Eli’s two month check up came at the beginning of June. So with Steph back at work for couple weeks at the end of the school year, I got to take him first his first shots. If you asked me what the essence of being a parent is, this is it. Being a parent means self sacrifice, like taking off work to run to our pediatrician. It means thinking about your child’s future well being, like weighing the amount of pain from those needles and potential side effects vs. preventing deadly diseases. It means being a comforter after those shots happen.
We arrived at the pediatrician and we sat in the lobby. They had recently remodeled the lobby, relocating it to a different part of the building. We sat in the Healthy section of the lobby, right across from the building’s cardiologist door. It now sat inside the lobby area. I sat there staring at that door thinking that it has to be one of the saddest thing to have to take a child to see a cardiologist. I’m sitting and fretting about a shot.
Our name is called and we head back. His measurements come back good, and our suspicions are confirmed. He’s tall. 98 percentile for height. At first, we thought he just looked tall because he was a little light at birth. However after he kept out growing his clothes length wise as opposed to width wise, it was getting clearer that he was tall. While images of basketballs dance in my head, I have to quickly remind myself that two month height is not a good indicator of future height.
At the end of the appointment is shot time. Like his sister, Eli is quite the trooper. Yes, he hated those shots, but he recovered. He recovered quickly. In fact, he was smiling afterwards.
I’m glad he’s feeling good, but I’m thinking about the last discovery before the shots. With Eva, there was no need to worry about anything until the pediatrician started checking her ears. Our pediatrician pulled out her stethoscope and lingered too long on his chest. She moved it to the sides, and back to the chest. Can she hear something? Can she not hear something? What’s worse?
“I think I hear a murmur.”
I admit I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of childhood diseases. When I reached that section of the “What to Expect” book, I skipped it. No need to worry about things that won’t happen. My brain worked like this:
Murmur = Heart thing
Heart thing = bad thing
Murmur = bad thing (See! You can use algebra in real life!)
So we talked about it. It’s probably nothing. She thinks it’s nothing, but since it is heart related, she wants an expert opinion. Probably the hole in his heart hasn’t closed up yet.
Hole in the heart = bad thing
Hole Hearted = Extreme 90’s song
Hole in the heart = extremely bad thing! (don’t tell my algebra teacher about this one…)
She hands me a card for the cardiologist. You’ve probably already put this together. The same cardiologist that I had stared at earlier, the same one where I thought about how awful it would be to have to visit….we would have to visit.
I gather up Eli and place him in his car seat. We step out of the office and head toward the waiting room. Like the salmon swimming upstream, I am noticed for going against the flow. You sit in the waiting room, you see the doctor and you leave. You don’t go back to the lobby unless something is up. You go back when your waiting for a test results that couldn’t wait for a phone call or you go back when waiting to see if that medicine your child just ingested will have side effects. Or, when you’re heading the cardiologist.
I open the door and step in. The office is just like every other doctor’s office I’ve been in. I don’t know why I thought it would be different. The receptionist asks why I’m here and I explain the situation. She takes my information and we schedule his appointment. Everything to her was business as usual and it was throwing me off. She knew that it probably was nothing, but it wasn’t that way for me. It had to be something because everything had been piling up on us. This would be the straw that broke us.
Steph would be the parent to take him in for his appointment. They put him through a series of tests and exams and came to this conclusion; it was an innocent murmur. The hole in his heart had not quite closed yet, but was closing. Secondly, there was a narrowing of the arteries that go to the lungs. This is common in children, and is called Branch Pulmonary Artery Stenosis. He should grow out of it by six months and no return visit is needed. Although there is a chance he may have an innocent murmur the rest of his life.
This hit all the marks of a perfect appointment. First, they were able to diagnose the issue. Second, they would not need to intervene for the issue to go away. Third, their confidence was high enough on it not being a future problem that they didn’t schedule a follow up appointment, not even a little appointment to pad the bottom line.
So at the end of the day he was fine all along. I was overly worried about something that was common. I guess that’s all a part of being a parent as well.