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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.

By ACHA on 5/29/2014 8:46 AM

By Michelle Browning Coughlin, JD, MSW

As part of my 37-37-37 challenge, I was honored to be invited to “virtually” participate in a 5k being held in another state to benefit congenital heart defects research and support. Running “virtually” meant that on the day of the race, I headed out to a local park wearing my race t-shirt, turned on my running app, and ran a 5K by myself. There was no “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go,” no cheering fans on the side of the road, and no loudspeaker announcements congratulating winners at the end of the race. It was just me, running alone.

And yet, every step of the way, I knew that—at least figuratively—so many people were running beside me.

 

By ACHA on 3/4/2014 10:38 AM

By Michelle Browning Coughlin, JD, MSW

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Hold your breath.”

The computerized female voice with a semi-British accent filled the MRI chamber, while the clanking and the whirring of the machine sounded all around me, muffled only slightly by the ear plugs the technicians had given me before I laid down on the table. My eyes were squeezed shut, hopeful to avoid a fit of claustrophobic panic, while my arms were held tightly in place by the straps that also held the X-ray plate against my chest. My lungs were silent, still holding my breath.

“Relax.”

I inhaled as much as the anxiety in my chest would allow, preparing for the next bout of breath holding. The back of my mind raced with fear and with questions, while the front of my mind waited for instructions.