It has been such a long time since I have written here. I have been preoccupied with life, traveling, family, and my own recent discovery of heart valvular disease.
Heart Disease Doesn't Discriminate
For nine years I dealt with palpitations and doctors assuming it was just stress or anxiety, ignoring my symptoms because I'm young. My mother has aortic valve regurgitation/insufficiency. I was experiencing the same symptoms as she (mostly a fluttering feeling with dizziness). I had a pretty good idea that I would have the same condition. Despite my pleas to have an echocardiogram with my prior cardiologist, it was not done.
This past December, my heart seemed to be on palpitation overdrive with so much tightness my shoulders and back ached. I also had a hard time breathing and became very lightheaded. Since that time, I still have a hard time catching my breath. Occasionally the pain will revisit my shoulders as the tightness builds in my chest.
Listen To Your Body. You've Known It The Longest.
In January, after I got back from visiting family in Texas, I set an appointment with a new cardiologist. At first sight, he didn't believe anything could be wrong with me either. I have good cholesterol levels. I have a normal blood pressure. I'm young. I'm not overweight. I seemed to be fine. He decided to hook me up to an event monitor for 30 days anyway just in case, and schedule an echocardiogram. FINALLY!
The monitor was not needed those full 30 days. During the echo, aortic valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and tricuspid valve regurgitation were discovered. I also have an enlarged aorta. I wasn't just suffering from stress or anxiety. I wasn't a crazy, over-dramatic woman after all.
Luckily for me, my leaking valves are mild right now. My hopes are that they stay mild where I will not need replacement surgery. I have been placed on medication to lower my heart rate, and yearly echos have been scheduled. I also have an upcoming CT scan to make sure I do not have an aneurysm in my thoracic aorta. I'm confident that will turn out fine.
Anyway, the point of this is to inform you all to take care of your heart. Love Your <3 It is the only one you have.