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 7/30/2012 9:19 AM

By Clare Almand

I write a lot about strength. How my heart condition has made me stronger and given me the resilience to take on any challenges that may come my way. But recently I’ve been thinking about the other side of the equation. What do my heart condition—and my experiences as a result of it—take away from me? How am I really dealing with all of it?

By ACHA on 7/27/2012 11:58 AM

By Lorelei Hill

I can't believe how time has flown this summer! It would seem as though life were back to normal.

The kids have been at camp, completed art lessons, and gone fishing. My longtime friend, Fran, has been here for a week. What's left to do?

The answer is so clear.

By ACHA on 7/25/2012 8:14 AM

By Ken Woodhouse

Yesterday was the first time I’ve seen my ACHD cardiologist since January. (It was exactly six months to the day after my last visit with him; that appointment was the initial follow-up for the stent procedure I had done in December.) While I like my cardiologist very much, it was great to not have to see him for half a year.

I’ve been feeling great since January, and my only potential concern going into this visit was that despite having been training for the half marathon for the past seven weeks, I don’t seem to be gaining much speed or endurance for running. However, my doctor was not concerned about this, given the fact that my endurance for cycling has not changed at all (I have my very first VO2 max test scheduled for next month just to compare it with the results of the stress test I had last August). He told me that as long as I stay hydrated and avoid running in dangerously hot weather, there is no reason why I should not push forward with the training. I told him that as long as I don’t have to get picked up by the slow bus before crossing the finish line, I will have achieved my goal!

By ACHA on 7/23/2012 11:37 AM

By Jennifer Gooden

Today is my husband’s birthday. He has reached the ripe old age of 26. For his birthday I got him a bike—not a tricycle, but the vroom vroom kind of bike. Which begs the question, do I really want to be a widow? Motorcycles are super dangerous. But I knew he wanted one, and I got him all the gear, and he is taking classes. Though, if anything would happen to him I would be devastated.

Being an ACHDer, I don’t think that it is necessarily odd to think of myself and dying, but I really have never given any thought to Ziggy dying. I always have assumed that I’d “go first.” I am only 24 years old but I already have a living will, something that my cardiologist suggested that I do at my last appointment.

By ACHA on 7/19/2012 10:03 AM

By Paul Willgoss

It’s becoming real. In a little less than three months I’ll be in a coach heading to the start line for my first ultramarathon. Going beyond the 26.2 miles of a marathon for anyone must be one of the less sane things you can do, but the trick (I am assured) is continual incremental progress, building slowly and surely towards that fateful day in October.

Like so much in the lives of us ACHDers, we need to be more aware of the planning and make sure that changes are built in so that any issues are noticed, monitored and checked out.

By ACHA on 7/17/2012 11:45 AM

By Becca Atherton

Performing American Sign Language to music has always been a hobby of mine, since I was nine years old. I usually try to pick inspirational songs and when DreamWorks’ Prince of Egypt animated movie came out in 1998, there was one song that really spoke to me that I think will also speak to a lot of CHD families and patients.

By ACHA on 7/13/2012 8:56 AM

By Meghann Ackerman

If you spend much time on the internet, you’ve probably seen some version of the “I have no idea what I’m doing” meme, which usually pictures an animal in some type of human situation. When it came time to pick a new health insurance provider this summer I found myself feeling like a cat with a chemistry set or a dog behind the wheel.

By ACHA on 7/11/2012 11:29 AM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

I know you won't be reading this blog post until July 11th, but I am writing this right now at the end of June. It is currently a Friday and today is my first full day of a ten-day vacation. I felt I needed this time away. You see, at the end of July, I will be having my third open heart surgery.

By ACHA on 7/9/2012 9:39 AM

By Sarah Vogt
Guest blogger for her best friend, Christy Sillman

“’Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all.” —Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Our friendship blossomed in autumn of 1997. My geometry teacher paired Christy and I up for an assignment. I noticed over time a large scar on the chest of my math partner that she masterfully tried to cover. She would wear high necked shirts or put makeup on her chest to conceal the long, thin, lumpy line.

Finding Christy’s scar made her that much more appealing to me. It meant she had been through some sort of pain. It meant she probably had a story of triumph. I saw strength in her pain.

By ACHA on 7/6/2012 10:39 AM

By Ellen Greenberg

Two months ago, I witnessed unkind treatment by my team. I started to have strange symptoms at first; we thought they were side effects of Valtrex that was treating my shingles. When these symptoms worsened every day, they mimicked panic attacks. I could not breathe or walk up the stairs without stopping, and suddenly I napped in my bed every time I got to the top of the stairs.