Posts by Damion Martin

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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Four Years

by Damion Martin on Monday, Jan 25, 2016

This month marks four years since my open heart surgery. If you would’ve asked me back then what life would be like post-op, I would’ve told you that I looked forward to not having to worry so much about my heart. I would’ve said that it would be great to have that behind me.

Instead, I’ve probably worried about my heart more in the past 48 months than I did for 396 months leading up to my surgery. I talk about my heart more, am more aware of how I feel, and less certain of what I’m capable of.

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CHD and Our Financial Futures

by Damion Martin on Monday, Nov 16, 2015

Of all the stresses that come with congenital heart disease, one that doesn’t necessarily sit front and center is the prospect of our financial futures. As a CHD patient, I often look at my financial situation in the present and am consumed with the finer points of insurance coverage and deductibles, and less so with investments.

With my most recent diagnosis of pace-induced heart failure, I was faced with the realization that I hadn’t done much to help my wife and children thrive, should the darkest of days come sooner than expected. I remember driving home with a growing lump in my throat, playing through the scenario of what their lives would look like without me in it.

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It’s a Family Affair

by Damion Martin on Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Today is my wife’s birthday.

I had the benefit of a 30-year head start on my wife with regard to CHD. Up until she met me, she didn’t have to worry about ejection fractions, echocardiograms, EKGs, beta blockers or things of that nature. She had other things to worry about like her career, a mortgage, a dog, and all the other things most people have going on in life. Up until we started dating I had my parents and brother as a loving and supportive team (who remain loving and supportive to this day). And yet, she willingly loaded the burdens of my health up onto her shoulders without a single complaint.

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Sometimes the Heart is Just the Start

by Damion Martin on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Diagnosed with aortic stenosis at just three days old (and mitral stenosis later in my childhood), I grew up knowing the tedium of regular check-ups with a cardiologist. I appreciated the thinly veiled enthusiasm my parents would exude over a day off as a family, consisting of six to seven hours driving to and from the hospital. And I reveled in the freedom of college, where I could reinvent myself as someone who didn’t have a heart problem and could party like the rest of ‘em.

But as I got older, the pesky CHD label never completely wore off, and at 33 years old was informed that I needed to prepare myself for open heart surgery.

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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.