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Feel Great, Except...
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I feel great, except that brisk walking brings on chest pain and I have to slow down, or stop for a few seconds, it passes, and then I resume walking (30 minutes a day except trash day, Friday). When I stop the pain disappears completely almost immediately.

My cardiologist has diagnosed aortic stenosis (did all the tests and stuff)--not surprised; I've had a heart murmur since I was a child. I just read an article that said untreated, life expectancy is less than 3 years.

I find that hard to believe, since in every other way I'm remarkably healthy, and the stenosis symptoms don't seem to be getting any worse ("worse" would be fainting, shortness of breath while sitting still, crushing pain). And I don't like the way the doctor jumped straight from diagnosis to surgery, as if there were no management options. Maybe he doesn't think so, but I do.

I'm almost inclined to think there's something of a scare tactic to get patients to have heart surgery. Why would I get my chest cracked open and the heart sliced into to replace the valve, when I feel fine and am still active? Not to mention exposing myself to MRSA and other bad microbes.

There are indications that non-surgical interventions are on the horizon (valve replacement via venal catheter, mimetic peptide infusions). I'm going to stay as healthy and active as I can and hope they become available soon.

I'm also going to be sensible about not doing heavy exercise or reacting to extraordinary stress (which can be managed).

So far, so good. And I'm grateful for good health, enjoying life. I don't want to live as a sick person, with a dozen diagnoses, each worse than the last.

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