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

Thanksgiving: The Perfect Time to be Thankful for Your Problems

by Alissa Butterfass on Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011

A few months ago, a Facebook friend posted the following quote (I may be paraphrasing; it’s been a while): If you and your friends could throw all your problems in a pile and could instead pick out anyone else’s problems, you’d always choose your own.

I completely believe that’s true. Everyone is dealing with something. Some people’s problems are more obvious. Others may lie deep beneath the surface. I know women my age who have battled breast cancer. Faced fertility issues. Suffered the death of a parent. Endured divorce. Dealt with a lost job. The list goes on and on. Even those people whose lives seem perfect or who—more annoyingly—tell you their lives are perfect, have issues. I promise.

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Celebrating 40 Years

by Paul Willgoss on Monday, Nov 21, 2011

I’m officially middle aged!

I’m 40.

My friends have done me proud with their range of useful, delightful and just plain weird gifts. Being one of the last of my friends to reach this significant milestone of life means they get the chance to reap revenge for the various insults masquerading as gifts they’ve suffered over the years.

However, a sizeable contribution to a new heart rate monitor/GPS watch was part of the present. Which, trust me, I will be abusing over the coming months. I say abuse, as it’s a waterproof triathlon watch, and all I’m going to be doing is running, walking and climbing, often for a long time, and in rain, dry weather, snow—actually, abuse is about right!

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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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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.