121 posts tagged with Pulmonary Atresia.

Starting Out Small

by Kim Russell on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014

It seems that society has trained us to think of exercise in terms of weight maintenance and toning muscles. But my experience has shown that it does a whole lot more! No energy to exercise, you say? Let me share my story. I found that my thinking was clearer, my pulmonary function was much better and I felt so much better as a person by exercising! Even starting with the smallest, slowest of exercises is still helpful. Here’s how I know!

Two years ago I arrived at my cardiology appointment fatigued, blue, and frustrated. The doctor explained that none of the tests, echos, EKGs or bloodwork showed any serious changes related to my heart. Once again, my cardiologists reviewed the “CHD rules” for dental care, sodium restrictions and exercise.

“You are exercising, right?” she asked.

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Getting Health Answers: A Double-Edged Sword

by Becca Atherton on Thursday, Jan 23, 2014

Back in December I was medivaced from Phoenix to California because I was experiencing atrial flutter (AFL). The doctors were able to pace me out of it and I got to go home right in time for Christmas. But just two weeks later, I was back in AFL and had to fly up again. They were, once more, able to pace me out of it, and now there is a setting on my device that if I go back into AFL, my pacemaker/ICD will make a sound letting us know. On top of that, I was also started on a few new medications, one of which is Coumadin.

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My "Typical" ACHD Checkup

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013

What to expect at a regular visit? That is something that I've been asked before. It's what causes a lot of anxiousness for many CHDers. For me, the answer is simple—anything.

At the age of 16 is when that trend started. I went in for a regular cardiac visit and ended up in the hospital with atrial flutter. Later on, this trend would continue. After being diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia I went to meet my electrophysiologist for the first time. He suggested that I hang around and meet with a cardiologist and a pediatric cardiologist who does some adult CHD stuff.

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My December Game Plan

by Christy Sillman on Monday, Dec 16, 2013

My January heart checkups are historically the worst. At first I thought it was just a strange coincidence, but now I’m starting realize how the fall/holiday season really takes a toll on me. This year I’m trying something new – I’m trying to be more heart healthy and conscious of my usual pitfalls.

It’s a lot easier to convince yourself not to work out when it’s freezing cold outside or your to-do list seems impossibly long.

Here is my December “game plan” for keeping my heart healthy:

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What Discipline Means to Me

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013

Discipline. I think that society as a whole lacks it—there seems to be a laissez-faire attitude in general. A do-as-I-want-with-no-worry-about-the-consequences way of life.

Luckily, I am the opposite. In fact, I've been disciplined most of my adult life without even realizing it. I had to have discipline in order to live a normal life.

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21 Years of Loving Life

by Becca Atherton on Friday, Nov 08, 2013

Turning 21 is considered a big milestone in a lot of people's lives, especially since it means you can now legally drink and buy alcohol. But for me, this birthday is a milestone for a completely different reason.

It was 21 years ago when I was born and the doctors discovered that I had serious congenital heart defects and pulmonary hypertension. I was born blue and since my mom didn't have any prenatal care for me, no one expected or had any idea that I'd be as sick as I was. Before my parents adopted me, they were told by a doctor that I had a 13% chance of living to the age of five. But after four open heart surgeries, 45 pills and two SVN treatments a day, three allergy shots once a week, five different hospitals, more than 20 heart catheterizations, a blood draw once a month, a pacemaker/defibrillator placement and countless doctor appointments—I have reached 21 years of age.

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A Letter to 18-Year-Old Christy, Circa 1998

by Christy Sillman on Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

Dear Young Christy,

It’s 2013, and guess what? You’re alive! Not only are you alive but you’re living a life you never could have imagined was possible. Spoiler alert – you have a loving husband, a gorgeous child, and a fantastic career. I know you’re really confused right now after open heart surgery, but I wanted to give you some tips to help you through the next few years.

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Focus

by Jon Ritchings, Jr. on Friday, Sep 27, 2013

Last night after a day of 16 hours spent on my feet, I went to bed and lo and behold, for the first time in more than a year I had some edema in my left ankle. I tell you this because I know exactly why it happened.

Over the summer I've put on about 10 pounds. I haven't been exercising regularly or eating very well. Seems simple, but I think it can happen to anybody. You see, I lost my focus on my health. Often in today's world of go-go-go, we lose focus on the things important to us. It could be anything—family, success, or in my case, health.

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