I'm 59 now, and when I was in my 20s, a doctor said offhandedly, "has anyone every told you you have a mumur?" I didn't even know what he meant, and he just said "no big deal, many people have them." Every now and then over the next 30+ years, I would get the same comment from various doctors, always followed by "no worries, they are pretty common."
Then, about 2 years ago, I noticed that a had a certain feeling in my heart. It is hard to describe .... not pain, not even a sensation really, just a feeling that the heart was there, rather than just going along unnoticeably like my other organs.
At my physical last summer, my doc decided I should have a heart stress test, not related to anything specifically but just as a baseline to have on file for when I get older. At the test, the ultrasound guy kept going over my heart and looking at his screen again and again, and I figured something was up. Again came that question: "has anyone ever told you you have a murmur?" But this time it wasn't followed by "don't worry about it."
I had severe mitral regurgitation, level 4 out of 4. So, next came a cardiologist appointment, then a TEE test, then the meeting with a surgeon who told me I definitely needed surgery. So, my surgery is 5 days away, May 26. I might be a good candidate for minimally invasive, I'm waiting for the results from yesterday's CT scan to confirm.
And all of this basically transpired by chance, had my doc not said it was time for a standard stress test I still wouldn't know!