thanks again for you response. I am definately following up with this hole in my heart. So don't think I'm dumb (but I guess when it comes to this stuff i kinda am) but when we say vascular is that the heart..or the veins? Or both? Like, if the heart has a defect is that considered heart disease? And is that the same as vascular disease. I guess what I'm asking is, if someone has a heart problem does that mean they have a vascular disease? I can't thank you enough for taking time out of your day to respond to me. Its comforting to know that there are people out there (although not the same disease) that can relate. I try to ask doctors these questions and they always rush me. I understand that you are not a doctor but I appreciate you thoughts on this.
MS does NOT "always have to run in a family". In fact, there are many folks who are the only person in their family with MS, and while there is SOME evidence that there is a genetic link, the scientists are still trying to figure that out.
There IS evidence that autoimmune disorders "run in families". For example, I have MS, my mother had lupus, my aunt had rheumatoid arthritis...all autoimmune disorders. And there are dozens of autoimmune disorders; even diabetes is one of them.
The vascular system is the system in your body that moves blood from place to place, and the heart is the "pump". So veins and arteries are part of the vascular system, as is the heart. If you have a problems specifically and solely with your heart, it might be said you have "heart disease". If the problem really is your veins or arteries (like the senator who had a defect from birth which caused a stroke a few days ago) then it might be said that you have a vascular disease.
Obviously EVERYTHING in the body is connected...so if there is a vascular problem, it can affect everything else, sooner or later. Or a heart problem, and so on.
If I were you, I'd be in front of my doctor demanding answers about the "hole in my heart" - -what does that mean, exactly; does it need repairing; if it needs to be repaired, what does THAT mean (surgery?); could that be causing the vision problems I've been experiencing; what does it mean for my overall health? and so on.
When you next see your doctor you might take someone with you -- a spouse, a close friend -- and have them take notes, and ask questions for you. We all get rattled when we get in front of a doctor and forget what we wanted to ask, or feel rushed. If you have someone with you, they can help manage the things you wanted to ask, but are too intimidated to ask, or keep track of all the information the doctor is throwing at you so quickly.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....