119 posts tagged with Pulmonary Atresia.

The Feeling of Faith

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Monday, Mar 26, 2012

A recent comment about faith on an online ACHD group I belong to got me thinking. I listen to people talk about faith—people in the CHD community, my regular community, the religious community for sure. I see a lot of people go to church, temple, synagogue, and pull out their prayer rug. If you ask them why, they tell you it is their faith. They do these things because they have faith in their religion, their religious leader or their particular religious scripture. They have faith, as if faith were an object. As if the person who belonged to the right religion had the real faith and everyone else’s faith was somehow counterfeit.

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It Takes a Village

by Christy Sillman on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012

“I wish I never knew congenital heart disease,” posted one of my heart mom Facebook friends. I get what she is saying—that none of us chose to know CHD, but it is all we know so we’re forced to face it head on. I think about all my family members and how CHD has changed their lives and the guilt starts to sink in. It’s so silly because it’s not like we asked for CHD; it just hurts to feel like a burden.

There are heart moms, heart dads, heart grandparents, and even heart siblings who I know wish they were ignorant to a life with CHD.

But what about the heart spouses and the heart friends? These are the unsung heroes of the CHD support team. When you really think about it, they are willingly choosing to invite CHD into their life. That is something really astounding.

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The Art of Coping

by Becca Atherton on Monday, Mar 05, 2012

In a little over a week, I will be having surgery to replace the battery of the pacemaker/defibrillator I had put in me about five years ago. I’ve had four open heart surgeries, more than 20 heart caths and the original surgery to implant the pacemaker/defibrillator.

Now, whenever I tell people this, I usually get the sympathetic look and a comment along the lines of, “Oh, well, I’m sure you’re used to it.”

But that is where they are wrong, very wrong.

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When My Surgery Became Real

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012

Let me tell you a little about my journey over the better part of this last decade. I have lived in congestive heart failure for almost 12 years. In that time I have been mostly able to lead a normal life. In fac,t I would go as far as to say I was more active in my life than many people that I know.

It hasn't all been peaches and cream, though. Eight years ago I was forced to leave work. I had numerous tests done and a new ICD put in due to episodes of V-Tach. During that time I found that my EF (ejection fraction) was only 15%. There was talk about the possibility of getting a transplant or maybe surgery.

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Finding Positive in the Negative

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Monday, Feb 06, 2012

February is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month—an important month for me and many of my friends. It’s our month. We get to bombard you with facts and statistics about CHD and you get to listen.

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Heart-Shaped Awareness

by Christy Sillman on Thursday, Feb 02, 2012

February is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month, and I’m feeling a little stuck on how to bring about more awareness. I mean, I’m aware of CHD because I have CHD. My close family and friends are aware because someone they love (me) has CHD. But how do I get the average acquaintance to become more aware of CHD without it coming across like I’m complaining or being annoying?

What do I even want them to be aware of?

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A Focus on Similarities—Not Differences

by Becca Atherton on Monday, Jan 30, 2012

This past week, I went to a local elementary school to talk with third and fourth graders about my heart condition, bullying and how you can’t look at a person and think you know what they are like. I explained how with my heart defect, I look normal. Looking at me, people have no idea that I am sick. So when I walk slow or take the elevator instead of the stairs, they look at me weird or make comments. I also talked about when I was younger; even when I was in high school people would still make fun of me. The kids asked questions about my illness, how I coped with the bullying and then I got a question that I had never gotten before.

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Happy New Year!

by Christy Sillman on Tuesday, Jan 03, 2012

It’s 2012! That is wild! Shouldn’t we have flying cars or be hanging out with neighboring aliens by now? That’s what I thought when I was a little girl. Sometimes I think we haven’t advanced much as a society. But when my best friend was anxiously grilling me on what the future of my cardiology needs might be, I realized that a lot has changed, especially in the field of CHD care.

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