaved under her arms for 15 plus years and has never had this problem before.

And, if it was caused by shaving/deodorant/hot weather wouldn't women in the southern US have this problem, too?

I'm not impressed the the PC doc....

Has she had any type of infection lately, that would cause the swelling?

I read over the medical possibilities too and because it COULD be something serious, and you really have no way of knowing,

why take the chance??? Especially since SHE is worried....some of us have a 6th sense about such things.

Is it a truly big deal for her to leave and get evaluated???
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
15,191 posts, read 4,774,898 times
Reputation: 10472
Until she can get some definition of what is going on, I would say don't shave underarms and no perfume deodorants and perhaps some hydrogen peroxide on cotton swabs if that's possible.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:47 PM
 
4,992 posts, read 2,903,225 times
Reputation: 12072
Yes Germaine, I think she should insist on being seen. Since it is recurring every 3 mos for 18 mos, there is something that her body is not able to fight off. She may need antibiotics. The PC doc is heartless IMO opinion in expecting her to just deal with these painful and potentially serious episodes without proper medical care.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:32 PM
 
358 posts, read 163,660 times
Reputation: 1564
OP - I spent several years in West Africa and still have a very good network there. There are MDs trained in Europe (most often in France) who went back to their country to practice. They may be available for a second opinion, in addition to the PC doctor. If you let me know what country your daughter is currently serving in, I may be able to help.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,030 posts, read 4,203,405 times
Reputation: 12427
I admire her dedication. Does she have bacitracin she can put on it? Can you get an Rx for an antibiotic? Maybe her MD at home could prescribe it for her?

She definitely should lay off the antiperspirant (Which can clog things up) and just use deodorant on that side (She can sweat from one armpit ;-)

And if she can find a doctor other than the PC doctor, just have her go and pay for it out of pocket. I can't imagine it would be so expensive that you couldn't send her the money for it.
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