Well…I thought this was an interesting fact. You know, like interesting in the way that you aren’t sure that you believe it. But, I like our doctor and I trust him (heck — he used to be MY doctor throughout my teen years, just after he became a doctor). Still — I googled this little factoid. And, just to truly test it, I didn’t put in the percentage, just asked what percentage.
Go figure. Apparently our doctor is, indeed, correct. I found hits on lots of sites with that 80% figure. Here is one of the sites, which also has a whole host of information on heart murmurs.
So, why did this all come up, you ask? The funny thing is, Eric didn’t ask. I told him this factoid, and he didn’t even think to say, “Hey — why did this come up?” (Unlike my Mom, who seemed to almost immediately know where it was going.)
I then shared with Eric that our doctor said the percentage of murmurs, and said, “Most of them are innocent.” I had to laugh, and then said to the doctor, with a quick turn of the head to look at Jack, “Yes, and some of them are guilty.”
See…that’s why Eric didn’t ask. Jack has one of those not so innocent murmurs (Aortic Stenosis due to a Bicuspid Aortic Valve). We are thankful that he has not had to have it repaired, although it will have to be repaired one day. But, heart defects — those are old hat around our house. Jack has had just about as many echocardiograms as he has had birthdays.
But, this wasn’t about Jack. In fact, it wasn’t Jack’s appointment. It was Molly’s appointment.
So, needless to say, when the words “she” and “heart murmur” went in a sentence together, my immediate reponse was a surprised, “What?”
Obviously, I was quickly calmed enough to almost immediately give Jack a hard time about his “guilty” murmur. It helped to hear that innocent murmurs are so common in kids. Plus, my doctor assured me that he would keep an eye on it, and given our family history, we would definitely do an echocardiogram if it doesn’t go away and ever sounds a little “guilty.” I was accepting of all that, and am hopeful that this will just be one of those things that will pass. (Although, it did sink in a bit more when I saw that he had written it on her physical form for preschool.)
Hey — want another interesting factoid about heart murmurs and kids? Apparently they can sound louder when a child has a fever! So, it may be that sometime when your little one is sick, they could find an innocent murmur for the first time.
Another interesting factoid? Molly has had an echocardiogram before. Why is this interesting? It was when I was around 22 weeks pregnant with her! Given Jack’s heart defect, they did an echocardiogram in utero. Crazy, huh?
Thus ends my soiree into the medical field, with one last piece of advice — don’t freak out if you find that your child turns out to have a heart murmur one day, out of the blue, at the doctor’s office. Apparently it’s not quite as uncommon as one would suspect.
photo by Mathieu Struck
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