Heart to Heart with Anna

A Scar Behind the Scrubs

February 11, 2020 Anna Jaworski Season 15 Episode 6
Heart to Heart with Anna
A Scar Behind the Scrubs
Chapters
Heart to Heart with Anna
A Scar Behind the Scrubs
Feb 11, 2020 Season 15 Episode 6
Anna Jaworski

Nauman Shahid is currently a 33-year-old male who knows that the right things came together for his survival. Nauman’s parents were told that tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) had no cure in Pakistan in 1987 and that any chance of survival would be in either the USA, India or Australia. He came to the USA for treatment and repair of his TOF. Growing up he has had to face his share of challenges, multiple surgeries. But all this created a burning desire for him to pursue a degree in medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a Masters in Public Health (Health Policy) and is currently a first-year medical student. In 2017 he had his second open-heart surgery to replace his pulmonary valve which was followed by multiple complications while in medical school. He uses his story as a means to uplift others and give hope as he feels it is his duty to inspire and lead by example. He believes he has found a new home in the congenital heart defect community thanks to his experience.

In this episode, we'll learn more about Nauman, why he decided to study medicine, how his knowledge has helped him deal with unexpected situations, and what he hopes for his future.

Here are links to other shows mentioned in this program:

CHDs Around The Globe: Children Of The World

My Heart Brother & Best Friend

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If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page

Show Notes Transcript

Nauman Shahid is currently a 33-year-old male who knows that the right things came together for his survival. Nauman’s parents were told that tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) had no cure in Pakistan in 1987 and that any chance of survival would be in either the USA, India or Australia. He came to the USA for treatment and repair of his TOF. Growing up he has had to face his share of challenges, multiple surgeries. But all this created a burning desire for him to pursue a degree in medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a Masters in Public Health (Health Policy) and is currently a first-year medical student. In 2017 he had his second open-heart surgery to replace his pulmonary valve which was followed by multiple complications while in medical school. He uses his story as a means to uplift others and give hope as he feels it is his duty to inspire and lead by example. He believes he has found a new home in the congenital heart defect community thanks to his experience.

In this episode, we'll learn more about Nauman, why he decided to study medicine, how his knowledge has helped him deal with unexpected situations, and what he hopes for his future.

Here are links to other shows mentioned in this program:

CHDs Around The Globe: Children Of The World

My Heart Brother & Best Friend

Please take a moment to follow us on your preferred social media platforms:

Apple Podcasts

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/HearttoHeart)

Nauman Shahid:

My mother would ask questions that were technically very challenging at times, so translating that technical knowledge to my mother allowed me to be the bridge between medical science and to a layman.

Opening Music:

Hajime's Funk from Home. Tonight. Forever. by the Baby Blue Sound Collective.

Anna Jaworski:

Welcome to the Heart to Heart with Anna. I am Anna Jaworski and the host of your program. Today's show is "A Scar Behind the Scrubs" and our guest is Nauman Shahid. Nauman Shahid is currently a 33-year-old male who knows that the right things came together for his survival. Nauman's parents were told that tetralogy of Fallot (or TOF) had no cure in Pakistan in 1987 and that any chance of survival would be either in the United States, India or Australia. He came to the United States for treatment and repair of his TOF. Growing up, he has had to face his share of challenges including multiple surgeries, but all this created a burning desire for him to pursue a degree in medicine. He earned a Bachelor's of science in Biology and Master's in Public Health and Health Policy and is currently a first-year medical student. In 2017 he had his second open-heart surgery to replace his pulmonary valve, which was followed by multiple complications all while in medical school. He uses his story as a means to uplift others and give hope as he feels it is his duty to inspire and lead by example. He believes he has found a new home in the congenital heart defect community thanks to his experiences. Welcome back to Heart to Heart with Anna Nauman, my longtime Listeners may remember you or your brother Usman from Season 7 and 11 of Heart to Heart with Anna.

Nauman Shahid:

Thanks for having me, Anna. I'm really glad to be here.

Anna Jaworski:

Well, it's been a while since you've been on the program, so I'm going to ask a couple of questions that maybe my longtime Listeners will be a little bit familiar with, but then we're going to delve deeper. Is that okay, Nauman? Okay, so let's start with some of your earliest memories of moving to the United States and having your first surgery.

