Posts Tagged ‘Denver’

Cheer Up!

October 7, 2010

It’s been a rough week for those of us with a Congenital Heart Defect, and things have been pretty gloomy here at Funky Heart Central. But a few days ago a friend took a photo and added some text. After it was printed, she and her husband signed it, slipped it into an envelope, and mailed it to me. It arrived today and things are beginning to look brighter! (Click Photo to Enlarge!)

Thank you, Amanda and Jim!!


Denver Congenital Heart Walk 2010


Your Presence is Requested

June 12, 2009

I have to admit that I’ve been sort of busy – I was recently able to interview the Heart Warrior who organized and led our effort to run the Bolder Boulder. She’s got a lot to say about being active with a CHD, taking care of yourself, raising a child with a heart defect, and about the race itself.  It’s taken a little time to prepare the interview, but now it is ready. The interview will run on JUNE 16, 2009.

Heart Parents, Cardiac Kids, and other Heart Warriors need to read this interview.

On the Trail

May 19, 2009

The starting lineup for the 2009 Bolder Boulder is set – nine adults who have had  sixteen major heart operations will be participating. We’ve got nothing to prove: I jokingly say that when I wake up in the morning, I stretch my feet forward and look at my toes. If there is no toe tag… I’m still winning!

I’ve talked a lot about the race, but I’m having a hard time putting into words exactly what this means to me. Certainly it’s going to be a lot of fun – I met a some of the Denver area Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) members while I was in Philadelphia and in Washington, DC; they are good people. And we all have a common story, we’ve all Walked the Difficult Path. When I talk about my heart with these people, they automatically understand. If the air is thinner than I’m ready to deal with and I need to take a break, I don’t have to feel guilty about begging off for a little while. I won’t feel left out, because every one of us has Been There and Done That at one time or another.

I’ve run into several “technical difficulties” getting organized for the trip. My Cardiologist prescribed a little extra Oxygen for me while I was out there, and for a while I thought I was going to have to ship a 60 pound Oxygen Concentrator cross country! The local group was right there with offers to handle things on that end. (I’ve been able to arrange to have it delivered to the hotel, so no hearts or backs were damaged in the making of this trip!) A few weeks ago when my hernia was really giving me a fit, I emailed the local ACHA organizer that I might not be able to come after all. Almost immediately I was told that if I could get there, I’d be loaned a wheelchair and an assistant to push me around. That’s going above and beyond! Thankfully the hernia is quiet and if all goes well, I’ll be able to be on my own two feet. But the offer was greatly appreciated, and as far as I know it still stands. I’m sure I’ve been a pain in the rear end trying to work out the details, but the Denver crew has been patient, and I am so thankful for them.

Like the team that is actually on the course, I’m fortunate enough to be in pretty good health. Other adults with heart defects are not. Heart Moms and Heart Dads look at their Cardiac Kids and wonder what the future will bring. A lot of things have changed since I had my surgeries, I’m hopeful that they will have an easier journey than my parents did. And perhaps one day, with more knowledge and funding, no one will have to walk this path at all.

And that is why we’ll be out there. Because every heart deserves to live a lifetime.

Until we speak again;

The Bolder Boulder Soundtrack!

May 17, 2009

The soundtrack can make or break a film – after all, what do you think of whenever someone mentions the old TV show Dragnet? Almost everyone thinks of that four note opening theme: DUM DA DUM DUM! Everyone knows the Star Wars theme – and even though you may not know the title, you’re probably familiar with the Imperial March, the heavy bass tune that is played whenever the Empire is on the move. That song lets you know that the bad guys are again up to no good, and that Darth Vader is certain to be involved!

The Bolder Boulder also has a soundtrack! This is really pretty cool – all along the six mile course, local entertainers will be performing, keeping both the crowd and the participants pumped up. Crowd support can keep a runner motivated – during the 1996 Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Columbia, South Carolina, part of the course passed through Fort Jackson. Many of the runners said that the sight of hundreds of US Army trainees cheering for them really helped them keep going!

The Bolder Boulder soundtrack is available – FREE! Just click this link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can order a CD containing music from most of the entertainers for the outstanding price of $0.00! (I don’t know if there is a shipping and handling charge, but the CD itself is free!) Plug it into your CD player as you work out and see if you don’t work a little harder!

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) participants are going to be enjoying the music too, but if you really want to get us fired up, stand up and show you’re with us. If you see an ACHA participant go by during the race, shout long and loud! Send us an e-mail at asking how you can get involved. Consider making a donation to the ACHA (We’re a nationally recognized nonprofit organization!). Give us a yell if you see an ACHA member in downtown Boulder. Or, join the ACHA. Like the Bolder Boulder soundtrack, ACHA membership is free!

’till next time;

We’re moving on up!

May 5, 2009

Here’s an interesting research topic: A team of climbers and scientists climbed Mount Everest, and on the way up (and back down) they took Arterial Blood Gas readings from each other. As you may know, Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is 29,029 feet above sea level. That’s about five and a half miles up!

As they climbed and the air became thinner, the Partial Pressure of Oxygen readings in the sample dropped. However, the amount of Hemoglobin in the blood increased – our bodies can compensate to take care of itself! The readings showed that the extra hemoglobin was able to keep the body thinking that it was functioning at lower altitudes until the climbers reached 23,300 feet. After than, the air was too thin for the extra Hemoglobin to help.

When the group from Denver came to Philadelphia for the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) convention last year, they found out that this theory was true. Living in a city more than one mile above sea level had caused them to develop extra Hemoglobin molecules in their blood – not much, and certainly not outside of the acceptable ranges – but it was there. And when a couple of them decided to work out, they nearly ran the wheels off of the Fitness Center’s treadmills! The thicker air and that extra hemoglobin combined to give them an energy boost.

When I go to Boulder – which is a little higher than Denver – I fear that it is going to work in reverse for me. My blood oxygen is already at 80%, at rest, moving up in altitude will cause it to drop. That is one of the main reasons I’m not participating in the Bolder Boulder: I’m not used to the altitude, and I won’t have a chance to become acclimated enough to participate.

So I’m working hard now, walking every day and doing stair climbing exercises, and I’m going to take it easy in Colorado  – use my PulseOx a little more often than usual, chill out, and don’t get a burr under my saddle and decide I’m gonna whip that six mile course anyway. I have supplemental oxygen in the hotel room, just in case.

And my friends are all Funky Hearts too, so if I start falling apart at the seams, they’ll recognize the signs and come to my rescue!