Recent Entries
You Are Not a Tree
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


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 4/8/2013 11:44 AM

By Gwendolyn Russell

As I was driving home from my latest doctor’s visit, I began pondering why I have trouble accepting my heart disease. I was born with a heart defect—my mother was unaware of the severity of my illness and she often told me that I was born with a veil over my face—which symbolized that I was going to be someone special. Could it be that I was born blue—with visible signs of a heart defect? I was born at home with only the assistance of a midwife, and no another means of medical attention was accessible.

By ACHA on 2/28/2013 8:43 AM

By Gwendolyn Russell

On March 30, 2012, I got a pacemaker. I named her Pacie. The first few weeks after surgery, I didn't understand what was happening to me. I vaguely understood the need for a pacemaker, and I struggled with the concept for a few months.

Before my pacemaker implant, I felt like I was living in a fog and it seemed that reality was feigning. I spent most of my days walking around in what appeared to be a dreamlike state.

By ACHA on 1/30/2013 2:22 PM

By Gwendolyn Russell

I would love to jump up and down and say that I'm a survivor who survived a major life event, exclaim to the world how my struggle has made me stronger and given me insurmountable courage, and even offer a vivid explanation of my survivor techniques. But this is not the case. Rather I sit here, a little numb, and ponder what my next treatment will be and think about the loneliness I have experienced.