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 10/26/2012 1:05 PM

By Paul Willgoss

A month ago I joined a fairly small group of people; I became an Ultra-marathoner. I started at Point A and ran and walked the 31 miles to Point B.

Don’t let that flippancy fool you, it was hard work. A warm day, a long way, some minor navigational hiccups, a long way, excellent organisers, but still it was a long way… And I smiled for almost all of the 31 miles.

By ACHA on 10/24/2012 11:32 AM

By Becca Atherton

There is a saying that laughter is the best medicine. While I don’t think laughter can outperform modern medicine, I do believe that having a sense of humor and being able to laugh can help when coping with an illness such as CHD.

By ACHA on 10/23/2012 12:08 PM

By Alissa Butterfass

For those of you who are regular readers of the ACHA Blog, you may have noticed a subtle change in my bio. Two months ago, I left my professional, paying job to stay home with my kids. After 13 years at the same company, six of them as a “working mom” (a term I use only to facilitate writing this post, not to make any implications or judgments about mothers who do or do not have a paying job), it has been an adjustment for me and for my family. But so far, so good. Some thoughts and observations:

By ACHA on 10/19/2012 10:34 AM

By Meghann Ackerman

You know what’s cool? Science.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize how much science gives me without asking for anything in return. Despite barely understanding it, science keeps providing me with new ways to make my life easier, better and more fun.

I started thinking about my parasitic relationship with science last week when I got a new phone. When I got my first smartphone a couple of years ago it was cutting-edge technology. This new phone, though, is exponentially more advanced. Not only does it know when I’m looking at it, but it also gets philosophical when I ask it, “What’s the meaning of life?”

By ACHA on 10/17/2012 12:49 PM

By Lorelei Hill

It's biopsy day, again. Is this the eleventh or twelfth? I've lost count.

This morning I arrive first in line. This is a milestone for me. Each biopsy day I think I have timed it just right. Not too early, not too late. But alas, another patient is always there ahead of me.

To be honest, I'm not sure why being first in line is so important. Am I really all that busy that I need to get my biopsy done first? Or is it more the nerves that make me think this way? Could it be my ego is pushing me on, driving me to be first? Sadly, I feel it's a combination of the latter two. Aw well, here I sit at the crack of dawn, all by myself in the transplant waiting area—first in line.

By ACHA on 10/15/2012 2:37 PM

By Jennifer Gooden

In early August I had my first cardiac procedure in a very long time. It was also our first cardiac procedure. Ziggy—the hubby—and I have gone through numerous doctor's appointments, MRIs, and other medical things over our five years together, but never anything that I would classify as a “procedure.” Nothing where I would “go under” and he would be the one left to make decisions if something—God forbid—happened.

Being a nurse, I know that a cardiac catheterization is an outpatient, routine procedure. Being the nurse also means I make the medical decisions for me and him. Being the nurse means I am in control. And for one fleeting day in August I had to give up that control. And honestly, I don’t know how people do it!

By ACHA on 10/12/2012 11:32 AM

By Kelly Deeny

Actually, it's not just on my sleeve. It's prominently featured, like in the men made of tin and iron. It glows from within, guiding me along my journey. Sometimes it leads the way and other times I veer off-course so as to protect it from harm.

By ACHA on 10/10/2012 11:42 AM

By Terri Schaefer
ACHA Communications Manager

As I posted Monday’s blog, I couldn’t believe it when I glanced at the archived website link, which indicated that it was the 199th post to the ACHA Blog. Wow! It has been nearly a year and a half since the blog launched in May 2011, and in that time ACHA has been so proud and honored to share so many personal stories and experiences with the CHD community through this avenue.

By ACHA on 10/8/2012 10:03 AM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

It’s been ten weeks since my last open heart surgery and I've had ups and downs. I was released only to end up in the hospital for another two-and-a-half weeks. Then I had a couple of bouts of withdrawal when I stopped the steroids they put me on. Here’s what I've learned from all of this: Perseverance is the key to recovery.

By ACHA on 10/4/2012 10:20 AM

By Kim Edgren

September is always a hectic month and this one was no different. With the start of a new school year for three kids, new families at work, and all the other running around, it usually wears me out. But this September has been good—an uneventful “heart” month. I have had energy and few of my usual annoying symptoms. I’d like to think it is because I have been exercising a little more or eating a little better.

But maybe it has been a good cardiac month because I haven’t been waiting for the other shoe to drop or looking at every little thing as a symptom. I have been living my life. And that may be because of the big milestone our family hit at the end of August: Alex left for college—1,531 miles away!