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

The Drive-Thru Diaries

by Stephanie Hodgson on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011

Making my way through the drive-thru of my favorite fast food restaurant just yesterday, everything I know and what’s being said about eating healthy and living right didn’t seem to matter. What with new mocha frappes this, and super combos that, one can easily forget.

Seriously, my age, my current weight and my bulging belly (and no, I’m not pregnant), not to mention my congenital heart disease, should all be enough to concern me about my eating and exercise habits.

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Labor of Love: Part 1

by Christy Sillman on Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011

I want to preface this blog by reinforcing that everyone’s journey is different, and just because I had a particular pregnancy experience does not mean everyone will have a similar one.

Although I was given the green light by a pediatric cardiologist to go ahead and try to get pregnant with my husband, I had to wonder how many pregnant patients a pediatric cardiologist follows. I went into my pregnancy saga full of fear, trepidation and excitement.

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The Importance of Laughter and Smiles

by Becca Atherton on Monday, Nov 14, 2011

It was 19 years ago that I met a good friend of mine when we were both babies in the intensive care unit at the same hospital. Our parents had both been told that things weren’t looking so good for us.

Fast forward a few years. When we were eight years old we met again at a camp for kids with congenital heart defects. Every year we would see each other at camp, share funny stories, go kayaking and all around just got to feel like normal kids. FYI—two heart kids in a kayak is not a good idea. We kept running into boats and we didn’t go very fast since we both get tired easily! But we had a good time!

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The Most Popular Question

by Anthony Pugliese on Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

It seems out of all the questions I get regarding my heart transplant the most frequently is, “So what was your recovery like?” Here’s what I usually say:

Each person’s recovery is different. I had been doing pulmonary rehabilitation prior to getting my heart on March 26, 2009, and I think that helped in my recovery process. I was in the hospital for 30 days. I returned to my house on May 5 and I began cardiac rehabilitation later that month, going three days a week. I returned to my part-time job as a teen parent advocate on June 1 and continued rehab.

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A Lightened Latte for the Holiday Season

by Jennifer Rice on Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011

As I have gotten older, the holiday season and its meaning for me has changed. It is no longer about the cool presents that I am going to get or the snow days to look forward to (working in a hospital means no snow days—ever). The holiday is much more about spending time with family, partaking in those special traditions, and enjoying that “Peace on Earth” feeling.

Along with a different meaning of the holidays comes different responsibilities. As an adult, the holiday season has taken on a life of its own, with much to do and a lot of stress associated with it. What am I getting for whom, did I remember all the items I need at the grocery store and why didn’t I upload that holiday CD to my iPod last year!?

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CHD: A Gift

by Lorelei Hill on Monday, Nov 07, 2011

I guess I’ve always been a full cup sort of person. After reading the entries of my fellow bloggers, I am happy to see that most of them are as well! Like a hungry person having just eaten a fine meal, I laughed at Stephanie’s reasons for dating a CHD survivor, and related only too well to Kim’s powerhouse mamas. At 48, I too have experienced my share of doctor’s notes, Paul. Finally, Paul Cardall’s ACHA Conference review was my satisfying dessert, with remarks about maintaining a congenital cardiologist both insightful and necessary.

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Problem. Solution.

by Clare Almand on Friday, Nov 04, 2011

After reading several blog posts about growing up with “expiration dates,” it really got me thinking about how different my childhood was. I never thought I had an expiration date. No one told me to watch out for a certain year. My life since day nine has been problem, solution, problem, solution. Problem on day nine: cardiac arrest. Solution: coarctation repair. Problem two months later: ventricular and atrial septal defects. Solution: my first open heart surgery. And so on and so forth.

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Mothers are the Powerhouses

by Kim Edgren on Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011

The title of this post is one of the lines from my daughter’s college essay about her night that she stayed with me in the hospital this past June as I recovered from my Melody valve procedure. Her reflection on that role reversal got me thinking about my own roles.

As it probably is for you, too, we have many roles; mine include wife, mother and daughter, to name just a few. In the days leading up to my procedure, it was often the worry over those roles that kept me up at night before I knew how this latest challenge would end: Would I be well enough to care for my kids? Would I still be able to make a living? And of course the big one—would I survive?

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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.