Name: Christi Age: almost 30 Your defect(s): Tricuspid Atresia
Now it's during these teenaged years that I suppose everyone starts looking at their parents, doctors, family members, teachers etc. as humans rather than looming figures of authority and I must say I was surrounded by a pretty good group. My parents for their part balanced each other out. Dad has always been the more cautious one Mom has always been the best friend to everyone in my group in fact. My Mom is THE Mom to go to for advice even if it is a little on the risque side. And by risque let me get this straight, I was never discouraged by either of my parents to live life or go do all the dumb things teenagers did... I was just square and didn't. My group wasn't fast, we had our fun, our movie nights at friends houses or parties, our nights out at the beach etc... but we never got too wild. Stayed out past curfew, sure, did one or two of us try drinking and smoking, sure. Not me -- my first drink came after I was 21 and I have never even considered smoking. I did in a rebellous stance with my doctor get my ears pierced a second time, he thought I was insane not to pre-medicate etc. He was a worry-wort of the worst kind but it was almost comical and even he knew if I had wanted to do something more uniquely teenaged -- I would. As far as boys went I had all the typical drama and crushes, but being the nerdy "buddy" girl I didn't get much action as it were. I waited til my college years to really have good relationships. Most knew early on about my heart condition and some experienced the downsides of it too.
Now at almost 30, I am working in a school setting - where I love to be. I write a blog when I am inspired and have a loving relationship with an outstanding man. We just added a cat to our family and couldn't be happier. Things are a challenge now physically as doctors figure out some new issues but knowing my support system is out there makes all the difference. I scrapbook our memories and those of friends and family who are no longer in my life either because of distance, change or passing on. I am always behind the camera at events, always making sure everyone is enjoying their time. I try my best to keep in perspective that life is good. I always seek out ways to help others who are having a harder time than me, or who need a little extra TLC. Recently, I worked with a child who has a CHD nothing as major as my own, but seeing him wrestle around with the other kids has given me a great deal of hope. Watching his poise and maturity makes me think back to my own days at that stage and wonder if I looked the same to outside observers, just a kid with a lot on her shoulders. One who tried her best to balance being a kid and being a kid with a heart condition. As I often say to people, I forgot I never mentioned my heart to you, I just assumed you knew, it seems to me as if it is woven into the fiber of who I am. I am thankful for it at times, has made me strong in the face of challenges, compassionate to those who need it, creative in ways I am truly excited by every time I start a project. It would be impossible for me to picture my life without picturing everything that comes along with my "crazy heart."