61 posts tagged with Atrial Septal Defect.

My Very First Congenital Heart Walk

by Ellen Greenberg on Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015

This month I had the pleasure of participating in my first Congenital Heart Walk benefiting the Adult Congenital Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation. To say that I was motivated and excited would be an understatement, because my goal is always to raise awareness.

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My CHD Rollercoaster

by Katherine Buchanan on Thursday, Aug 06, 2015

After recovering from open heart surgery a little over a year and a half ago, I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. I flew from being terrified of complications to rejoicing for the miracle of my life to feeling deep anxiety again with very little buffer in between the emotional turns. Though my surgeon ended my last appointment announcing my freedom to pursue whatever dreams I wished, the traumatizing experience of surgery, the realization of my heart’s vitality and the appreciation for the beauty of life kept me in a whirlwind state.

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The Power of Knowledge

by Ellen Greenberg on Monday, Jul 20, 2015

I think that as CHD patients we may have more medical knowledge than the average person. It is said that knowledge is power. But as CHD patients, is this power helpful or hurtful? The more we know, the scarier our own personal situations can be. This knowledge can also be a helpful tool. I like to feel the positive—that it is power.

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Friendship and CHD

by Katherine Buchanan on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This weekend marked the end of an incredible school year for me as I finished up my junior year at Wofford College, a small liberal arts school in South Carolina. Instead of rushing home for summer plans, I chose instead to spend the weekend on campus, celebrating my senior friends with students from every class year who felt touched by their motivational presence on campus.

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An Open Letter to My Pediatric Cardiac Team

by Ellen Greenberg on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015

Dear Pediatric Cardiac Team,

I’d like to tell you that April will mark a huge milestone in the course of my life, as it will be 30 years since that tiny first grader—me!—Ellen Jenny Greenberg, had her first of many surgeries. Yes, you read correctly—30 years since my classic Fontan procedure. I still remember explaining my surgery to my class, and one boy saying, “So you’ll be dead during it,” and my quick response was “No, the machine will be breathing and beating my heart for me.”

It would be a treat to somehow see all of you and give you a great big hug and kiss for providing me with this precious gift of life.

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My Evolving CHD Identity

by Katherine Buchanan on Friday, Feb 27, 2015

I grew up like a number of congenital heart disease patients, believing I was cured of my heart disease. As a youth, my heart story was a really fun conversation starter in any awkward icebreaker activities that various group orientations threw my way. My senior year of high school, as I prepared for college, I decided to use the story of my cured heart to explain my passion for community service.

Occasionally I would show off my scar in some V-neck top or ask my parents about my baby open heart surgery story, but that was the extent of my CHD identity. My open heart surgery experience served as a fun, upbeat story to share at parties or to set me apart from others, but nothing more.

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The Fearless Factor

by Ellen Greenberg on Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014

As I sat down to write about limitations I caught an episode of Fear Factor. I have never watched this show in its entirety; however, I found myself both engrossed and grossed out by it. This past year I began to realize all of my limitations and how to work within them.

I am always the girl with the can-do attitude. I often strive for things that seem impossible to many. For instance, I recently received a master’s degree. I auditioned for America’s Got Talent last year, because it was in Manhattan—close enough to where I live and I owed it to myself, for the sheer experience of the thrill, nothing more.

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Sharing My CHD Story in France

by Katherine Buchanan on Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014

This semester I am fulfilling my dream of living in France. Here I am studying, eating, living and breathing in the beautiful southern region of the country nestled in the small, but still lively, city of Aix-en-Provence. In this beautiful city I have had the unique chance of making new friends, both American and French, who before September 5th knew nothing about me. In this new environment I had the opportunity to choose what role my congenital heart defects play in my life.

Upon my arrival, I started thinking on how to inform my new friends and host family about what I've been through, the good and the bad, and the unrelenting and life-loving spirit that my heart diagnosis and most recent surgery and recovery have given me.

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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.