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 1/30/2013 2:22 PM

By Gwendolyn Russell

I would love to jump up and down and say that I'm a survivor who survived a major life event, exclaim to the world how my struggle has made me stronger and given me insurmountable courage, and even offer a vivid explanation of my survivor techniques. But this is not the case. Rather I sit here, a little numb, and ponder what my next treatment will be and think about the loneliness I have experienced.

By ACHA on 1/28/2013 2:15 PM

By Kim Edgren

Last month was a difficult one—as I am sure it was for most of us—as our nation dealt with the senseless tragedy in Newtown, Conn. How anyone could commit such violence against innocence is beyond words and comprehension. What was usually a festive time of year was turned into a time of soul searching on how we go forward and prevent such acts from ever happening again. I know this blog is a place to reflect and discuss all things CHD, but it seems like status quo is just not quite right at this particular time.

We as a CHD community have endured, rallied, persevered and gone on in every aspect of our lives—from childhood to where we now stand, wherever in adulthood that may be. Fifty years ago many of us would not have survived infancy, never mind gone on to live productive lives.

By ACHA on 1/25/2013 3:00 PM

By Meghann Ackerman

It started shortly after Christmas—the pink and red boxes of chocolate popping up on store shelves, the emails for deals on romantic getaways, and the Groupons for couples massages. Yes, Valentine’s Day was less than two months away and it was time to buy hearts!

But I’m the type of girl who uses Halloween decorations for year-round decor, so long before I was hanging out in cardiology waiting rooms studying medical illustrations, I preferred the anatomical heart to the pop culture heart. It’s not all macabre, though. Giving your sweetie a card with an anatomical heart on it opens the possibility for cheesy cardiac lines, like...

By ACHA on 1/23/2013 12:59 PM

By Christy Sillman

I love this time of the year. New beginnings, making yearly plans, annual vacation requests, and best of all, heart week.

I’m new to celebrating CHD awareness week; in fact, I’m new to the CHD community in general. Just three years ago I discovered ACHA. Prior to this discovery I had one friend with CHD – one!

By ACHA on 1/17/2013 2:16 PM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

January first rolled around and we all made our New Year’s resolutions. Doesn't matter what it is or what our intentions were, it's been a couple of weeks and now your initial resolve is starting to weaken as obstacles are placed in your way. You see, when you started out and made your resolution, you didn't sit down and think about what might happen in your everyday life that would make it difficult to achieve your goal.

Think about it—for instance, if you decided to lose ten pounds or eat healthier, you weren’t thinking about that kid’s birthday party where they would be foisting ice cream and chocolate cake on you. So the question becomes, when faced with these obstacles, what are you going to do to overcome them? I have three ways to overcome these obstacles that I use. I'll give them to you in order of least favorite to most favorite.

By ACHA on 1/15/2013 8:38 AM

By Becca Atherton

When I was younger, around elementary school age, I hated having a heart condition and a lung disease (pulmonary hypertension, or PH). I hated it because I couldn't run or keep up with the other kids at recess. I hated it because during recess, I wasn't able to play kickball or basketball.

Then I got a bit older, into the pre-teen stage, and I hated having a heart condition and a lung disease for a different reason. I hated how my scar looked. I hated the stares I would get. I felt ugly. I felt like I wasn't girly enough or feminine enough because of the scar in the middle of my chest. I felt like no guy would ever find me attractive because of the big pink scar. I hated having CHD and PH because of the scars.

By ACHA on 1/11/2013 12:08 PM

by Stephie Goldfish

Quiet now. Be still. Listen.

Take in a deep breath. Slowly exhale. Take in a few more, deep, long inhalations, and on each exhalation, let your breath go out as far as you possibly can. Repeat.

Well, we made it past the “end of the world,” and we are well on our way into a full-fledged New Year, perhaps a new era, as some are calling this time.

By ACHA on 1/9/2013 10:23 AM

By Alissa Butterfass

As I write this, it is 8 p.m. on Monday, January 7. Four years ago tonight, I was in an Atlanta hotel room in anticipation of my gestational carrier’s induction the next morning at her local hospital. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that night in New York my best friend from college unexpectedly fell ill and was taken to her local hospital emergency room, where she died. My husband, parents, brother and friends lovingly kept the shocking and sad news from me—no easy task in an era of email, texts and Facebook—until after my son S.’s birth the next afternoon, January 8.

As a CHD patient, I had often joked that I was “born brokenhearted.” I certainly suffered my share of romantic heartbreaks during my dating years. And I have lost dear, much-loved grandparents whom I miss terribly. But it was when my son was one hour old, and my husband told me that my friend Lisa died (he had to… I was about to try calling her to let her know about S.’s arrival) that I think I really felt “heartbroken” for the first time.

By ACHA on 1/7/2013 12:05 PM

By Paul Willgoss

Happy New Year!

So, made any resolutions? They’re big business over this side of the Atlantic—the sales of diet books and get-fit-quick books are through the roof, and the sales of chocolate and sweet stuff have (possibly) plummeted.

I’ve been asked by a few people how to lose weight, and by more people how to do more exercise, normally with a conversation opener like “What’s the secret… ” or “How did you do…”

By ACHA on 1/3/2013 2:41 PM

By Kelly Deeny

Thirty-six, single and a congenital heart patient—I highly doubt that childbirth is likely in my lifetime. At least this go-round.

I love kids, don't get me wrong. They gravitate to me and I to them. I adore my sisters' children and find myself smiling at every little one I meet. My maternal instinct kicked in when I was still a child and hasn't dwindled in all these years. But even if I never give birth I will be proud and honored to remain Aunt Kelly...or one day adopt.