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

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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Labor of Love: Part 2

by Christy Sillman on Friday, Dec 09, 2011

The moment I awoke from anesthesia with my very healthy son on my chest is something I will never forget—the gratitude I felt was overwhelming. I just felt so thankful that my body made this beautiful, healthy human and that my life was now extended through him.

Throughout my pregnancy I had frequent ECHOs, all of which were read as “stable.” Two months postpartum, my OBGYN said to me “see you next time.”

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Surrounded with Heart in the “Snow”

by Becca Atherton on Wednesday, Dec 07, 2011

This weekend my family and I will have 300 or more people in our Arizona backyard for our annual Winter Party. The party was originally started about 10 years ago when my parents had snow brought into our front yard so I could see real snow, since going up into the mountains isn’t something I can do without oxygen. Family members and neighbors were originally the guests until we moved into our new house that can host more people because we have a larger backyard.

Now, thanks to a camp that I go to and several other CHD support groups, our party has become a huge get-together for kids with CHD and their families.

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Tweaking Traditions with Egg Nog French Toast

by Jennifer Rice on Tuesday, Dec 06, 2011

Season’s Greetings, my CHD friends! The holiday season is officially upon us! Can you believe it!? I feel like this year has just flown by. It was a big year for me: I transferred to the Pediatric ED, decided to go back to school, my fiancée and I settled into our first place and I finally became an “adult” as I transitioned to an Adult Congenital Heart Clinic. That is a lot of change!

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Living Life in Limbo

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Monday, Dec 05, 2011

Waiting. We all do it. We wait in line at the grocery store, the department store and the DMV. But these are all ordinary types of waiting. What I’m talking about is waiting in limbo—that time many of us have experienced where we have seen our doctor, taken some tests and are now waiting for doctors to get together and confer about our issues and what the possible fixes might be.

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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.