used to sink ships apparently. Now they upset grannies. Or one Granny in particular.
"?" I hear you ask so eloquently.
Allow me to explain.
Josh is a mate of mine. He's six now. When he was eighteen months old he had a "turn". He went all clammy and pale and fell over. Mum and Granny didn't think much about it at the time because it was over in a few seconds and he was right as 3.6p (Ninepence in Old Money) in no time. Then, a few months ago he started having "turns" at school. Just one at first (well obviously....) but the next one a month or so after that, then two more in a week. Since Mum was being called out of work on each such occasion both she, and the nice school secretary who had to accommodate Josh in her office (while she fretted in case he "went off on one" before mum came to collect him), were concerned enough to ask for a paediatric referral.
Josh remained the picture of rude good health throughout this time, ate well, grew and developed normally, and other than his occasional "turns", romped about with typical six-year-old vim and vitality. Still a paediatric referral seemed like a good plan, so that's what we arranged.
He came back to see me this week after a plethora of normal tests. The Consultant, a very good and eminently trustworthy opinion, is happy that his turns are not serious and need no further investigation. Granny however is not so sure. The thing is, the nice smart young Doc who saw her with Josh in the clinic told her he could hear a "murmur" that was probably the cause of his turns. His letter says the same, though it goes on to point out that the murmur had gone when the Consultant listened, and that he had explained to Granny that this could happen to "murmurs".
Well, call me old fashioned, but murmurs of a severity sufficient to cause "turns" shouldn't really do that. Indeed they should have much more of an impact on growth and development before the age of six, and probably have been present if not at birth then very soon after.
Now I must have listened to Joshes chest a couple of dozen times down the years and I've never heard a murmur (and still didn't this week as it happens). I know I've listened to a lot of Motorhead and the like down the years, but I can still hear the dropping of a pin at several dozen paces, so I like to think I might have spotted such a thing before now. Likewise I am sure the Consultant has heard a few murmurs in his time, what with being a paediatrician and all, but the nice young Doc in the Pressed White Coat of Diagnostic Loveliness has pronounced, and so now Josh has a "murmur".
For now, the Consultant and I have persuaded Mum that he is fine and no more tests are needed, but I can tell that Granny is not so sure. Which is a shame, because after further discussion with Mum and Josh this week it seems highly likely that his "turns" are actually simple faints, caused by reflex drops in blood pressure when he first leaps up to charge about after being confined at his desk for too long, of after getting up from sprawling about like all six year olds are occasionally wont to do.
Some folk really are just a bit more fainty than others and we don't have to make them all ill. And some heart sounds are just sounds and not murmurs.