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

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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A Doctor’s Note

by Paul Willgoss on Monday, Oct 31, 2011

The three little words in the title are almost designed to irritate and annoy…

Why?

As a school child, a doctor’s note was needed to “prove” my heart condition was such that I couldn’t play sports. I then needed another one when the advice changed and I was allowed to.

As an adult, I needed a medical exam with a note from my doctor to join the civil service.

As a half marathoner, I needed a doctor’s note to join the gym.

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Should I Be a Helicopter?

by Alissa Butterfass on Friday, Oct 28, 2011

As I write this, it’s a Sunday night. My family is just back from a long weekend in Florida. In just three days, we found time to build sandcastles on the beach, splash in the pool, eat some good Cuban food and hang out with my cousins. I even got in two good games of Scrabble with Grandma. Aside from my 2-year-old vomiting on me during the turbulent landing at LaGuardia, it was pretty close to perfect.

Except for one thing...

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Eating Heart-Healthy

by Jennifer Rice on Thursday, Oct 27, 2011

Hey everyone! My name is Jen and I am new to the ACHA blogger community. I was born with several congenital heart defects, and as a result I required multiple surgeries and hospital stints.

My hospital experiences have shaped my life in a huge way. I always knew even back in elementary school that I’d grow up to be a nurse—to give back to those who have literally given me life. So, fast forward to today and you’d meet a twenty-something Registered Nurse in the Pediatric Emergency Room in one of the busiest ERs in Maryland who wears her zipper proudly and lives a pretty normal life (whatever “normal” is, anyway).

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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.