Hello all, I am a 27 year old, ex professional football player (1 year split between 2 NFL teams), who has recently entered the world of heart related issues. About a year after i stopped playing, I decided to spend the rest of my life taking care of my body, after so many years of destroying it. I have always led a clean life (No drugs, no supplements, no smoking, no alcohol) except for the stresses of football, mostly the body weight (I was 6'5'' inches tall and 310 pounds at my biggest). After getting out of football, i began eating a mostly unprocessed and vegetarian diet, which resulted in losing 90 pounds (I now weigh 220), as well as a general improvement in all of my metabolic panels. Despite these improvements, I had what was believed to be a polarization abnormality occur on an electrocardiogram test, which in turn led to a stress test, echo-cardiogram, and cardiac MRI at the Cleveland Clinic (one of the best heart centers in the world). They thought I might of had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), but all tests came back fine, my heart was structurally normal. They did document though, that when I go from a standing to a sitting position, or from a sitting to a standing position, that the polarization of my heart is slightly abnormal, but my cardiologist, as well as the cardiologist at Cleveland, felt all my tests were fine, and that I was good to go so to speak. Long story short, neither of the cardiologist really explained to me why they felt the depolarization was fine though it was "abnormal", and at the time i wasn't as medically versed as I am now (I am going into my 3rd year of Nursing School to get my RN-BSN) to understand the implications of a heart problem, such as, sudden cardiac death. Along with not understanding why they OK'd me, I have been experiencing some palpation's during exercise. They have been very infrequent, i think only 3-4 occurrences in the past 15 months since my tests, but noticeable nonetheless. It's only occurred on days where I have exercised at a very high, NFL caliber level, which I rarely do these days, most of my training is just to stay in decent "life" shape. I never get dizzy, or experience any symptoms other than the irregular beat, but when they occur, I must admit, they scare me a little. My heart will beat at a high rate, which I would expect at a high level workout, but then my heart will randomly pause for a second, usually when I take a big breath for air, then return to its high, but consistent and evenly spaced beat, it might pause three or four times over the course of a minute till I get some of my breath back. Other than that, I have been fine, and I must again state that I have no other symptoms other than the pauses, and the bit of anxiety/fear I get when they occur. I currently do not have medical insurance, as I have been putting every dime towards school, I am in the process of getting it back in the next couple months, but was hoping I might be able to get some insight from a Doctor or fellow forum member on here. I guess after surviving 27 years of football, I was hoping to not end up as so many of my fellow players, that being, dead by 60, or sooner sadly.
Thank you very much in advance to anyone who can help, and I will definitely be having this exact conversation with my cardiologist when I get one in a couple months.
P.S. the pauses are very distinctive, I have felt my heart completely stop/pause for a second both in my chest as well as at my jugular, and I guess I am concerned as to how "normal" it is for a person's heart to stop, especially when I would think it should beat continuously at a high level when I am sp oxygen deprived from the lifting?