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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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Hi to anyone that may read this. I am lucky enough to have been born with a mutated gene that gave me a genetic heart disorder. Doesn't that suck. Basically what happened to me is that I was born with a heart disorder that I didn't know I had till I was a junior in high school. Basically the disorder is HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. My heart 2 x's bigger than it is suppose to be, but only half of my heart is 2 x's bigger, the other half is normal size. On top of that I inherited an abnormal heart beat and recently have been diagnosed with mildly high blood pressure and on top of all of that I haven't even have reached my 21st birthday yet. I have 3 problems with my heart that most people do not get till they are in their 60s-70s yr old. I have almost died 2 times because of this heart problem.

Yet I am living life. I have played sports and have worked out basically all my life. I have a name to live up to. I am a Tillman, I have had a cousin in Triple AAA baseball and a cousin that used to play professional football for the Arizona Cardinals. I have uncles and cousins who have been ranked nationally as wrestlers and I was ranked one of the best goalies for soccer in the bay area of CA when I was 14.

BUT MY PROBLEM IS.... with my heart condition if I push too hard I can kick my heart into "overdrive" and can kill myself. SO I basically cannot give all I can give to my passion for a sport. BUT THERE IS A TWIST TO THIS, I cannot stop doing sports or working out, I have to keep doing it, Doctors orders! ITS A CATCH 22, I cannot give 100% but I have to still be pretty active. The doctors said that since I've been so active even since I was born that I have to remain that active. So if I go under or above I could die. Im literally living on a fine line, that has death awaiting on either side of the totem pole.

Basically my problem is I want to make my name known just like my cousins and uncles and even my dad, but my problem is that I can't really do that because I could die. I could kick a football and soccer ball a football field length (100 YDS), I could throw a baseball at least 75-80 mph, and I could hit a baseball 425 ft. But the problem is, I'm a liability so I cannot play college ball. SO I CAME UP WITH THIS AS MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD, I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR OF SPORTS MEDICINE SO I CAN HELP THE PEOPLE WHO CAN BE GREAT AT THEIR SPORT, WHILE I AM STILL INVOLVED WITH SPORTS, I WANT MY CONTRIBUTION TO BE FOR THE GREATER GOOD. HELPING PEOPLE FULFILL THEIR SPORTS DREAMS SINCE I CANNOT FULFILL MINE. THAT IS MY DREAM!

Thats basically my life story so far....isn't that intense?
I just needed to vent...cause I'm kinda bummed that I have this disorder.
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replied August 8th, 2008
Study hard! Good LuckQ
I am not a doctor or nurse, but know someone that has heart trouble so I'm reading all of the postings. Your's is sad but keep the good attitude and work on getting that medical degree. If you do it quickly and are the best, I'll bring my son in law to you! I'll keep you in my prayers.
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replied August 12th, 2008
hey. I totally understand where you're coming from. I just turned 22 and have 6 weeks to decide if I want to have ablation with possible pacemaker put in. If I decide against it I just have to be miserable 24/7.

Sucks to be us.
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replied August 13th, 2008
Hi Tufftidian. I'm a Med student too, and I do research mainly on cardiomegaly and heart failure. I will be more than happy to help you.
Without specific datas of your condition, it's like almost impossible for me to give you an advice. However, I can tell you it's possible to improve you CO (cardiac ouput) by doing sports.

You can PM me if you need to talk.

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replied May 24th, 2009
hi mate,
i can understand where you are coming from.
im 25 years old and have found out that i have hcm since a very long heart muscle is 34mm which is 3 times more then it should be.i can't even get exited or run 20 steps up etc. as my heart feels like bursting when i do these things.just take everything easy.thats what i do,as i have no other choice....take care
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replied February 1st, 2011
Hey tufftitan, Im feelin ur pain.
I am a 32 yr old firefighter and personal trainer who was diagnosed with HCM in 2006. Since then I have been removed from operational duty to a station officer because I too am 'a liability' and have had to cut down on nearly all of the 15 studio fitness classes I used to teach every week!
Gotta train but can't 'beast urself'. Know how it feels, once having played semi-pro soccer and competed at county/state level in athletics. Sucks!
The worst feelings I have now is having developed apparently 'non-life threatening arrythmias is the fear that ur gonna die, or fear of never having kids or growing old with my fiancée. Horrible fears and anxiety eaten away at u, making me angry.
I keep thinkin wot I do to deserve this? Never happens to the crack heads, or alcos, or heavy smokers, always the athletes taking care Sad
Feelin ur pain tufftitan and all u people sufferin from such cardiomyopathy conditions.
Ur not alone... Take care all
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replied May 16th, 2012
Hey, I just found out I have it aswell. Im 20 soon to be 21 so I kno how it feels, having a generic heart problem and being under 25 feels really weird. My whole family have it, some have died from it so I guess in our case its pretty serious. My mom went from being a low risk case to an extreme one in ten years, just getting out of hospital today after being in there for a week due to collapsing in the supermarket. My uncle died in his sleep, post mortem showed that it was HOCM, which makes me really scared now. It makes me think that any day could be my last. I really shouldnt be thinking about death at my age!!! Sad
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replied October 22nd, 2013
Hi tufftitan, what a hard thing. For you and for anyone who might want more information on HCM, you could listen to this podcast: s-in-the-nick-of-time/. Your situation is certainly different in that you are not a student athlete, but this might be a good way for you to get your foot in the door in terms of getting involved and giving 100% to helping the people who have HCM reach their potential. The people in the podcast are courageous people like you: driven by the goal of helping others. Thought you might like to listen.
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