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Posts by Misty Sharpe

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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30 Years of Clickin’ and Tickin’

by Misty Sharpe on Friday, Mar 11, 2022

Thirty years ago, my parents placed my life in the hands of a heart surgeon for the fourth time. This stoic man had operated on my tiny heart from the time I was seven days old. He twice repaired a coarctation of aorta, once removed a subaortic membrane—and now it was time for the riskiest surgery yet. Although I looked fine, my aortic valve was a ticking time bomb inside my chest. After receiving second and third opinions, both of which were in agreement with the surgeon’s plan, I headed to the OR at three months shy of five years old to have my aortic valve replaced with a 19mm St. Jude mechanical valve.

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Preparing for a Natural Disaster When You Have CHD

by Misty Sharpe on Thursday, Sep 13, 2018

Natural disasters can cause catastrophic damage leaving many without power, food, water or shelter for days or weeks. While a natural disaster can strike at any time, if you have advance warning, it’s important to be prepared especially if you have a chronic illness such as congenital heart disease (CHD). In this post, we share a few helpful tips to prepare for a natural disaster.

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Navigating the Detours

by Misty Sharpe on Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

As children, we all have dreams of what we want to do or be when we grow up. At one point, I was convinced I was going to be an actress or comedian. If you could sit down with my mom and listen to the stories—or worse yet, watch some of the embarrassing videos of me as a child—that very well could have come true.

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Why I Fundraise for ACHA...

by Misty Sharpe on Thursday, Feb 23, 2017

As I was growing up, I always felt my parents did an excellent job of empowering me when it came to my congenital heart disease (CHD). I knew the importance of taking my medications and understanding my physical limitations.  What none of us knew until I was around 22 years old, however, is that there was an organization out there specifically for adults like me.

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Expecting the Unexpected

by Misty Sharpe on Thursday, Oct 27, 2016

On October 6-7, I should have been enjoying the warmth of the Orlando sun and taking in a wealth of information on numerous congenital heart disease (CHD) related topics. Mother Nature, however, had other plans in the form of Hurricane Matthew. If you’re like me, a first time Adult Congenital Heart Association National Conference goer, you were extremely excited, and maybe a little nervous, about all that you were going to learn. Now, with the new dates of the conference being June 1-3, 2017 in Orlando, all of this got me thinking about the unexpected as it relates to having CHD.

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Education is Key in Spreading the Word about CHD

by Misty Sharpe on Friday, Mar 25, 2016

There’s this wonderful group called the Zipper Sisters that I’m a member of on Facebook. It’s such a supportive place for all things CHD. One of the things I keep reading over and over again, however, are their interactions with people not familiar with CHD.

Some of these women have been told they are too young to have a heart condition. Now, down here in the South, people might think when they say that they’re being nice by making note of the fact that someone doesn’t look sick. But, for a CHDer, that’s about as bad as a “bless your heart.” Other members have received the occasional tips on how they can heal their heart through diet and exercise. Insert eye roll.

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Finding Joy in the Holidays

by Misty Sharpe on Wednesday, Dec 23, 2015

Not only do I have congenital heart disease, but I also work with pediatric cardiology patients. Every year, we sign Christmas cards for the families who have lost their children during the year to CHD. It truly pains me to see how many families will be so broken this holiday season because of the loss of their loved one.

That moment really made me reflect on how during this time, the expectation is to put up your decorations, bake cookies, wrap presents, sing carols and spend time with family—but there are so many who have had their joy stolen for one reason or another.

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Listening to Your Inner Voice

by Misty Sharpe on Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015

There are CHD patients who seem to have struggles with their condition their entire lives. And then there are those of us who have no issues—until we do.

I’m the latter. My last surgery was at age 4 ½ and I’m fortunate to have not undergone any type of intervention since. I’m 28 now and up until a few months ago, I felt invincible. Then I began to experience more frequent palpitations.

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Embracing the Imperfections

by Misty Sharpe on Thursday, Jun 25, 2015

On May 16, Nashville held its first-ever Congenital Heart Walk and as I sit here getting ready to start planning for 2016, I find myself reflecting back on this year’s event. I checked the weather app on my phone all week because of the forecast calling for severe storms. In my mind, I pictured this perfect event with sunny weather, news media, record attendance and a smooth, complication-free program and walk.

Want to know something? None of that happened. What did happen that day reminded me of a very valuable lesson, though.

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It Starts With Us

by Misty Sharpe on Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015

I am passionate about congenital heart disease. Why? I have a CHD. I have a nephew who also had a CHD who passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 20. I work professionally with children and young adults who have CHD. I am Committee Chair for Nashville’s first Congenital Heart Walk. I am a blogger for ACHA. My life is filled with all things CHD and I love it. I am, however, not my CHD.

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The Knowledge to Answer the Pregnancy Question

by Misty Sharpe on Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015

If your Facebook news feed is anything like mine, it seems like there have been a barrage of posts by soon-to-be parents announcing their upcoming bundle of joy. You also may find yourself the subject of many asking the question, “When are you going to have children?” For many, including myself with congenital heart disease, this question isn’t easily answered.

I have always wanted to be a mom. I remember always smiling whenever someone would call me “Little Angie” because I looked so much like my mother and thought how special it would be to have my own biological child one day. CHD, however, can hover like a black cloud over your pregnancy parade.

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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.