Well, first it had to hide what it was doing as other things. I mean, I was a preemie I was a red-faced fussy baby and I got sick a lot with tonsillitis or strep throat - I'm really not sure. I hardly ever had to stay home from school or work, and when I did, I ran a fever below 98.6, even though I was bright red as if I was burning with fever. I would get all congested and have a bad headache but the doctor, if I went could never pinpoint the illness.
As an adult I got a lot of diagnoses of bronchitis, pneumonitis and finally pneumonia. So I was two months shy of 50 when I finally was told that no, it was not menopause, no it was not adult onset asthma, it was dilated cardiomyopathy. It took longer to find out that I have a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with - that I did not somehow make my aortic valve bicuspid with bad lifestyle choices, or just give myself congestive heart failure with self-abusive habits!
Is this a pity party? No, this is a reminder - listen to your heart, listen to God, stay connected with people who respect you, keep in touch with medical and health personnel, and keep moving!
My bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with is probably responsible for a great deal, When I paint a line, there is a little bump in it that reflects the irregular beat of my heart. My fingernails, although beautiful, are all unbalanced, and each of my nails has topography! My teeth are beautiful but plagued by illness, and I frequently turn bright red for no reason - for awhile I was gray, which was unsettling, I admit. But every time I think about my heart or read or study about the heart, I am amazed at this wonderful brain-muscle-machine that is a heart! And I am always again amazed that whether a valve has two or three leaflets on the opening can change a life so much.