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 12/26/2013 12:18 PM

By Meghann Ackerman

Living in place that gets snow, I’ve had my shovel ready in my car for about a month now. Fortunately (I’m not a fan of the snow), I’ve only had to bust it out once so far this season for some early morning strength training/shoveling.

In Massachusetts, laws vary from community to community about what residents are responsible for shoveling, but it’s common in urban areas for residents to be responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their houses.

By ACHA on 12/24/2013 8:32 AM

By Ken Woodhouse

... and that's just what I will be getting early in the New Year!

About a month ago (shortly after my latest round of regular heart tests), I got a phone call from my cardiologist. The gist of his call was to let me know that, based on the results of these tests, it's now time to think about (and start planning for) having my pulmonary valve replaced. He had consulted with the rest of his team, and the collective agreement was that it's time for intervention. (It's interesting to me how "intervention" can be an attempt at subtlety when the real meaning is "surgery.")

By ACHA on 12/20/2013 11:13 AM

By Stephie Goldfish

One afternoon, not long ago, I awoke from a deep sleep, feeling a heaviness and sadness weighing on my heart. In my sleep, I had been trying to figure out why I felt so much pain and sadness. It bothered me so much that it woke me up, and I came to an epiphany in the moment or two I sat up and figured it out.

Lately in my life, I have been encountering people who either, really, really love me, or who really, really can’t stand me. And they keep coming into my life.

By ACHA on 12/18/2013 3:10 PM

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

What to expect at a regular visit? That is something that I've been asked before. It's what causes a lot of anxiousness for many CHDers. For me, the answer is simple—anything.

At the age of 16 is when that trend started. I went in for a regular cardiac visit and ended up in the hospital with atrial flutter. Later on, this trend would continue. After being diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia I went to meet my electrophysiologist for the first time. He suggested that I hang around and meet with a cardiologist and a pediatric cardiologist who does some adult CHD stuff.

By ACHA on 12/16/2013 9:33 AM

By Christy Sillman

My January heart checkups are historically the worst. At first I thought it was just a strange coincidence, but now I’m starting realize how the fall/holiday season really takes a toll on me. This year I’m trying something new – I’m trying to be more heart healthy and conscious of my usual pitfalls.

It’s a lot easier to convince yourself not to work out when it’s freezing cold outside or your to-do list seems impossibly long.

Here is my December “game plan” for keeping my heart healthy:

By ACHA on 12/12/2013 3:02 PM

By Lorelei Hill

Come they told me, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
This is one time of the year that I truly treasure. Yes, it is busy and stressful, and many days are filled with pure craziness, but when I find myself sitting quietly by the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree or listening to the soft sounds of holiday music, a feeling of tranquility overcomes me.

A newborn king to see, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
The craziness continues with gifts to be wrapped, cookies to baked, and kids arguing. For a moment I neither see nor hear any of that and my family marvels at how intensely I can listen to the lyrics within the music. While the melody attracts them, for me music is all about the story hidden within the notes.

By ACHA on 12/10/2013 1:20 PM

By Alissa Butterfass

This is the season when many of us, our friends and our family open our hearts and wallets to donate much-needed funds to those causes most important to us. If you are like me, there are probably several charities and organizations that you want to support—and if our pockets were deep enough we’d give to them all. So today I want to share why ACHA is one well-deserving organization to which I donate year after year—and I hope you will too.

By ACHA on 12/6/2013 11:18 AM

By Paul Willgoss

If we can do this with a little yellow man… what can’t we do?

It’s between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s that odd time of year where it’s dark, dank, and chilly and generally we all need cheering up. So this is unashamedly a positive blog, about a silly little thing of no consequence.

About a year ago the organisation I am very proud of being the Vice Chair of, the Children’s Heart Federation, started a fun “competition” where all people had to do was take a little yellow man to as many interesting places as possible. That to me sounded like a job for the international GUCH community.

By ACHA on 12/4/2013 12:10 PM

By Kim Edgren

About eight years ago, my friend Joan and I were both going through some medical challenges. We started to joke with our spouses that we were the “sun” because for that time it seemed like everything revolved around us.

Today, Joan and I joke that we wish we could be the sun every now and again, just without the medical drama. Having any health issue, especially those that are life-threatening, can make it feel as if everything revolves around the current crisis. And with chronic conditions such as CHD, sometime it does feel like we are like the sun—the only one in the sky.

By ACHA on 12/2/2013 1:04 PM

By Kelly Deeny

I am scared of my heart, not only on an emotional level but also on a physical one.

As a congenital heart patient, I have to take care of my ticker. I should be eating healthy and exercising, both of which I do sporadically. I take my health for granted and sometimes it comes back to bite me in the...heart.