Ebb and Flow
10/15/2013 1:51 PM
By Kim Edgren
I sometimes feel like life with CHD is like the ebb and flow of the ocean. It sometimes is in the forefront of my daily life, crashing down on everything, and sometimes, it is way in the background, just a gentle reminder here and there. My health heavily influences where we are in that cycle, but even during the stable, “healthy” times, CHD can sometimes make its presence known in my day-to-day life.
CHD can be that little motivator. I have really been trying to maximize my current state of health and be as active as I can. While daily life can get in the way, I often find myself thinking two things:
- Why didn’t I really get fit and stay fit when I was younger (and healthier)?
- And, knowing too well what it is like not to be able to be active, do it now!
Now the first thought is just plain silly, I know. I am sure most people regret many things they did or didn’t do in the past. What happened happened. But the second thought gets my butt on a walk, makes me think twice about my diet, and is a good motivator in prioritizing what I do want to do. That thought—do it now—is enough some days to push my limits and keep me moving.
Realizing there is plenty I cannot control when it comes to my heart, I do feel better controlling the few things I can. What it also gives me is hope that a few years down the road I will look back and not lament what I could have been doing when I can’t.
Like the ocean, I have no idea what this life with CHD will bring going forward, but I hope to ride the waves as best I can.
Kim Edgren was born in 1966 with transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. She recently became the proud owner of a Melody valve! When she is not trying her hand at writing she is busy spending time with her partner and three girls, managing her two child care centers and planning her next vacation.
Copyright ©2013 ACHA
2 comment(s) so far...
By Kim on
10/15/2013 4:01 PM
Re: Ebb and Flow
Thank you for your blog post. It never hurts to remind myself to keep trying to exercise more, watch my fluid restriction, and eat a low-sodium diet. I'm 32, and I live with heart failure. I've had six open-heart surgeries, I was actually on ECMO life support for almost two weeks back in August 2011 because the Melody valve procedure didn't go quite as planned. It blocked my left main causing a major heart attack and I had to be rushed to emergency open-heart surgery. I was in the hospital over three months. It was a bad situation, and I definitely almost lost my life more than once. Luckily, I am here today. It has been a rough couple of years, but what doesn't kill you definitely makes you stronger. My husband was by my side every step of our challenging journey. He is definitely part of the reason I'm alive today , and I can never be grateful enough for the amazing husband, friend, and father he is and continues to be to our four-year-old daughter, Reagan.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are a special person--I can tell! Many good thoughts and prayers to you!
By Tara Garcia on
10/16/2013 9:04 AM
Re: Ebb and Flow
Reading your story has given me motivation to really work harder to get my health in check. You and I have many similarities- I have Transposition of the Arteries, a defibrillator and a pace-maker and have had many issues with arrythmias. I am 39 years old so I was excited to see someone older then me doing so well. I was just told I really need to get 20 pounds off to preserve my right ventricle and exercise more regularly. I have one daughter and a wonderful husband and I also run a preschool. Hope to hear from you! Tara