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Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Dare: 171 - My Scariest Moment

Today's Prompt: My scariest moment...

I know you have been there on some level, the pediatrician is doing a normal well child exam, and they say "Hmmm," and there is a long pause. The exam continues, and the doctor goes back to the source of concern and then calls in his fellow medical staff, just to verify the diagnosis. You haven't had this happen? Well let me tell you about when it happened to our family...

My son Ryan was three months old when we had a very normal check up appointment. The doctor was in the middle of his exam, when he stopped mid-exam to listen to Ryan's heart beat, and then listened again. He said the "Hmmm," that sent red flags and alarms off in my head. I had a total moment of panic, and was wondering what was going on? He called in another pediatrician in his practice, just to verify what ever he was questioning, but never explained why he was concerned. The other pediatrician and our pediatrician exchanged looks, and then that's when he excused himself. I was a mess, Ryan was not a happy baby, as he had wicked colic, and rarely slept. (He wasn't unhealthy, but certainly had his little issues.) The doctor came back into the exam room, and asked if I knew what a heart murmur was? I had heard of them, but didn't know exactly why the doctor was showing signs of concern in his face. He told me he needed me to call the local hospital and schedule an xray and echo cardiogram as soon as possible. He gave no further explanation but left the room. Umm, okay...I am now in full panic...what the heck is wrong with my baby?

I was able to get an appointment three days later, and could not sleep until he was seen. (Not that I was sleeping normal anyway.) The pediatric cardiologist office was a ghost town, and it added to the stress of the moment. Thank goodness, we were seen right away, and they were able to take the xrays almost as soon as we arrived. The person administering the test reassured me that murmurs were very common, and she has given this same test hundreds of times. Unfortunately, Ryan did not like being half naked on the table, while she held the wand to his chest. She had to start and stop several times, and I just tried to settle Ryan down. Hearing his heart beat, while she was testing was a comfort, and she pointed out the sounds in question. She was soon finished with the test, and said that the cardiologist would be right in. Thank goodness the doctor was very knowledgeable, and obviously had dealt with worried moms. He explained that Ryan had an innocent murmur, and was audible, but as he matured it more than likely would go away. He was not concerned, and asked that we come back in 6 months for a follow up. I was so relived, and just sat there holding my son, beyond happy that the doctor did not give me the results that I was fearing.

I am happy to say that Ryan's 9 months follow up did in fact so that his murmur was innocent, and it seemed to have healed itself. The doctor asked us to pay extra attention, once or if he signs up to play sports once he is beyond the age of five. He suggested another round of testing, but said he would be surprised if the murmur ever shows up again.

Have you had that moment of panic? Have you just had your heart fall out of your chest in fear for your child? Have test results come back negative, when in your mind you only feared the worst?


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