I'm a nurse and have no medical issues aside from being "fluffy", so when I noticed swelling in my feet and ankles a few months ago, I had a "What's up with that?" moment. Went through workups with my doctor and it ends up I had a birth defect that took 55 years to show up. The aortic valve has three leaflets that open/close with each beat. One of mine would prolapse (flip backward) allowing the pressurized blood from the aorta to jet back into my heart. The increased pressure also caused the mitral and pulmonary valves to leak. As my Cardiologist said, "You have a really, really, leaky aortic valve." So a mechanical valve replacement later, I'm on the road to recovery.