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I'll try and cut a long story short here. Only, I am really scared at the moment, and after doing quite a bit of research over the last week, I am convinced I am suffering from aortic regurgitation.
So, all my life (I'm 25, 26 in June) I have had a strange relationship with my heartbeat. I hate the feel of it. I remember when I was around 10/11, being obsessed with thinking that I could make my heart skip a beat through my breathing. Only it used to scare me as I thought that as I breathed in and my heart delayed its beat, it actually wouldn't beat again. I became really conscious of my breathing and I've always felt I've had to consciously breath a lot more than normal. This has stayed with me all my life.
Plainly, over the years its made me really anxious, particularly when exercising. The thing is, I have always been able to feel my heartbeat. I'm quite a skinny guy with a small frame and assumed this is relatively normal. As I've gotten older, however, I realise that it perhaps is not entirely normal. I can see my pulse in my left rib, as well as in my neck. Sometimes I can see it very faintly in my right wrist.
A few years ago I started getting strange beats. Not racing or anything, but the beats themselves felt 'floppy' and spasm like. It would happen randomly seemingly with no correlation to anything I'd been doing.
Lately these beats had gotten worse so I went to a doctor. He suggested they were harmless but said for piece of mind he would refer me to a consultant cardiologist for a chat. So last week I went to my local hospital and had a chat with a consultant cardiologist. They ran an ECG on me, which apparently all looked fine, and after describing the beats, she basically told me not to worry. I also described the power of my pulse unnerves me and I asked if it was normal. Again, she said it was fine.
Then before I went, she had a listen to my chest through a stethoscope. She was very thorough. All sorts of positions and had my leaning forward and holding my breathe etc. She prodded my stomach a few times (not sure why?) and checked my legs for swelling (I understand to check for edema?).
After she said she could hear a small murmur. However, she stressed to me more than once that, to her, it sounded innocent and I really should not worry at all. However, then she started writing out a referral to have an echo scan! Next, she is talking about how valves in your heart can leak...
My understanding is that heart valve leakage (regurgitation) is not something I shouldn't worry about.
How could she actually tell if the murmur was innocent just by hearing it? Can she do that, really?
Since, I've done some research and I'm convinced I have aortic regurgitation.
1. I have a pounding pulse. I can visible see my head slightly bobbing with each heartbeat. I can see my heartbeat in my left rib and in my neck. I also have a collapsing pulse when I raise my arm above my head.
2. There is obviously a murmur and she was talking about leakage.. her attitude to me seem to change completely after she examined me.
3. I've noticed myself getting out a breath a bit more easy in short and intense spurts of exercise.
4. Lying on my left side at night is becoming unbearable.
Usually in a morning on waking up my heart rate is usually mid 40s (when I'm not stressed etc). I'm in decent shape. Sitting here typing this, I am a little anxious, but not overly and my heart rate is at 62.
This morning the pounding, not racing, of my heart was driving me crazy. Against how I felt, I decided to go for a walk. I walked at a brisk pace for around 4 miles. When I was out walking I noticed the pounding had died down a lot and could barely feel my heart in my chest just standing still. The pulse was quicker, but I could barely feel it. This seems weird to me? I did read that aortic regurgitation accommodates a higher pulse rates well as there is less time for regurgitation?
Was my cardiologist just trying to not scare me or should I really be worried? I've done nothing but research this constantly now for over a week.
Thanks in advance.
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