Young adulthood is an exciting time of independence and growth. It may also be the first time being on your own and taking care of yourself.
Independence comes with significant physical, social, behavioral, and psychological changes and managing your heart condition on your own can feel anything from normal to overwhelming at times. There are several things you can do to help during this transition:
You will be assuming responsibility for your own care as you become an independent adult.
We know from experience that sometimes your heart can develop problems with no outward symptoms, even 10 years after surgery. These complications can be treated more easily and with less long-term damage if they are recognized early.
Even if you have no symptoms, it is important to have regular check-ups to make sure nothing has changed, to have an opportunity to ask questions related to your heart health.
Congenital heart disease/defects (CHD) problems are different than most heart problems that adults have (heart attacks for example). Cardiologists at an Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) clinic have special training to take care of adults with CHD.
It is recommended to have a check-up at an ACHD clinic at least once a year.
The Adult Congenital Heart Association has a searchable directory you can use to find a clinic near you.
Living with CHD / Chronic Illness