59 posts tagged with Atrial Septal Defect.

The Unknown Decade

by Kelly DiMaggio on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018

November 23 marked my 30th birthday! Yes, 30 is definitely a milestone for everyone, but for me it was extra monumental. When I was born my parents were told I had hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)—a CHD incompatible with life—and that I would die within my first 24 hours. Miraculously, I defied the odds and 30 years later here I am. I couldn't be more grateful.

The months leading up to my birthday ended up being a roller coaster of emotions, some of which ended up taking me by surprise. Initially, I was ecstatic and beyond excited. Against all odds, I had made it! I wanted to scream it out from the rooftops.

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Unite to Fight Congenital Heart Disease

by Kelly DiMaggio on Thursday, May 03, 2018

I had the privilege of attending the 2018 DCMARVA Congenital Heart Walk this past Saturday and it was by far the most meaningful walk I've participated in thus far. My husband Mike first got involved in the Congenital Heart Walk even before I did, four years ago. I was out of town the weekend of the walk and Mike, within 72 hours, realized he could get the day off of work and attend the walk for the both of us.

In that short time, he raised more than $3,000, manned the registration table as a volunteer, and walked alone in my honor.

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My Name Is Clare Almand and I Have CHD (Part 2 of 2)

by Clare Almand on Thursday, Mar 22, 2018

Note: To read Part 1 of Clare’s post, click here.

When I last left you, I was talking about being more open about my heart condition and sharing it on a larger scale—“fulfilling my purpose,” if you will. So here’s what I’m doing: I’ve collaborated with a dozen amazing women—writers, actors, and directors—and the first weekend in May we’re putting on a women’s perspective show in Los Angeles. We’re all writing and performing pieces about our lives: where we come from, the issues that are important to us, and the events that have shaped us

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My Name is Clare and I Have CHD (Part 1 of 2)

by Clare Almand on Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018

I don’t consider myself a “sick” person.

If I count the number of years that I’ve had heart surgeries and procedures, I can say that I’ve spent most my life “healthy”—as in “not being hospitalized.” Only 11 of my 31 years have I had heart issues that needed treatment, either medicinal or surgical. This ratio of “healthy” years to “sick” ones is an important part of my identity. And because I don’t consider myself sick, I don’t tell people regularly about my chronic illness.

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Always a Heart Warrior

by Kelly DiMaggio on Thursday, Jan 04, 2018

Almost six years ago I had my last cardiac catheterization—a procedure that lasted nine hours (yes, you read that right!) and almost resulted in my cardiology team at the University of Maryland having to flip the catheterization lab into a full blown OR for what would have been my fourth open heart surgery. Luckily, they were able to avoid that.

At the time, I had been dating my boyfriend (now husband) for just over two years. I was still so young and our relationship was long distance, as I was a few hours away at college. Like most young lovers, our relationship was tumultuous at times.

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Can We Just State the Obvious? CHD Stinks.

by Clare Almand on Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017

It’s funny that four years ago, I stopped writing posts for the ACHA Blog because I’d run out of topics. My health was stable and I had no new angle or insight on my CHD experiences that I hadn’t covered or had been covered by someone else. And there were no new problems to report. It’s funny because, guys, that is sooooo over! My heart is back to being a huge jerk.

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Thoughts on the Eve of My Eleventh Heart Surgery

by Clare Almand on Tuesday, Apr 04, 2017

Tomorrow, I’m having my eleventh heart surgery.* Whenever I’m about to have surgery, I go through the same emotions. Most of my feelings go back to how absurd it is that this is a normal thing in my life. The following is a mostly concise description of what I’ve been thinking about.

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Learning to Love the Scar

by Clare Almand on Thursday, Jan 26, 2017

I wrote about body image five years ago, where I mentioned how proud I am of my scars and how I don’t have a problem wearing clothes that show them. While I feel that way now, that wasn’t always the case.

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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.