Name: Adam Stevens
Age when diagnosed: 2 weeks (originally suspected ToF)
Condition: Transposition of the great arteries.
How has having a heart condition impacted on your mental health?
It’s given a schema of life that is both incredible powerful and also fragile. It has encouraged me both to follow my passions but also limit some activities which in some cases becomes paradoxical.
For example, I am always conscious of how far I am from a hospital but am willing to push myself to what is my extreme. As an example, a 12 hour flight or a skiing trip at high altitude or motorcycling around Europe.
Whilst these things have caused me anxiety the cost:benefit/risk:reward ratio has in most cases been that the anxiety is quoshed by my, to date 100% survival rate! J
There have certainly been difficult times where I am feel that sometimes life is unfair and why have I ended up with this condition but being very analytical in nature I reframe my health and consider myself incredibly fortunate. (I also have Aspergers’ so it’s quite the combination!)
My heart condition has made relationships difficult from time to time with a feeling in not being adequate but I have for the most part managed to quash that by focussing on the positives as much as possible.
I do feel that the anxiety of having a shortened life expectancy has given me the sense of urgency to action and take risks beyond which many would take eg start my own business and it is making positive change – https://www.tedxpeterborough.com/speakers/ as an example.
How has The Somerville Foundation helped?
Wow, massively in a positive way with a support network and an interface between myself as a service user of the health service and the charity but also through contribution to supporting the charity which provides a sense of purpose.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. More on https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheAdamStevens/about/
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