9/5/2013 1:16 PM
By Jennifer Gooden
It's always nice to have work buddy—someone who has your back during a bad day, who understands your stressors, and shares in your accomplishments. You can also talk to your work buddy about life outside of the office, or in my case, my unit. The right work buddy can be more like a work wife or hubby.
The large majority of nurses are female. And I am lucky to have a cool work wife. I hate to brag but my work wife—Tracy—is super special! Not only do we share a bond at work, but we also share a heart bond. She is an ACHD warrior, too.
If you have ever been to an ACHD function or talked to another ACHD patient while waiting at a doctor’s appointment, then you know the special unspoken bond we all have. I am beyond privileged to have a constant person in my life who truly understands the duality of a blessing and a curse. Having someone who understands the physical, financial, and emotional burden of living with a congenital heart defect is amazing.
Oftentimes I feel like I need to hide my fears, smile, and “be strong” for my mom or my husband. But with Tracy, I can really let my guard down and speak freely and openly. It can be very cathartic.
Tracy also understands how wonderful CHD can be—how it has shaped our lives and given us direction and inspiration. She makes me thankful that I am lucky enough to have a person who always fully understands me and my “medical craziness,” as I have termed it.
I only hope that everyone finds their own Tracy. Even if it isn't someone you can physically reach out to, hopefully you've met an ACHD friend, maybe through the waiting room, a hospital roomie or maybe even through the Adult Congenital Heart Association and Advocacy Day. With this bond we have, it is like we are family. We ACHDers need to stick together—through sickness and in health—just like a good (work) wife.
Jennifer Gooden is an emergency department nurse who was born with transposition of the great arteries, as well as other congenital heart defects. She and her husband Ziggy are working on transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle. Read more about their adventures in and out of the kitchen at their blog.
Copyright ©2013 ACHA