Adventures of a Funky Heart! isn’t really about Congenital Heart Defect Awareness.
I’ve said this before – if you are a regular reader of this blog, you are already very aware of Heart Defects… you probably live with one. So I believe that the Funky Heart blog is more about Congenital Heart Defect Education. You already know about heart defects, so what can you do to fight the one that has invaded your life? I’m trying to get you prepared for that fight, with stories of the battles I have fought, Cardiology news that may interest you, descriptions of surgical procedures, and even a little history of the doctors whose contributions saved our lives. I occasionally feature stories from some of the Heart Warriors and Cardiac Kids I have met – to inspire you and to remind you that you aren’t in this fight alone.
Awareness and Education may have different goals, but they are two sides of the same coin – equally important. Both work together to teach, and perhaps one day prevent. But for most of you, I am just words on your computer screen. There are times when you need a shoulder to lean on, a person to talk to, to understand, to sympathize. And that is where the third brother comes in – Support.
A good support group is so extremely important, I highly recommend that all Heart Families find one that suits them and join it. Your fellow support group members have literally Been There and Done That. They’ll be the people who can walk you through a diagnosis, slowly and gently, when all you know about the heart is that it is in the middle of the chest. They are the people who will be with you during the slow torture that exists in a surgical waiting room. They will be there to celebrate with you when surgery is over.
And they will mourn with you, if needed.
In the TV series The West Wing Leo tells Josh the story of the guy who fell in the hole. A good support group is like the friend who jumps in the hole with him. Here’s the story:
“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by – ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me! Can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before… and I know the way out.'”