Nauman Shahid:

Well, Anna, my journey to come to the USA started off actually in Pakistan. As you know, it was around Eid time, which was a Muslim festival and four medical students in Lahore, Pakistan. They came to my mother and told her of my cyanotic presentation and they said that "your son is very acute, if you can please show him to the physician soon." My mother naturally got offended at the time, but her motherly instincts kicked in that evening. And lo and behold, later that week they got me to a doctor and the doctor said, "Yeah, he seems to have some cyanotic presentation and he needs to be seen by a cardiologist." Long story short, they took me to a cardiologist. They said, "Yeah, he has a congenital heart defect -- tetralogy of Fallot -- and you need to take him to Karachi Aga Khan, which was at the time the best institution - Aga Khan University - and even despite their brilliance at the time, they were not able to offer therapy. So in some ways my family had sort of accepted my fate. My extended family had accepted my fate that Nauman would not remain. This is not to say it in any negative way, it was just the time period. The technical knowhow wasn't there in Pakistan at the time,

Anna Jaworski:

Right! In the '80s we just didn't know that much and sadly, people knew that sometimes children died.

Nauman Shahid:

Yeah, exactly. So my father though he worked in a bank at the time in Lahore and an American client came to him and saw my picture at his desk and said, "Your son is... How old is he? And he looks very cute." Naturally my father started to cry because of what was to come and it turns out this guy told my father that, "I can help you. I want to meet you tonight." He was the Vice President of Lion's Club for Asian sector and he basically told my father that there's a program called... that does medical missions... Children of the World program that's run by Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey. And they sponsor kids on a case-by-case basis. "You should apply for it. And if the stars line up correctly, you should be able to take your son to America for treatment or wherever you desire."

Nauman Shahid:

So the world was sort of open at that point. So I applied and I got accepted to that program, to a hospital of my choosing. So we went back to Aga Khan and the doctor in Aga Khan said,, "Without a doubt, regardless of if you have options to go to Australia, India or USA or UK, you need to go to the USA. They're the only ones who, right now, know how to do this correctly." So my parents sold what they had and with a lot of hope they brought me to America. Through the Lions Club, through Deborah's efforts and that's where I got my first repair done in Browns Mills, New Jersey. Dr. Lynn McGrath was a surgeon Dr. Chayya Bali, she was my cardiologist. So that was sort of how it started for me to come to the USA and what made us stay here was that my sister was born shortly after. In 1987 she was born with Down Syndrome. So considering all the factors, immigration services looked at her case and said, "You know what? America is open to you. You are welcome to stay here based on your situation."

Anna Jaworski:

Which is just miraculous to me that you were offered that and if I'm not mistaken from our previous shows together, your dad worked for a bank and they were able to get him a position in the United States, isn't that right?

Nauman Shahid:

That is correct. So he worked for Chase Bank at the time in Pakistan and then considering all the medical situation, they were able to transfer him to Flushing Queens, New York where he worked. It was quite a journey. He had to work some odd jobs in between to make ends meet initially, but it worked out in the end. So it was everything coming together for the right reasons.

Anna Jaworski:

And so your parents had Usman, who is your older brother, right?

Nauman Shahid:

That is correct. He is my older brother and during this entire episode in '87-'88 he was in Pakistan with my aunt and uncle. So he was not here in the US at the time. But it was only after, that we decided to stay in the US, that he came here.

Anna Jaworski:

So that was a really rough time period for you. Of course you were an infant so you don't really remember it. And then your sister was born shortly after you came to the US so you were still very, very young. But I bet it was hard on your brother because he was probably what, a preschooler?

Nauman Shahid:

Yeah, he was about three or four years old and you know, it was very hard for him in a sense that Mother wasn't there and then hard for my mother, too. So it was a very difficult time. I, of course, only know about this because I was restored. It was published many times in the local New York papers. So I go back. And I have a file that actually I go back time-to-time to look at it. It's 2020 now. Nothing, nothing. Nothing compares to the difficulties.

Anna Jaworski:

Right! Oh, I'm sure it gives you a greater appreciation for what your parents went through considering they were probably about the age that you are now when they were having to make all these difficult decisions.

