119 posts tagged with Pulmonary Atresia.

Control Freak

by Christy Sillman on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

I’ll admit it—I’m a control freak. I’m a type-A, people pleasing, perfectionist wacko. I don’t know if it’s from growing up around medical personnel (they’re generally all type-A people) or if it’s genetic, but it’s just who I am. I’m often up late at night reassessing my five-year plan and adjusting as needed. I like to plan—I don’t formulate only plan A and B, I’ve got at least through plan F prepared.

One of the most frustrating parts of living with CHD is not being able to truly plan. With the unpredictability in the nature of our disease—the periods of “normalcy” followed by huge life upheavals when there’s a new procedure or surgery we have to face—it’s sometimes easy to feel out of control or depressed. When I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy after my pregnancy I was devastated and fell into an angry depression; I was focusing on what I couldn’t control and I felt helpless.

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Medication and Memory

by Becca Atherton on Monday, Sep 17, 2012

This Friday I will be traveling up to California to see my doctors there. Lately I have been having a lot of memory problems, which we think may be because of one my medications. The problem becomes, though, that this medication protects me from a certain type of arrhythmia and right now, we are not sure if there is a medication I could take besides this one that wouldn't have the memory side effects.

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My Tips for Hospital Stays, Part 2

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012

Note: read Part 1 of Jon’s post by clicking here.

The second thing that helps me at the hospital is to find things to do. Anything that takes your mind off the monotony of sitting in a hospital bed staring at the ceiling is going to help you get out of the hospital sooner. I'm not talking about watching TV, either. Most hospitals provide a personal TV with a few crappy cable networks but really, it's like a token way for them to occupy your time.

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My Tips for Hospital Stays, Part 1

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Friday, Aug 31, 2012

For those who do not know, I had cardiac surgery at the very end of July. It was fairly major in that it involved two valves and removing part of the right atrium, as well as some things to help eliminate some of my rhythm issues. Needless to say, I spent 10 days of recovery in the hospital and was discharged ahead of schedule. Twenty-four hours later I was in my local hospital with my regular cardiologist, conferencing with the original surgeon.

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Anxiety. Depression. Panic Attacks. OH MY!

by Christy Sillman on Friday, Aug 10, 2012

The weekend before I entered junior high school my parents took us to the Great America theme park here in Northern California. It was there that I experienced my first anxiety attack, and I quickly fell down a dark hole of anxiety and depression that kept me confined to my home for almost two months. I felt so alone, and so shameful of my mental health issues. No one, not even the psychologists they sent me to, mentioned that anxiety, depression and other mood disorders are common in people with CHD. It would have made all the difference in the world.

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What Song Inspires You?

by Becca Atherton on Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012

Performing American Sign Language to music has always been a hobby of mine, since I was nine years old. I usually try to pick inspirational songs and when DreamWorks’ Prince of Egypt animated movie came out in 1998, there was one song that really spoke to me that I think will also speak to a lot of CHD families and patients.

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An Escape Before Open Heart Surgery

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012

I know you won't be reading this blog post until July 11th, but I am writing this right now at the end of June. It is currently a Friday and today is my first full day of a ten-day vacation. I felt I needed this time away. You see, at the end of July, I will be having my third open heart surgery.

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Setting Goals With My Son

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Thursday, Jun 14, 2012

I am the father of a wonderful 21-year-old kid. I've raised him since he was two years old with some help from my parents and brothers along the way. He's seen me at my best and worst as I've dealt with my CHD.

When he was a little we used to go out and do all kinds of things together—kayaking, hiking, shooting and fishing. As he reached his teenage years my CHD began to take its toll on me. I developed CHF and slowly I was unable to do the things with him that we used to. We still spent time together going to movies or just hanging out but; he was a healthy active kid who needed activities.

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