This month's Live Red for Women's Heart Health story is about Linda Lockhart, a woman who was born with a heart condition but didn't find out what it was until it was almost too late.
Live Red is partnership with Wellmont Health System to educate you on the signs of heart disease.
If you listen to Linda Lockhart's heartbeat today, it will sound completely normal. Less than six months ago, that wasn't the case.
"It just goes so fast," said Lockhart. "It felt like someone was sitting on your chest, it was a really strong feeling."
She told she's dealt with episodes like that her whole life but didn't think twice about them because she lives a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a balanced diet. Lockhart told us she doesn't have a family history of heart disease either.
Four years ago, however, it got worse and then her doctor had some scary news.
"What he had told me was eventually your heart will wear out," she said.
Lockhart was diagnosed with idiopathic ventricular tachycardia, or v-tach.
Cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Dr. Gregory Jones, told us in a normal heart the top and bottom halves of the heart alternate beats in a steady rhythm.
In Lockhart's case, he told us, abnormal cells were causing the bottom half of her heart to beat much faster than the top half.
"Causing her dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, reduced exercise tolerance," explained Jones.
Medicine made her symptoms get worse so her only hope was a procedure to burn away the abnormal cells.
"When you go for those kinds of tests you actually have to have the palpitations and be in v-tach, in my case anyway, before they can do the ablation and I never was," said Lockhart.
It took four years filled with pain and worry before that would happen but now her heart beats normally and she is back to regular check-ups.
Dr. Jones told us that even though Lockhart's condition was an extreme case, arrhythmias are common.
"A lot of people get mislabeled as anxiety prone but in fact it is a true arrhythmia," said Jones. "That's something I see almost on a daily basis."
He suggests that if your heart rate gets elevated when it's not under stress, you should see a doctor and get checked out.