Riding the Corkscrew (Cardiac Kids part 1)

Even though I’m writing this primarily for other adults with a Congenital Heart Defect, there seems to be quite a few Heart Moms who are reading this blog! I appreciate it very much, ladies! (And also hello and thank you to any Heart Dads who are reading!) You’ve sent me some very nice notes in the few days that this blog has been active; and I am so glad that I can help out. My e-mail is on the About the Author page, and you are more than welcome to leave a few words in the comments section at any time. Let everyone know what you are thinking; someone four states over may feel the same way!

And while I do try to mind my P’s and Q’s, I’m not immune to dumb mistakes. Keep me straight and correct me when I’m wrong!

Your Cardiac Kids don’t mean to make your life resemble an Indiana Jones movie; we just have an independent streak. All children make their parents’ heart leap to their throat at times, but it seems we’re really good at it. My personal opinion is that we get our fill of “you can’t” or “you shouldn’t” and we just naturally rebel for a few moments. And we’re not rebelling against you personally, but it probably seems that way. You are the main Rule Enforcer in our lives, the one who has to keep their head and think clearly when we get too excited to think. So while it seems we’re making it personal, we’re really not.

I was on vacation at the beach once — this was the mid 1970’s, I believe — and a couple who were friends of the family were staying with us. We were spending the day at the local amusement park. The male half of the couple talked me into trying the new rollercoaster that featured two barrel roll loops. (full loops that didn’t go over and under, but rather rolled you in a complete circle left to right.) He really didn’t have to talk me into it… he just casually mentioned that he’d like to try it, and I said I’d go with him. Ignoring my common sense and all the RIDERS WITH CARDIAC ISSUES SHOULD AVOID THIS RIDE signs, I threw caution to the wind and had the ride of my life.

Momma just happened to be walking down the fairway as the coaster buzzed over her head. Glancing up, she just happened to see me enjoying my forbidden adventure. I have the heart problem but she nearly had the coronary. I think I heard her yelling at me as the coaster zipped by.

My joy was short lived; as we exited the ride, I heard her calling all three of my names. When your mother calls your first and last name, there’s a problem. When she adds your middle name to the mix, do not even ask for forgiveness… none is available. Regardless of what you may think, you can be grounded while on vacation.

It’s a funny story now, but back then it really caused my mom some distress. And it wasn’t the best idea I have ever had — who knows what may have happened? The G-forces and rotational stress could have pulled loose some of the sewn together connections inside my heart. I went back to that amusement park on the last weekend that it was open; that rollercoaster is still there and to an adult, it looks pretty tame. Today’s rides generate three to four times as much speed, and perhaps more. (No, I didn’t ride it, mom was 200 miles away but her Mom Radar would have let her know that I was up to no good!)

So yes, Heart Moms, we do things without thinking, and we are going to keep you on your toes. It’s the way children have been for thousands of years. We’re just like “normal” kids!


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3 Responses to “Riding the Corkscrew (Cardiac Kids part 1)”

  1. Christina Davis Says:

    This “heart mom” loves your posts. I read them to my husband in the evening and he enjoys learning and laughing from your wisdom too.
    Thank you and keep sharing!!!

    momma to Jacob (d-TGA)

  2. Christina Davis Says:

    P.S. Is it OK if I add a link from our blog to yours?

  3. Erika Says:

    Hee hee. Add me to the list of heart moms reading! Our son is 2 1/2, HLHS, Fontanized (sounds so much cooler than “post-Fontan”). I LOVE getting in the head of someone who has lived with a CHD all his life! I often wonder what my son’s life will be like as he grows up with a CHD. You are SO RIGHT about that independent streak. All at once I’m so grateful for it AND terrified of what it’s going to bring as he gets older. 🙂

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