Nauman Shahid:

Absolutely, and it was much more difficult for my mother because at the time she was not very fluent in English. And in times of difficulty, I'm a person of faith and I say all the time that God will never give you something you can't handle. And He gave us an angel at the time in the form of my cardiologist, Dr. Chayya Bali, because she's from India and my mother's from Pakistan and they spoke a common language.

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, that is a blessing.

Nauman Shahid:

Yeah. Was it was a blessing in disguise and right away Dr. Bali told my mother that, "I am like your sister. We will take care of Nauman." And I'm so fortunate that we've connected back. We're in constant touch. She's essentially a Facebook friend and she's an angel. I absolutely love her.

Anna Jaworski:

Was she a big influence on you deciding to become a doctor?

Nauman Shahid:

There are many influences, but yes, you're absolutely right. That is one influence right there because this goes back to our current situation. We see all these negative things on the news and it just baffles my mind that so many things came together for the right reasons. Some of my nurses were Jewish, my cardiologist was Hindu, my surgeon was Catholic. And here you have... You're helping a Muslim baby from a third-world country and it just gives you an appreciation that, when we come together for the right reasons, we can do amazing things. So that sort of gold standard of medicine, that's influenced me that - you know what? This is a type of medicine I want to practice to help people in a tangible way. So yes, you're absolutely right.

Anna Jaworski:

And so cardiology is definitely the field that you feel drawn to.

Nauman Shahid:

It's fair to say that I think cardiology sort of chose me. It's a fair assessment. I was an undergrad, I was an EMT. So for the longest time I was interested in going into emergency medicine. But after my surgery in 2017 I really began to appreciate cardiology. I frankly enjoy it. I love the physiology behind it. So definitely cardiology, definitely congenital aspect of it, whether it's interventional or whatnot, that's still up in the air, but it would take a lot for me to just say otherwise that okay, not cardiology, something else. So it's safe to say yes, absolutely right.

Anna Jaworski:

So Nauman, why did you choose to become an osteopathic doctor? And for our listeners who don't know what that means, can you explain what an osteopathic doctor is?

Nauman Shahid:

So Anna, before I answered this question, I just want to really out that you know, I'm only a student not a physician when it comes to osteopathic medicine. So this is just my perspective on it as my own personal life sort of deals with it. Choosing osteopathic medicine was a very personal decision for me. And it goes back to the actual definition. Osteopathic medicine runs on four different tenants. Number one: it's basically that we see the human body as a functional unit and it consists of the mind, body, and spirit, and being interconnected. We also believe that the form and function are interdependent, meaning everything's related. You know, if something happens on one side of the body, you'll see the effects of it on another area. And then we also believe that the human body has its own innate ability to heal itself when given the right conditions.

Nauman Shahid:

So, and the number four is the paramount idea that osteopathic treatment is based on these tenants. I mentioned about the idea of spirit and spirituality is very, very personal to me. When my sister was passing away in 2013 I may have mentioned in the previous program, she passed away due to a Mercer infection and got pneumonia and went into respiratory failure. We had decisions to make and it was a time period where I really had to delve deep in my spirituality in that if my sister was alive, what would she want? Now, she's not alive at the moment, in the sense that she's not able to make her likely decisions and be autonomous, how would she answered this for herself? So that spirituality really answered it for me in a sense that I need to keep her spirit alive by making decisions for her. So osteopathic medicine, that was the only fitting path for me based on my sister's experiencing how she passed away.

Nauman Shahid:

Three weeks we fought for her life with the doctors and when the doctors told my parents that we need to start thinking of other options in terms of hospice care, I asked the doctor, "How is she going to react in terms of her medical care?" When the doctor says she might go into arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, she's going to renal failure. She's on life support. At that point I said, "She's already gone. She's talking to me in the sense that she wants to go. It's just that we are keeping her here." So the whole mind, body spirit really spoke to me. It was almost either her spirit spoke to my spirit. "Let me go, Nauman. It's time for me to go."

H2HwMichael:

"Texas Heart Institute were offering us a mechanical heart and he said, "No, Dad, I've had enough. Give it to someone who's worthy."" "My father promised me a golden dress to twirl in. He held my hand and asked me where I wanted to go." "Whatever strife or conflict that we experienced in our long career together was always healed by humor." Heart to Heart with Michael... please join us every Thursday at noon Eastern as we talk with people from around the world who have experienced those most difficult moments.

