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

When Did Noah Build the Ark?

by Jonathan Menachem, MD on Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020

In the adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) community, two important studies were recently published that highlight an emerging and growing niche—that of advanced heart failure in adults with CHD:

As you well know, due to the innovative treatment options for those born with congenital heart disease (CHD), there are now more adults with CHD than children. As this population ages, they develop heart failure, which has become the leading cause of death for adults with CHD. While we still have limited data on best practices and options for these patients, now is an exciting time for us as a community to improve this.

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Pedaling the Pounds Off: Back in Mississippi, Part 2

by Jared Gould on Thursday, Jun 11, 2020

In Part 1, I discussed that losing weight instilled in me a sense of confidence that altered my body image, giving me the courage to lead an organization at the University of Southern Mississippi. At the end, I hinted that living out my goals was not yet over, but that I was also met with new challenges.

In May 2018, I would intern in Jackson, Mississippi, for Governor Phil Bryant. The challenge came a few weeks before moving to Jackson. My brother was seeking to get out of the house and asked me if he could use my bike. I said, “yes!” But, 25 minutes later I received a call from him asking me to pick him up.

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Pedaling the Pounds Off: Back in Mississippi, Part 1

by Jared Gould on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2020

In my previous blog, Walk it Off, I wrote about my summer in Washington, D.C. After three months in D.C., I finally broke 240 pounds and when I returned to Mississippi in August to begin junior year, I was 230 pounds. I also discussed that by walking every day, I learned that exercise can be fun. Riding a bike, in fact, is not just a mechanism to lose weight. It is an adventure, a way to explore the environment and, as I will discuss in a future post, a great way to spend time with friends. On the day I returned to Mississippi, I hopped on the bike and took a long ride through my suburb, taking in my surroundings, looking at scenery, and even took a 30-minute break at the community lake.

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"So, You're Fixed Now?" ...And Other Things People Have Said to Me About CHD

by Jennifer Casson Tripucka on Tuesday, Apr 14, 2020

“Wow, you have transposition of the great arteries and you survived to adulthood?” — a general practitioner (GP) doctor who then proceeded to pull his colleagues in to show them a diagram of my heart and how it works, on Google no less.

Sounds crazy at a GP’s office that I visited for a lingering cold a few years back, yet if you’re an adult with a congenital heart defect, this is a pretty common theme. Either someone has “heard” of your condition and is shocked you’re alive, has never heard of it but thinks you’re fine because you don’t look sick, or something similar. In my 33 years of having CHD, I’ve heard it all — and then some. Here are a few things people have said about CHD, which, if you have CHD, you’ll probably find eerily familiar.

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Fear, Concern, The Pool, and Coronavirus

by Deb Flaherty-Kizer on Friday, Apr 03, 2020

Living with congenital heart disease, I have a predisposition to fear. I’m fearful about what the next doctor’s visit will reveal, fearful about what the next test will show, fearful about dying young.

I am working on channeling this into something more positive. The more I think about it, the more fear seems to imply passivity and giving up control. Fear often keeps you frozen in inaction and afraid.

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COVID-19 and the Impact on ACHD Patients

by Christy Sillman on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020

I can’t be the only person who wakes up every morning and thinks to myself, “Maybe it was just a bad dream? This can’t be real life!”

The SARS-CoV-2/novel coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis has completely upended our way of life. It’s all anyone is talking about. Where I live, in California, our entire state of 39.56 million people are now on a “stay at home” directive in an attempt to decrease the sharp upward curve of severe cases that could overwhelm our healthcare systems. Schools are closed, all businesses besides essential services are closed, and our legendarily clogged freeways are now actually functional.

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The Ones Who Care For Us Part 2

by Robert Grabel on Thursday, Mar 05, 2020

Back in March 2016, after my valve replacement surgery, I wrote a post for ACHA called The Ones Who Care For Us. I discussed the importance of being grateful for our loved ones who support us as individuals with congenital heart disease. A recent experience served as a powerful reminder of how important it is to appreciate the people that mean the most to us…

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Why Walk for 1 in 100 with ACHA in 2020?

by Jared Gould on Tuesday, Mar 03, 2020

In my last post in the series Pedaling the Pounds Off, I discussed how I managed to lose weight in Washington, D.C. through walking.

After successfully losing weight by biking, I worried that living in D.C. without my bike would make losing weight more difficult. I could diet in D.C., but it seemed walking would burn fewer calories than cycling. 

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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.