Our ACHA bloggers cover many topics relevant to the CHD community. 

An Open Letter to Parents of CHD Babies

by Jennifer Casson Tripucka on Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

This letter is one I have wanted to write to my parents for years, and hopefully, if you have parents or know parents of CHD babies, you’ll share this with them, too.

Dear Mom and Dad,

This letter has taken a long time for me to write — 33+ years to be exact — but I have a few things I wanted to share with you about being parents of a CHD baby. While I cannot begin to know what it feels like, even being on the other end, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how incredible you are (even more than before!) while going through such a tumultuous period of time bringing me safely into the world.

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Food For and From the Heart: Healthy Squash Recipes

by Emily Earhart on Thursday, Oct 22, 2020

Happy autumn!

As the days get shorter and cooler and we begin gearing up for the holidays (whatever they look like this year), I’m sure many of you are finding yourself cooking and baking more, like I am. Especially during times of uncertainty or stress, I find that baking something sweet is my go-to coping mechanism; it keeps me busy, distracted and satisfies my sweet tooth!

While I do think a little indulgence in sweets and baked goods is important in self-care, I’d love to share some heart-healthy seasonal recipes with you to try out this fall! And of course, I added my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe too! Enjoy and happy cooking! Stay well!

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Defining CHD

by Christy Sillman on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

One of the most prominent debates in the congenital heart community is the definition of the acronym “CHD.” Let me preface this blog by stating that I recognize that your preference is deeply personal, and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this debate. Whatever side of the debate you fall upon, that is what is best for you, and I completely respect your choice.

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Relearning Perspective

by Adam Ehlert on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

I didn’t get it.

I was waking up from an electrical cardioversion to “fix” my (first bout of) atrial fibrillation. The doctors were kindly telling my wife and me that I had an atrial septal defect (ASD). My head was foggy, and it didn’t frighten me then. But as we waited and watched my arrhythmias before the ASD could be repaired, I was scared. I was worried.

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The Man with a Big Heart

by Nicole Stenzel on Thursday, Sep 03, 2020

Gerald David Stenzel, or “Jerry,” as he was better known, was born October 14, 1966, in Wells, Minnesota to Dominic and Evangeline Stenzel—who had a small farming operation and raised their 11 (yes, 11) children on the farm outside that same small town in Minnesota. Jerry had what he always described as a “normal” childhood—at least, as normal as it can be with 10 siblings—when, in fact, Jerry and his childhood were anything but normal.

Shortly after he was born, it was discovered that Jerry had a congenital heart defect. His tricuspid valve had not fully developed: diagnosis tricuspid atresia. Jerry was whisked away a few hours down the highway to Mayo Clinic, where surgeons performed a shunt operation to save his life.

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Pedaling the Pounds Off: Today and the Future

by Jared Gould on Thursday, Aug 27, 2020

In my last blog, Back in Mississippi, Part 2, I discussed how surrounding myself with highly motivated, hardworking people altered my weight loss journey. Through them, I learned that dedication to a routine was necessary to lose weight. And, as with all lessons I learned in my weight loss journey, I practiced keeping a strict routine during my senior year of college.

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“But you don’t look sick...”

by Kelly DiMaggio on Thursday, Jul 30, 2020

COVID-19 has brought those with chronic and invisible illness to the forefront. Or has it?

As the pandemic drags on, numbers rise, and political views heat up, the main risk group is still predominantly presented as the elderly. Yet there is a whole subset of people with chronic and invisible illness. Those with asthma, heart problems, auto-immune diseases, cancer survivors… the list goes on and on. But we aren't seen as sick; rather, we are seen as young and thus “safe.”

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Food From and For the Heart: Introducing ACHA’s New Recipe Blog

by Emily Earhart on Friday, Jul 17, 2020

In response to the success of our Midweek Motivation cooking and baking sessions, ACHA is excited to introduce a series of food blog posts featuring heart-healthy recipes to help you stay strong and thrive.

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Disclaimer

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.