A day in the life of a mother

This blog is about a day in the life of a frum (orthodox Jewish) mother with small children.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Today was #1's appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. #1 had an ekg and an echocardiogram done by the doc, and right away saw the problem. He has something wrong with his aortic valve, something called Bicuspid aortic valve. Hubby's father, and uncle have it, and his uncle had to have the valve replaced just last year. The doctor said it can be potentially very serious, but right now we are not at that stage with #1. He just has to come back in 1 year to have it checked. Also when he goes to the dentist, he has to have a big dose of antibiotics to prevent subacute endocarditis (infection in the lining of his heart). It feels weird to know now he has this heart condition, and I am a bit upset and worried about it but feel relieved at the same time that right now everything is ok with him and it won't impact his life or daily activities at this point. Hubby's dad just has it monitored. Hubby's uncle had surgery to replace the valve and is ok B"H.

I have to say I am a bit offended by the pediatric cardiologists rant on Americans. It was totally unprofessional. He had asked if that was my mother with my other kids in the waiting room, and I had said no, its my mother in law, my mother lives in Florida and the rest of my family is in NJ, that I am American. and recently became a canadian citizen and he went on a 10 minute rant about how much he dislikes americans, that we are all ignorant, and that we think everything revolves around the US. I was pretty upset and had no clue how to respond back. Part of me just wanted to walk out of his office right then and there. I told him I was offended and I hoped he was joking, and he said he wasn't but he wouldn't let it get in the way of his professional duties. If he wasn't a top notch pediatric cardiologist I would have walked out. that was totally rude of him.

Anyway, on a brighter note, #1 is going to his first birthday party this sunday. :) yay :) Also spoke to his head teacher and she thinks its wonderful about him going to the new school and she also feels he would be good there. So :P to the assistant teacher who wasn't happy about it :P :)

that's it for now. I am cooking lasagna, it took me 2 hours to get it together because we got back from the cardiologist late, and my kids went beserk when we got home, one wanted a snack, one wanted to have a veggie burger sandwich instead of snack, one was just kvetchy because it was bottle time, and one was just imitating his siblings. Sigh. After 2 hours of interruptions dinner is finally in the oven.


  • At 5:37 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Alison,
    There is a great website for info. on Bicuspid aortic valve disease. www.bicuspidfoundation.com. Unfortunately, being born with one is a hereditary condition. I was born with one. If anyone in your family has a connective tissue disorder(rheumatoid arthritis) or died unexpectantly at a young age (Ruptured Aortic Anneurysms) it is all related to the gene responsible for B.A.V. Your family should be screened by a simple echocardiogram to rule out B.A.V. My family is being screened as well as my children. Always protect son #1 with antibiotics before dental procedures or invasive procedures to reduce possibility of endocarditis (a bacterial infection of the heart lining). It's a common infection that people born with B.A.V.need to be protected against for a healthy future. Sorry your Pediatric Cardiologist was such an unprofessional jerk. I hope he gave you all of this info. Best of luck with son #1 and keep in mind, he may never need any type of intervention; but good B.P. control, cardiovascular/aerobic exercise, and protecting the valve are key to a healthy future.

  • At 11:35 p.m., Blogger julie said…

    please email and let me know how you and your son are. my beautiful seven month old baby was diagnosed w/ bicuspid aortic vavle at seven months old. how are you and your son.


    julie hardy

  • At 7:18 p.m., Blogger Yiddishkeit said…

    B"H he is fine. He just has to see a cardiologist every few years for an ultrasound of the heart, and has to take antibiotics before dentist appointments... :)

  • At 7:22 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am sorry to hear about your #1 son having B.A.V.D. My son, who is now 18 was born with a bi-cuspid valve. We chose to treat him just like our other son and not restrict activities or for that matter even tell him that he had this condition untill he was about 8 or 9. As a result he grew up strong, active and confident rather than fearful. (aerobic exercise helps build strong hearts) We had him checked annualy to moniter his condition. He just thought it was a back to school check up that everyone had. He didn't know for a long time that he was any different. He grew up playing basketball, football, etc.
    Do keep close watch though because some individuals with BAV end up developing aortic anneurysms which can be life threatening. The aorta slowly enlarges over the years and must be delt with surgically when it reaches about 4.7cm in BAV patients. My son had surgery at 16 and was back on the basketball court 6 months later playing for his highschool team. There are several colleges interested in offering him scholarships next year. Your son and family will do great if you just stay informed and don't get overly worried or protective. (Although that's hard as a Mom not to do!) God Bless! Laura Owens

  • At 9:33 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I too am a child with a bicuspid aortic valve. I am 16 years old. I just went to the cardiologist today for my yearly check up. They said all is fine for now, but there is a slight leakage in my aorta. It is scary to not know what the future holds, but if you stay strong and keep a positive attitude everything will be okay. I hope everything goes well with your son.


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