Disclaimer:

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The opinions expressed in the podcast are not those of Hearts Unite the Globe, but of the Hosts and Guests and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to congenital heart disease or bereavement.

Rejoiner:

You are listening to Heart to Heart with Anna. If you have a question or comment that you would like addressed on our show, please send an email to Anna Jaworski at Anna@HearttoHeartwithAnna.com. That's Anna@HearttoHeartwithAnna.com. Now back to Heart to Heart with Anna.

Anna Jaworski:

Before the break we talked with Nauman about his childhood and his decision to study medicine. Now we're going to focus on what studying as an adult with a congenital heart defect has been like for him. So what has been the most challenging part of medical school considering your physical limitation with you having a heart defect?

Nauman Shahid:

I think the most difficult part for me was laying in bed with a central line and an IV after my surgery and then logging onto social media, looking at my friends, and then they were going for the program. And then of course I mean very well for them. I'm very happy for them. But then imagining that I was sitting there at that one point and I'm not right now. I think that was the most difficult part for me.

Anna Jaworski:

When you were separated from your classmates and they were able to continue, but you were in the recovery process, that was what was hard?

Nauman Shahid:

Correct. Because my recovery was a bit unorthodox in a sense that I had a lot of scar tissue because I went about 30 years between two open-heart surgeries and with scar tissue comes pain usually. So after my second open-heart surgery, it was very painful for me to even get up and my mom would sometimes have to hold the phone for me or they made a custom table for me where I would look through different social media and stuff and all that. And so that was a very difficult time period. I didn't believe this first, but one of my nurses on my case told me that you'll have emotional moments after surgery. And now that I know that when you open the heart up, when you mess with certain nerves, the vagus and the phrenic nerves, and they go back to the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, you have emotional moments. And it was very true for me. So it goes back to the idea of how the body's interrelated so it only confirms my decision of osteopathic medicine,

Anna Jaworski:

Right? Yeah, yeah. I can see that. Where between what experienced with your sister and now what you've experienced yourself, you feel like that solidifies your decision to work in a field where you're accepting and maybe even celebrating that working with the human being is a mind-body-spirit connection.

Nauman Shahid:

Absolutely. Exactly. That's what it is.

Anna Jaworski:

Well, I know you became really ill during one of your semesters. Even aside from your open-heart surgery, what do Heart Warriors need to know about advocating for themselves when their congenital heart defect interferes with their life goals?

Nauman Shahid:

And this is a very new area in the CHD world because we have kids who were not expected to live into full adulthood. They are now. And which is a very good thing. And so with adulthood comes your normal life in a sense that you have work obligations, you have school obligations. So to answer your questions there are resources available. You just need to know where to look. So whether it's work, whether it's school -resources are available in the sense that you can go talk to your administration, see what plan you can come up with. And this is where I have to mention, I'm very fortunate that my school was very supportive every step of the way throughout my career in medical school. And part of the reason is because I myself was very transparent. Anytime I would have some sort of hiccup or anything, I would straight away go to administration and ask for their assistance and we would come up with a plan and boom, it would be done.

Nauman Shahid:

But it's also important to talk to your doctors as well. I think that sort of idea gets negated that we're so driven into the idea that, 'Oh, I had my surgery, I repaired, I'm great now.' And while that's good to celebrate, you need to also be transparent with your medical team, making sure you're not doing too much too soon because A) it can cause you to take 20 steps back. So if you talk to your administration, your human resources, then okay, you know what? I had surgery. This is my plan of coming back. Take that plan and go through your physician's team. Tell them about what you'll be doing so they can have an eye on it, too. It's not just one facet of your daily life. Your medical team needs to be equally involved in this decision-making process when you transitioned back to work or school. It's a balancing act in the sense that you need to have all the key players talking to each other, making sure that your plan of action is suitable to your health.

music:

From Home. Tonight. Forever. by the Baby Blue Sound Collective.

