My Struggle with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

By Jimmy rated 9.3 out of 10, viewed 7790 times
I've struggled with MVP Syndrome my whole life, really. As far back as I can remember I had symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, irritable bowel, severe anxiety, and phobias. I was able to live with most of the symptoms without them interfering too much in my life. The weakness and fatigue and the pounding and racing heart were everyday occurrences to me. They never concerned or scared me, because I thought that they were normal feeling that everyone had. Irritable bowel though, was tough for me to deal with, physically as well as mentally. I don't know which was worse, worrying about going out and having an attack or the actual attack itself.

The one symptom that did severely interfere with my life was anxiety. Anxiety was my worst enemy, living inside me, directing and controlling my life. I was pretty much anxious most of the time, especially when engaging in new activities. It seemed that I had a new fear or phobia every month though out my childhood. I was scared of just about everything that I thought could harm me, like learning how to ride a bike and how to swim, as well as learning how to drive. Actually driving was my greatest phobia of all. My hands used to start sweating profusely before I even got in the car. Once I got in the driver's seat my heart started pounding, my body stated shaking, and my stomach started gurgling. Some of my other phobias included: Calling people on the telephone, social situations, oral speeches, being alone at night, and dogs.

Being a very observant person I was always full of envy and amazement when I saw how others actually enjoyed taking part in the very same activities that I feared. I was constantly asking myself, "Why am I different? Why aren't I normal?" Most people looked at what kind of fun or challenge could come out of trying something new. I thought of what harm could come to me in most situations. This was the irrational side of me always coming to the forefront. What happened after years of thinking like this was that I developed what may be the worst fear of all: The fear of fear.

Unfortunately, years of anxiety finally took its toll on me, robbing me of my passions as well as my self-esteem. I became slightly agoraphobic and avoided most outside activities. My thinking was very narrow-minded in that my main goal was to avoid engaging in anxiety-provoking situations Instead of going after life, I avoided it My anxiety didn't allow me to look or prepare for the future; instead it forced me to live day to day. Hindsight allows me to understand how I merely existed, not lived, day to day.

You'll be happy to know that I'm doing very well these days. Along with educating myself about MVPS, I had to also work on my self-esteem. Although it was hard at first, changing my diet as well as starting to exercise regularly, helped me immensely. Probably the most important thing that I had to do in order to insure that I'd get better was to learn how to unlearn. I had to, for instance, unlearn the ridiculous lessons that we all learned as youngsters, especially males, such as not admitting or talking about problems we have been thinking that anxiety, panic attacks, and depression are weakness. I also had to unlearn the stigma of going to a psychiatrist and taking medicine. It always amazed me how for a lot of people the fear of talking about their problems outweighs the problem itself.

I now work closely as part of The Society for MVPS. I will continue to help others with this disorder for as long as I possible can.

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Society for MVP Syndrome

By VR, 09-Aug-2011 16:14
Story of my life.
By MVP patient , 13-Oct-2012 12:13
I love everything you wrote. I had and still have most of the problems you've mentioned. You described everything precisely. Happy that you recovered. You gave me hope. I want to feel better. Thank you
By Hi there. I too have MVP and 2 beautiful cheidrln, 15-Oct-2012 15:17
Hi there. I too have MVP and 2 beautiful cheidrln. Everyone's level of MVP is different and I think that it can change due to stress levels. When I was 18, I had attacks just about everyday and was put on medication everyday. As I got older (mid 20s) perhaps the stresses subsided a little and I noticed that I would go for 6 months or a year without a major incident. I could also get through an incident without grabbing a beta blocker by using some relaxation techniques and a good long nap. I read that one idea of MVP is low blood volume (we don't get thristy as easily and thus don't drink enough water) When you are pregnant, your blood volume increases. Some people with MVP actually feel better during pregnancy because of this. With my first child I did have one attack and as a precaution went to the ER. They monitored everything and the baby actually wasn't effected by my discomfort. It is good to keep the precautions in mind and always have someone monitor the child. Your doctor would be a great one to have this conversation with as he/she would better know your degree of MVP. There are such varied levels from rare subtle incidence to those in need of replacement valves. Hopefully your doctor is one that puts everything into prespective for you. Best of luck.
By baudkarmaKobe isn't sad. He's a great player, but, 17-Oct-2015 13:41
baudkarmaKobe isn't sad. He's a great player, but anynoe who thinks he's anywhere close to Jordan doesn't know what they're talking about.And you must excuse Kobe for not shining in the first 1-3 years of his career. He joined a veteran team that was poised to go deep into the playoffs and that was selling out every game. The Lakers had no reason to shove Kobe into the starting lineup and play him 40 minutes a game. Of course, that's the same reason Kobe won 3 rings so early in his career. He joined a team that already had one of the top centers of all time, and a host of complimentary players. Kobe never had the burden of carrying a team until he ran Shaq off in 2005, and we saw what happened to the Lakers then. Jordan had to carry the Bulls from day one.
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This recovery story is in categories: Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome (MVPS)