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Posts by Robert Grabel

We have had dozens of bloggers since this blog began who have been so open with their stories. If you are interested in blogging, too, we'd love to hear from you. Please email info@achaheart.org.

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The Ones Who Care For Us Part 2

by Robert Grabel on Thursday, Mar 05, 2020

Back in March 2016, after my valve replacement surgery, I wrote a post for ACHA called The Ones Who Care For Us. I discussed the importance of being grateful for our loved ones who support us as individuals with congenital heart disease. A recent experience served as a powerful reminder of how important it is to appreciate the people that mean the most to us…

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Measuring the Immeasurable

by Robert Grabel on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

It's been six months since I got my surprise gift, a brand new combination pacemaker and defibrillator. I learned several valuable lessons following the operation. The biggest was the importance of gratitude for the simple things in life. Being alive. Experiencing and sharing with others. And on it goes… The list of things we can be grateful for would take the remainder of the words these posts are limited to!

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My Mixed Emotions

by Robert Grabel on Friday, Jan 04, 2019

Hey, I just became I bionic. Move over, Six Million Dollar Man…

The above is me being funny. I was told humor is one of the best ways to deal with the mixed emotions that can hit you when you’re fitted for an ICD. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. Mainly, the humor is for me. It’s a good distraction from thinking that I now have an incredible piece of technology near my heart that’s helping me live. Speaking of mixed emotions, that’s a big part of the recovery process. I’m beyond grateful to be here (yes—here and alive!).

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How Do You Start Your Morning?

by Robert Grabel on Monday, May 16, 2016

Since my cardiologist cleared me for it, I’ve started running or cycling each morning. While I have my choice of routes, I’ve quickly fallen into a routine.

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Now What?

by Robert Grabel on Thursday, Apr 07, 2016

With my turn at the blog coming up, I realized I was tapped for ideas. That’s an interesting point in and of itself. As my fellow blogging colleagues might attest to, that first ACHA post can be pretty easy: You share your story (I did). The next one can be easy too: Talk about a post-surgery experience or realization (check).

But here I was three months post-surgery and I’m feeling like life is the way it was pre-surgery—but better!

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The Ones Who Care For Us

by Robert Grabel on Wednesday, Mar 02, 2016

After my first blog was posted on the ACHA website, I shared it with my parents. The next time I was speaking with my mother, I could tell something was bothering her. We were about to hang up when she said “I liked your piece but you left something out. You mentioned you’re a husband and a father. But you didn’t mention that you’re a son. My son.”

It was a wake-up call reminding me how important it is to thank and acknowledge the special people in our lives who care for us as adults with congenital heart disease—particularly during times like surgery.

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My Accidental Heart Journey

by Robert Grabel on Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016

My name is Robert. I’m a 51-year-old husband, father, runner, guitar player and nonprofit professional. And after a 41-year break, I am a recovering heart patient again. I was born with tetralogy of Fallot. I had open heart surgery when I was 10 years old and never looked back. Until now.

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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.

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