61 posts tagged with Atrial Septal Defect.

Learning to Live Life at a Safe Pace

by Katherine Buchanan on Monday, Aug 18, 2014

Growing up in a household where exposure to the world’s diverse and incredible cultures was a priority, exploring the world has been a consistent dream on my horizon. After trips to Belize and Costa Rica, as well as an extensive number of classes in French and Spanish, my passion for world travel has grown and evolved.

Yet, after my diagnosis with congenital heart disease, worries about how my health would factor into this dream began to creep into my mind. With open heart surgery this past December, I was worried about my summer plans to travel to Europe and future dreams to travel to more remote and physically demanding places in the world. How would it feel to fly in an airplane? What if I had an emergency while abroad? Could my heart keep me from participating fully in the abroad experience?

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Getting My Energy Back

by Katherine Buchanan on Friday, May 09, 2014

I biked up the steepest hill on campus yesterday morning after leaving my last fitness class of the semester. After my open heart surgery this Christmas I decided to come back to school and take a personal fitness course, hoping to build my strength and endurance to better than it was before the operation.

Our first class was a little over a month and a half after my surgery, and so my abilities were pretty limited. I was slower than my classmates, and while I did feel more energized than I had first semester, I was still sluggish and tired. However, as time distanced me from the surgery, I gained more energy and ability.

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No Longer the Smelly Girl on the Playground

by Ellen Greenberg on Friday, Apr 25, 2014

Previously I blogged about how I felt “like the smelly girl on the playground” because the state of my healthcare had declined to such a point that doctors were turning me away for migraine headaches. They would see my incision and basically turn me away.

Unfortunately, my cardiac care was not what it used to be when I was in pediatrics. So this was an extra frustration, especially as I am the one paying the copays. I am also the one taking a total of 15 pills a day. I have what I refer to as my "granny bag of meds”—and that’s exactly what it is only because my grandmother is on a few of the same.

I am happy to report things have changed for the better!

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Positivity Through Surgery and Recovery

by Katherine Buchanan on Thursday, Mar 13, 2014

When I found out I was going to have open heart surgery to repair my leaking mitral valve, I was terrified. Like others in the congenital heart disease community, I grew up thinking I was cured of my original defects—the cleft in my mitral valve and atrial septal defect—and had never heard the term "congenital heart disease" applied to me before.

When the doctors told me that this term was now part of my life and surgery was necessary within the year, I was overcome with fear. Before I knew of the heart problem I lived under the notion that I had the potential to live my life to the fullest—whether that be through my singing, studies or dreams of world travel. I envisioned an exciting future with many adventures ahead, but the news of open heart surgery tore at the foundations of my dreams.

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The Chance of a Lifetime

by Ellen Greenberg on Friday, Jan 10, 2014

In 2013 I took many chances; the best was the one of a lifetime. Not everyone was behind me on this decision at this time in my life—I was fighting a horrible cold and had just started a new job, and so my voice was pretty hoarse. However, with my go-getter attitude I thought if I don’t take this chance I would be doing ACHA and myself a disservice. I practiced, rehearsed, changed my song two weeks before, figured out the 90 seconds allotted, and with help, picked out my outfit the night before.

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Feeling Like the Smelly Girl on the Playground

by Ellen Greenberg on Monday, Nov 25, 2013

This summer I graduated with my master’s degree. Upon graduation I became extremely sick with migraine headaches. For four months I laid in the dark of my bedroom feeling as if I was literally having open heart surgery on my head.

None of the doctors knew what to do for me. I had a CT scan both with and without contrast. Nothing was found. So the neurologist I had placed me on steroids.

This did not work. I was met with resistance for more steroids when the first round did not work. A headache specialist suggested admitting me for intravenous high dose steroids. The neurologist said “NO,” because “should something happen, her cardiologist would not be there.”

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Let’s Get Physical

by Clare Almand on Friday, Nov 22, 2013

I used to be a real health nut. I worked out at least five days a week, watched what I ate, and read all those fitness magazines. I felt strong. I felt healthy. I was 18 and terrified of gaining the Freshman 15.

My hard work and constant fear of being overweight successfully kept the pounds off for most of college. But over the years, the fear and discipline has gradually declined to the point where I have finally gained those 15 pounds, albeit eight years later.

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I Wonder What They Worry About

by Clare Almand on Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

Every Sunday, a blog called PostSecret posts the images of several postcards or pictures containing anonymous secrets from around the world. I like to check every Sunday and save the ones that I like or that I relate to. Not too long ago, a secret was written on a St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital notepad that read: “I wonder what wealthy parents of healthy children worry about.” Like I imagine many of you will, I connected with it immediately. I don’t quite know from personal experience, but I know two pretty awesome parents who know this feeling all too well.

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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.