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

Food From and For the Heart: Introducing ACHA’s New Recipe Blog

by Emily Earhart on Friday, Jul 17, 2020

In response to the success of our Midweek Motivation cooking and baking sessions, ACHA is excited to introduce a series of food blog posts featuring heart-healthy recipes to help you stay strong and thrive.

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The Most Important Summer

by Heather Magee-Anderson on Friday, Jul 10, 2020

I am a fiction writer. I like to write stories about people, their challenges, their fears, and joys. I do not like writing about myself, because for so long, my life was fiction. I told many tales in order to escape from my reality. I didn’t want to be someone with congenital heart disease, so like my stories, I changed the narrative. I now embrace my truth and advocate for those like myself, but I still find it difficult to write about myself.

However, 40 years ago, my life was saved, and I feel the need to acknowledge that moment and express my gratitude.

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COVID-19: An Eye-Opener For Life With CHD

by Kelly DiMaggio on Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has certainly turned everyone's world upside down, and my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected. To every single person working as essential personnel, thank you doesn't even begin to cover it – but thank you! While the last three months have been a huge adjustment for many, I can't help but think how quarantine has offered people a glimpse into what life with a complex CHD is actually like on a normal basis. It's strange to feel like – for once – the rest of the non-CHD world and I are on a level playing field.

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When Did Noah Build the Ark?

by Jonathan Menachem, MD on Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020

In the adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) community, two important studies were recently published that highlight an emerging and growing niche—that of advanced heart failure in adults with CHD:

As you well know, due to the innovative treatment options for those born with congenital heart disease (CHD), there are now more adults with CHD than children. As this population ages, they develop heart failure, which has become the leading cause of death for adults with CHD. While we still have limited data on best practices and options for these patients, now is an exciting time for us as a community to improve this.

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Pedaling the Pounds Off: Back in Mississippi, Part 2

by Jared Gould on Thursday, Jun 11, 2020

In Part 1, I discussed that losing weight instilled in me a sense of confidence that altered my body image, giving me the courage to lead an organization at the University of Southern Mississippi. At the end, I hinted that living out my goals was not yet over, but that I was also met with new challenges.

In May 2018, I would intern in Jackson, Mississippi, for Governor Phil Bryant. The challenge came a few weeks before moving to Jackson. My brother was seeking to get out of the house and asked me if he could use my bike. I said, “yes!” But, 25 minutes later I received a call from him asking me to pick him up.

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Pedaling the Pounds Off: Back in Mississippi, Part 1

by Jared Gould on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2020

In my previous blog, Walk it Off, I wrote about my summer in Washington, D.C. After three months in D.C., I finally broke 240 pounds and when I returned to Mississippi in August to begin junior year, I was 230 pounds. I also discussed that by walking every day, I learned that exercise can be fun. Riding a bike, in fact, is not just a mechanism to lose weight. It is an adventure, a way to explore the environment and, as I will discuss in a future post, a great way to spend time with friends. On the day I returned to Mississippi, I hopped on the bike and took a long ride through my suburb, taking in my surroundings, looking at scenery, and even took a 30-minute break at the community lake.

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"So, You're Fixed Now?" ...And Other Things People Have Said to Me About CHD

by Jennifer Casson Tripucka on Tuesday, Apr 14, 2020

“Wow, you have transposition of the great arteries and you survived to adulthood?” — a general practitioner (GP) doctor who then proceeded to pull his colleagues in to show them a diagram of my heart and how it works, on Google no less.

Sounds crazy at a GP’s office that I visited for a lingering cold a few years back, yet if you’re an adult with a congenital heart defect, this is a pretty common theme. Either someone has “heard” of your condition and is shocked you’re alive, has never heard of it but thinks you’re fine because you don’t look sick, or something similar. In my 33 years of having CHD, I’ve heard it all — and then some. Here are a few things people have said about CHD, which, if you have CHD, you’ll probably find eerily familiar.

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Fear, Concern, The Pool, and Coronavirus

by Deb Flaherty-Kizer on Friday, Apr 03, 2020

Living with congenital heart disease, I have a predisposition to fear. I’m fearful about what the next doctor’s visit will reveal, fearful about what the next test will show, fearful about dying young.

I am working on channeling this into something more positive. The more I think about it, the more fear seems to imply passivity and giving up control. Fear often keeps you frozen in inaction and afraid.

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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.