Recent Entries
Summer Vacation: Tips for Traveling with CHD
How Do You Start Your Morning?
Balancing Parenting & Congenital Heart Disease
The First Five Years
My Journey to a Grateful Life
Now What?
Medical Home Sweet Home
Still Cliché’?
To My Village: Thank You
Education is Key in Spreading the Word about CHD


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 6/29/2012 10:09 AM

By Ken Woodhouse

I am lucky to not only have a job that I enjoy, but also to work for an organization that puts a high value on employee health and wellness. In addition to having a staff Wellness Committee (on which I serve), the company hosts annual wellness screenings, offered free of charge to employees on its health insurance plan. The screening provides a comprehensive health risk assessment, as well as early detection for a variety of health issues.

By ACHA on 6/27/2012 9:19 AM

By Clare Almand

I’m not saying that I want the world to end on December 21, 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar. I’m saying that should I live to see December 22, I will be living to my 26th birthday—also known as my last day with health insurance.

This is not a political essay, but I owe a wealth of gratitude to Obamacare. The new healthcare plan is the reason that I was able to quit a government job that was slowly crushing my soul, get on my parents’ insurance, and try my best to use this amazing one-year gift to break into the entertainment industry. And you know what?

By ACHA on 6/25/2012 10:12 AM

By Jennifer Gooden

Sometimes it seems like all I am is one big diagnosis. Just one big ‘ol walking pharmacy in my purse—a cruel game that went wrong on one of God’s board game Friday nights. And then, God gives me a little bit of perspective. I am humbled and thankful. But for you to fully understand what I am talking about we will have to rewind and go back about two weeks.

By ACHA on 6/22/2012 1:03 PM

By Paul Willgoss

Forgive me—I’m in a contemplative mood. Put it down to how far I’ve come and how far I have to go…

First up, I’ve just done my hardest half marathon.

And despite the vomiting, the aching thighs and suspicion I should do something easier for a hobby, I enjoyed it hugely. Trail running in the U.K. is normally organised by small groups who for very sensible safety reasons have time cut-offs that I couldn’t meet, so when Great North Run (who put on the largest half marathon in the world) branch out it was time to do something I’d always wanted to try… The full details are here.

By ACHA on 6/20/2012 12:35 PM

By Lorelei Hill

“Hi Mommy!” My nine-year-old daughter Kate’s soft, sweet voice cautiously filled the room. Her smiling face peeked around the entrance to my Toronto apartment.

My husband, Mike, and son, Riley, fell in behind. For a second I felt tension in the air. I had literally been living in Toronto since the last week of November, first in the hospital and later at the apartment. So much had transpired in short six months! I was a different person back then and out of necessity my tight little family had become tighter without me. They’d developed new routines and habits, none of which I play a part in. How could they not be nervous about Mom coming home?

By ACHA on 6/14/2012 10:53 AM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

I am the father of a wonderful 21-year-old kid. I've raised him since he was two years old with some help from my parents and brothers along the way. He's seen me at my best and worst as I've dealt with my CHD.

When he was a little we used to go out and do all kinds of things together—kayaking, hiking, shooting and fishing. As he reached his teenage years my CHD began to take its toll on me. I developed CHF and slowly I was unable to do the things with him that we used to. We still spent time together going to movies or just hanging out but; he was a healthy active kid who needed activities.

By ACHA on 6/12/2012 9:35 AM

By Ann Gianola
ACHA Research Manager

I’m a geek. A quantifiable geek. I’m a geek because I attended and ENJOYED attending the Health Data Initiative (HDI) Forum III: Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. last week. HDI began three years ago with 10 people in a conference room and this year’s event drew more than 1,600 business leaders, academics, information technology gurus, non-profit leaders and policy makers. Comprised of keynote speakers, demonstrations, and group discussions, Health Datapalooza was an energetic, extraordinary opportunity to learn from key innovators in health information technology to promote access to and sharing of health data to improve patient outcomes.

By ACHA on 6/8/2012 10:34 AM

By Becca Atherton

As all of you know, having a congenital heart defect means you have a scar—or a few of them. For the majority of my life, I haven’t felt too self-conscious about my scar. I like to thank the heart camp I’ve gone to since the age of eight for helping in that field. However, I won’t lie—when I started high school and my scar from my surgery in 6th grade was still bright pink and bumpy, I was self-conscious about it. I even went as far as to get special make up to cover it up.

By ACHA on 6/6/2012 10:21 AM

By Christy Sillman

Where is our Michael J. Fox? What he’s done for Parkinson’s is amazing and commendable. He’s personalized the disease for so many out there who aren’t familiar with it. He’s owned his disease with such honor and respect.

Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect and there are over a million adults living with congenital heart disease—why don’t we have a celebrity leading the fight for better research and delivery of care for adults with CHD?

By ACHA on 6/4/2012 2:04 PM

by Stephie Goldfish

Lately, I’ve been thinking about society and about our standards we set in place for our future generations.

We have the haves and have-nots, we have the rich and poor, we have those we consider from very fortunate circumstances and those we consider from less fortunate circumstances. Our society claims that we are a civilized nation where anyone from any of these backgrounds can reach his or her dreams or potential no matter what their lot in life.