Leaky valves irregular heartbeats
I am a thirty year old man who has been having irregular heartbeats and chest pain for the last four years. I am 6’2 205 pounds with less than 9 percent body fat. I work out four days a week and eat very well. I have low cholesterol and low blood pressure. I have thought all along that I was healthy until recently. Yesterday I was told I have two leaky valves and hardening of those valves. This was a huge blow to my mind and overall outlook on life.
As stated above, for the last four years I have had irregular heartbeats. My heart feels like it will stop suddenly and then beat three fast beats to catch back up to the one that it missed. My body will force me to cough when it does this. These have caused me great anxiety and even depression at times over the years. I have always described this to my family and friends and understandably they have said that it’s in my head. In the last five years these beats or missed beats have increased along with chest pains. I have awoken in the middle of the night to use the restroom only to be stopped dead in my tracks by my own body. My heart felt as if it was almost struggling to beat. The beats were SLOW, HARD beats. During this time I was very out of breath, I literally had to prop my hand up on the wall to catch my breath. This is when I first decided to see a cardiologist.
My general practitioner saw me and kind of dismissed me because of my physical stature and blood pressure etc… he did agree to send me to a cardiologist to make me feel better. The first cardiologist did a stress echo and told me I was fine, that my (left side or right side can’t remember) was a little enlarged but that this was normal for athletes. I was not satisfied with this. I knew what I was feeling and it was not normal. I went to a second cardiologist, he did a stress echo as well. His nurse called me days later and told me I had a mitral valve prolapsed and it was nothing to worry about. Still not satisfied I went to a third doctor. This is where I was told I had two leaky valves and they were a little thick. This is not what scared me. He then told me that it was not dangerous unless I was having symptoms. He said if I was having symptoms that this could be the early signs of a weakening heart. WOW! I thought. I told him I have had symptoms the last four years as if he had forgotten this is why I initially came in to see him. Now he wants me to wear a heart monitor for three weeks and then see him in five weeks.
Can anyone help me with any of this? Does this prognosis turn into an eventual early death for me? Do I have to worry about my wife waking up and finding me dead in bed? My real grandmother passed away at the young age of thirty two because of some kind of valve issue. They say she had rheumatic fever as a child or something. I have been so stricken with anxiety and gloom lately. I am to the point that when I have these irregularities at night I go and sleep in a different bed so that my wife does not wake up to a corpse. Has anyone else had a similar diagnosis as this?