Heart Matters

heart diagramWhat an echo-cardiogram is.
Also, the dangers of Endocarditis, also known as heart valve infection.
I’m googling these things because I have to go get an echo-cardiogram for the first time since I was a kid. I have a congenital heart murmur, which has apparently gotten worse in the last two years.
More specifically, I have two problems: a pulmonary stenosis, which means my pulmonary valve is too narrow and doesn’t pump blood efficiently. And I also have Mitral Valve prolapse, which means my mitral valve doesn’t close completely and allows blood to flow backwards into the previous chamber, causing a whooshing sound or “murmur.”
Apparently my murmur has gone from a grade 1 to a grade 3 on a scale of 6. It’s possible that this increase in the murmur may be a result of age, or as a result of a heart valve infection that occured when I had appendicitis.
Interestingly, this site mentions as symptoms two things that I do recall having: fatigue, exhaustion, and light-headedness (may result from low cardiac output) and shortness of breath when lying down (orthopnea). Hmm.

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