Recent Entries
"The Shoes Stay On"
My Normal
Pretending To Be A Normal Person
Happy Heartiversary to Me!
The Importance of Being Educated
New Year Inspiration
An Artistic Heart
CHD and the Law: Can You Sue Over Your CHD?
CHD During a Job Interview: To Mention or Not to Mention?
Moderation … Yeah, That’s a Thing


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

Author: Created: 5/17/2011 1:10 PM RssIcon
Our ACHA bloggers will post about many topics relevant to the CHD community.
By ACHA on 1/29/2015 2:13 PM

By Brenna

On the Friday before Labor Day, many years ago, I was excited to meet a friend for a girls’ night out in Los Angeles with dinner, drinks, dancing—the whole enchilada of fun (maybe even some awesome enchiladas). Instead, I was directed by my doctor to go to the closest ER to get an EKG.

I had been feeling a little slow, lethargic, even light-headed. My mother and I met at the ER after work. The doctors told me to change into a hospital gown in order to run a few more tests. I was in a nice brown dress and my favorite new shoes, green and brown silk open-toed with a 4-inch wooden wedge—totally worth the price. I told them, "OK, but the shoes stay on."

By ACHA on 1/27/2015 11:55 AM

By James Bachenheimer

CHD is the best thing to ever happen to me.

Growing up in the 1980s and 90s with a congenital heart defect was not easy and it sure did not feel "normal." After all, my generation had to rely on playing outside, which was something my little defective heart could not tolerate well. In typical Jimmy fashion I would play till I passed out or ended up in the hospital with my doctor always saying, “Jim, you know your limits.” Of course I knew my limits, but even at an early age I would push myself until I fell over—I just wanted to be normal.

By ACHA on 1/22/2015 12:38 PM

By Lorelei Hill

Last Saturday, as I sipped my morning coffee I looked at my family and smiled. In that moment everything felt “normal.” My favorite mug reads, “Pretending to be a normal person day-after-day is exhausting.” I read the caption and laughed. I purchased this mug as a gift, then found I could not give it away. This message spoke to me.

As a girl growing up with CHD, I tried my best to keep up with my friends. When my condition got in the way, I had no other choice but to step back from my normal life and let others care for me again. As I grew, I was fortunate enough to feel good most of the time. The better I felt, the less inclined I was to exchange my everyday life for one as a patient. I just wanted to fit into the world without having to be concerned about my next hospital test or clinic visit.

By ACHA on 1/16/2015 11:02 AM

By Jorie Malone

December 30 is a special day for me—it is my heartiversary, and this particular December 30 marked the one-year post-surgery milestone! For heart patients, I know three months, six months, and one-year post-open heart surgery are all big deals, but I think the one-year mark is the most significant. On my heartiversary, I decided to spend the day with reflection and tiem celebrating with loved ones. It was a wonderful day, but the most amazing and encouraging part of all is thinking about what a difference a year can make!

By ACHA on 1/14/2015 10:13 AM

By Kathleen Hutchinson

Not being educated about one’s health or in our case, our congenital heart disease, can lead to additional health issues—even an emotional breakdown.

I have tetralogy of Fallot and it came as quite a shock when I found out that I had to have a “tune-up” in my later years.

By ACHA on 1/9/2015 2:48 PM

By Paul Willgoss

This is less of a blog, more of a thought experiment—so please bear with this slightly nutty Brit, and hopefully we’ll go somewhere interesting

Who inspires you and why?

Think about them, their characteristics, and their approach to life—what makes them chime for you.

Seriously, close your eyes and think about them.

By ACHA on 1/7/2015 2:16 PM

By Kelly Deeny

I’m a firm believer that the creative arts can help significantly during times of trial, struggle, and emotional/physical/spiritual pain. I make such a claim out of experience—personal and through numerous years of volunteer work. Currently, as I navigate a lapse in employment, I’ve turned to the arts as a healthy form of expression. I’ve been thinking a lot about just when and why my fascination with music, writing, theatre, film, and television began. In all honesty, my suspicion is that it started during my hospital stay as a congenital heart patient.

By ACHA on 12/23/2014 8:42 AM

By Michael Pernick

This blog series features stories involving congenital heart disease and the law. The blog posts may discuss contemporary or historical court decisions, laws or regulations, or other legal issues that relate directly or indirectly to CHD. These posts are purely for entertainment and educational purposes and are not legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this series of posts are solely those of the author and do not represent the Adult Congenital Heart Association.

Today, I’ll write about a tough question with an easy answer. The tough question: How much evidence do you need in order to sue the company that you believe caused your CHD? The easy answer: More than nothing.


By ACHA on 12/18/2014 11:50 AM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

Yesterday I had my first interview in a couple of years. It was for an internship in a medical office. One of the things I thought about was, do I mention my congenital heart disease?

When I was writing my resume for this position I struggled with adding things like my Facebook groups, social media experience, this blog, and my experience as a patient—to show I have had some contact with the medical community. If I did put this stuff on the resume, though, I would be saying, “Hey, guys! I have a physical defect that will cause lifelong issues.”

By ACHA on 12/16/2014 2:38 PM

By Meghann Ackerman

It’s recently come to my attention that Victor and I have widely different concepts of what “more healthy” means.

Victor’s cholesterol has been creeping up and his doctor had him start a new medication to bring it down. Given his own CHD and his family’s heart health history, this is a very good thing. At my last doctor’s appointment I was told I could stand to up my good cholesterol levels a little. So, right from the start, we have different points of view.