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

Don’t Panic—It’s Just Blood

by Clare Almand on Monday, Oct 10, 2011

My freshmen year of college, I was required to take a course on public speaking. We had to present one persuasive speech at the end of the semester and I chose to speak about giving blood, which is very near and dear to my heart—pun intended. During the middle of my speech, which I thought was going well, a tall and lanky student slid out of his chair and hit the floor.

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“But If We Can't Live Together... We're Gonna Die Alone”

by Kim Edgren on Wednesday, Oct 05, 2011

The title of my first blog post is a quote from my favorite show Lost. And after a recent trip to Hawaii, and my first real “episode” of congestive heart failure, it got me thinking: Can we ACHDers do this alone or do we really need to “live together” to survive?

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Reflections on a New Year

by Alissa Butterfass on Monday, Oct 03, 2011

This past week I celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The holiday service includes many beautiful prayers and many harrowing liturgies, and reciting them makes me think about the year that has passed—my accomplishments, my missed opportunities, my goals—as well as my hopes for the upcoming year. Whether or not you are Jewish, it’s never a bad idea to reflect on the past year and think about the year ahead. Here are some of the thoughts that went through my mind this week.

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ACHA Family

by Kelly Deeny on Friday, Sep 30, 2011

I’m a family-oriented person, always have been. I loved going to family reunions, visiting relatives and as of recently, doing genealogy research. As much as I adore my family I conversely believe that family doesn’t necessarily equate blood relation. Case in point—ACHA members.

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Going Public

by Amy Verstappen on Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011

Last week, I gave one of the toughest speeches I have ever given in my life. What made it so tough was not that it was to a room full of Congressional staffers, although that certainly didn’t help. Nor was the biggest challenge the fact that there might be press there, or that I would be sharing the podium with some of the smartest people on the planet when it comes to congenital heart disease.

What made it so tough was that I was actually going to have to get up and talk personally about my own journey with CHD. Two days before the briefing, I discovered that my original small role as Q and A moderator had been expanded, and I had eight minutes to talk personally about living with CHD.

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Cycles of Life

by Stephanie Hodgson on Monday, Sep 26, 2011

Every month I order my congenital heart disease medicine. Every month I order my oxygen tanks. Every month, since taking this new CHD medicine, I have to get a pregnancy test. And, every month, since about the age of 13, Mother Nature orders my monthly cycle.

This month, however, when I called in to order my CHD medicine, I got past the normal questioning of setting up a delivery, etc., but then came the question asked every time I call in, "Stephanie, when was your last pregnancy test?"

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My Journey: Waiting for a Heart Transplant

by Lorelei Hill on Friday, Sep 23, 2011

Each morning, a choir of birds positions itself outside my bedroom window. Once in place, the concert begins.

“Ode to the morning! It’s a bright new day,” they seem to be singing.

Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons, this year even more so. Three years ago, after a series of dizzy spells and ongoing arrhythmia, my cardiologist suggested I “make some lifestyle changes.” Up until then I never really considered how having tricuspid atresia might one day restrict my life. I scoffed and told myself I’d be okay. I’ve always been okay.

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Born This Way?

by Christy Sillman on Thursday, Sep 22, 2011

I made a promise to myself when I was lying in the Pediatric ICU as a 17-year-old recovering from open heart surgery – I would never endure an optional surgery such as plastic surgery. I’d been through enough. It didn’t make any sense to ever put myself through surgery if I didn’t have to.

Now I’m contemplating relinquishing that promise.

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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.