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

The Hardest Part of Living with a CHD

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Thursday, Dec 29, 2011

Living with a CHD is hard sometimes. We deal with all kinds of issues.

Often we are tired, sore and stressed about surgeries or procedures, in pain from those same surgeries or procedures, and recovering while knowing that everything we went through is just a patch and that we will have to have another procedure somewhere down the line. It's tough and at times feels impossible.

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Getting and Staying Motivated in 2012

by Ken Woodhouse on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011

As the holiday season winds down, many people spend this time of year reflecting on the past 12 months, taking stock of both the good and bad in their lives, and thinking about how they want to improve themselves throughout the coming year. Oftentimes, people like to think of the start of a new year as a chance to hit the reset button, to put the challenges of the old year behind them, and to embrace the promise of new beginnings. As clichéd as that may sound, I suppose I’m no different.

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A Lifetime of Decembers

by Clare Almand on Thursday, Dec 22, 2011

Today is my 25th birthday. I will be spending at least four hours of it on a bus home from New York and then who knows how many hours of it at the DMV to renew my driver’s license so it won’t be illegal for me to operate a motor vehicle the next day. While it’s not the ideal way I’d like to spend my birthday, I know that it could be much worse.

Over the course of many years, I have experienced what it’s like to spend each day from December 11th to December 25th in the hospital. And as someone who would call December her favorite month, having to spend any of it in the hospital sucks.

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Yoga: Providing Balance for the Holidays

by Kim Edgren on Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011

I had a lot of ideas for this blog post, with the holidays and all the craziness that comes with them, but then I went to yoga last night. Yoga is something I have really enjoyed in the past and it was about this time last year that I started to make excuses to not go. Excuses are something I am obviously good at, looking back at my life last year.

With my new valve and all, though, I have been making an effort to work yoga back in. OK. Twice so far—but hey, it has only been a little over five months, right? Anyway, last night was try No. 2. I almost didn’t make it; I ran the kids around, couldn’t find my yoga clothes, forgot about dinner.

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The GUCH Walking Club

by Paul Willgoss on Monday, Dec 19, 2011

As others watch their flocks by night, a walking group leader starts the process of working out the routes for 2012…

I’d love to say this is a military-style planning exercise, with a sandpit, flags and a detailed breakdown of each potential walker’s preferences for walking, and in an some ways it can become that. However, at the core the GUCH (Grown Up with Congenital Heart Disease) Walking Club is a simple ethos—get out there and enjoy some of the finest countryside in the world (I freely admit I’m biased).

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Resolutions of the Heart

by Kelly Deeny on Friday, Dec 16, 2011

I am resolute about many things. My family. My friends. My artistic abilities. But my resolution for 2012 is to take better care of my heart—emotionally, spiritually and physically.

You may recall an earlier post I wrote about how much I detest exercising and eating healthy foods that taste like cardboard. I still think the latter holds true but I’ve also come to a realization—my heart is too important not to take better care of it. I am currently at a weight that I am not happy with. And as much as I would love to blink my eyes and have it disappear, I know I have to be proactive; I can’t sit and wish for my body to be as it once was.

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

by Alissa Butterfass on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011

My high school yearbook quote was, “Love makes the world go `round but laughter keeps us from getting dizzy.” I’ve watched Saturday Night Live since I was five years old, somehow convincing my babysitters that I was allowed to stay up late for it. I worked at Comedy Central for three years. Suffice it to say, I love to laugh and to find the humor in any situation. In that spirit, I thought I’d share a few funny moments in my CHD history.

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The Last One In

by Stephanie Hodgson on Monday, Dec 12, 2011

There is a game we played when we were kids back when we lived in the projects in my hometown. We all lined up in the same spot, ran around one of the apartment buildings, then raced back to the same exact spot where we had started, shouting out, “Last one in is a rotten egg!” I hated playing this game because, usually, I was the last one in.

However, sometimes my twin sister would go slowly, intentionally, so I wouldn’t be the last one in.

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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.