Recent Entries
The Real Stress Test
A Forum for Emotional Health, Not Just Physical
I Am No Longer the Only Person I Know with CHD
Changing Cities, Transitioning Care
My Tips for Traveling
Taking Your Scars International
When I Finally Met People With CHD
Learning to Live Life at a Safe Pace
I Am the Only Person I Know with CHD
Catching Zzzs for Those with CHDs


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 6/30/2014 11:31 AM

By Brenna Isaacson

I sat there staring at the phone. My mom’s last words echoing in my head, “Call cardiac rehab, set up an appointment.” I was terrified. The fact that I was even awake was a good sign and now they wanted me to walk on a treadmill? I could barely walk across the house without getting winded. I was just starting to hold down food again and now they wanted me to get dressed, stop clutching my pillow to my broken sternum, and heal? Who were these monsters?

By ACHA on 5/21/2014 12:20 PM

By Brenna Isaacson

I grew up "normal." What does that even mean? For my family, "that" meant "cautiously optimistic." That was the way my family dealt with my heart condition: We didn't know what to expect, so why dwell?

The first two years of my life were hard on everybody, from what I was told. My father was scolded at the market for having a blue baby who was "obviously cold." My brother spent a lot of time with our amazing grandparents. And my mother, who didn't even want children until meeting my father, couldn't do anything but watch and hold on. So once it was done—after all the surgeries, tubes, and support groups—we were a "normal" family.

By ACHA on 3/25/2014 12:43 PM

By Brenna Isaacson

Last night as I tried to pull my sleepy boyfriend off the couch, I realized that I might need to do more weight training. The fact that I can even consider lifting weights is a far cry from where I once was. If open heart surgery has taught me anything, it’s that the numbers on the scale don’t matter; being as healthy as possible is most important and should never be taken for granted.

After my first pacemaker implant, I was told that I would need a Fontan revision open heart surgery. I was 23 years old, didn’t even remember my first open heart surgery, and was deeply unsettled by this news.