Hi, my name is Rich. I was recently diagnosed with a PFO after having a small stroke (called a BRAO - Branch Retinal Arterial Occlusion) in my left eye. I am 47 years old, very active, and do not exhibt any of the symptoms of a PFO at all other than the results from the Bubble Study, which clearly showed the solution moving between my left and right atrium when I coughed. I run (22 min 5k) and resistance train daily, have normal BP, heart rythm, and all my lab numbers look great. My cardiologist told me that there was no reason to change my lifestyle, because I am very healthy and exhibit no symptoms. He just told me to follow-up with him after 3 months. My concern, like many others with this condition, is that I feel like I am walking around with a loaded gun in my heart and that the next cough or sneeze could be my last. My other concern is if my running and resistance training are putting me at greater risk.
Any advice or direction for self-help resoures or knowledge will be greatly appreciated!