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

A Cyclist’s Journey

by Ken Woodhouse on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

This Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of my first (and, so far, only) open heart surgery. Although I had annual checkups with my pediatric cardiologist as a child, I never really thought of myself as a heart patient. Since I had my surgery when I was only eight months old, the scar on my chest feels more like a birthmark than a reminder of a major life event. My annual visits to the doctor always resulted in a clean bill of health. With the exception of football, I had no physical restrictions growing up.

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A Time for Reflection

by Kim Edgren on Monday, Nov 28, 2011

Reflecting on Thanksgiving, I got to thinking what I am thankful for. The list seems endless these days, but more than a few times this past year a memory kept popping up for me. Years ago, during one of my many hospital visits, my roommate was there for a non-cardiac procedure. I am not sure of all the details but she was very vocal about not wanting to bring a child into this world who may have a cardiac condition like hers. I remember feeling sad for her, wondering how hard her life was. It also made me reflect on my own life then, and now.

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My Favorite Holiday

by Kelly Deeny on Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011

During this season we tend to stop what we’re doing and give thanks for what we have, the people in our lives and the blessings we’ve been bestowed. For that reason, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. More than just the delicious feast or watching the many parades, I love this particular holiday because we get to take time out of our busy lives and just enjoy one another’s company.

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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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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.