Home2night4ever:

Home. Tonight. Forever by the Baby Blue Sound Collective, I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patients. Many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired by. Our new album will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com, Spotify. I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with congenital heart defects. Enjoy the music. Home. Tonight. Forever.

music:

From Home. Tonight. Forever. by the Baby Blue Sound Collective.

HUG Store:

Hi, my name is Jamie Alcroft and I just published my new book, The Tin Man Diaries. It's an amazing story of my sudden change of heart as I went through a heart and liver transplant. I can think of no better way to read The Tin Man Diaries than to cuddle up in your favorite Hearts, Unite the Globe sweatshirt and your favorite hot beverage of course in your Hearts Unite the Globe mug, both of which are available at the HUG Podcast Network online store or visit heartsunitetheglobe.org.

HUG Message:

Heart to Heart with Anna is a presentation of Hearts Unite the Globe and is part of the HUG Podcast Network. Hearts Unite the Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources to the congenital heart defect community to uplift, empower, and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resources pertaining to the CHD community, please visit our website at wwwcongenitalheartdefects.com for information about CHD, the hospitals that treat children with CHD, summer camps for CHD survivors, and much, much more.

Anna Jaworski:

Before the break we were talking with Nauman about his decision to become a doctor and now I would like for us to focus on obstacles and opportunities that have come your way over the last year or so, Nauman. We know you had to have an open-heart surgery while you were in medical school. My son knew he needed open-heart surgery as a teenager. So he ended up taking a gap year and had his surgery during that year. But looking back, he told me he believes he should have taken even more time off before going back to school. The recovery time actually took a lot longer than he thought it would. What has your experience been like?

Nauman Shahid:

Well, Anna, to be honest, it's one of those things you answer after the fact. Of course you would see things differently. Um, you know, no one could predict the future in the sense that I would've had these issues after open-heart surgery, but could I have used more time before going back? Yeah, sure. I mean, I say it now, but I did all the correct things. My doctors did all the correct things. I went through cardiac rehab, I went through all the obstacles that needed to be done and I was good to go. But obviously going between open-heart surgeries, like I said before, there was a lot of scar tissue, so it caused a lot of pleuritis. All I'll say is that listen to your doctors obviously and remember this is a lifelong journey. Just because you had one open-heart surgery or two doesn't mean you're out of the woods in a sense that we're repaired with open-heart surgery, not healed all the way through in a sense that we will require lifelong care.

Anna Jaworski:

I think what was hard for my son in some ways, too, was that after he finished with the pleural effusions and he was able to get around more easily because he didn't have all those drainage tubes and everything, he felt really good. I mean he felt so much better! And so I think that's why he went back with gusto, but then he realized, 'Oh I probably went back a little sooner than I should' because he wasn't 100% even though he felt better than he had for years. Because his decline was so gradual, he didn't realize how much energy he lacked until he had a lot more.

Nauman Shahid:

Yup. And that's the thing. It's a lifelong journey. But that said, if I hadn't gone through those obstacles, I wouldn't be having these opportunities I'm having now. Just a few weeks ago, I was called into Cincinnati by a patient education media systems. We are doing a film that's going to be released in around May or June on Amazon Prime called "Listen to Your Heart," and I was interviewed for it. If I had been anywhere else in my life at the time right now, I probably wouldn't have gotten this opportunity or I wouldn't be called into getting a research fellowship to work with my surgeon, Dr. Morales at Cincinnati Children's Hospital for the summer.

Anna Jaworski:

That's so awesome! That really is amazing. So I think what I love about you, Nauman, is whenever I have talked with you, you try and turn obstacles on their head and turn them into opportunities. And being an optimist like that, I think is what has enabled you to do so many good things with your life.

Nauman Shahid:

Yeah. And you have to be, otherwise with the CHD journey, it's very easy to steer down the tunnel and realize that, 'Oh my life is not this way or that way.' I do have those moments, but then I wake up and say, "You know what? My life is great. I'm alive. My heart's beating. I'm in medical school. I'm living my dream and I'm very proud of that."

Anna Jaworski:

Yeah, I'm proud of you, too. And it's a big dream. This is not a small thing. What you're doing, becoming a doctor, is a big dream. So what advice do you have for other Heart Warriors who might also want to study medicine, but who will be afraid that maybe physically they won't be able to handle all the hours that are required for study and for practice working as a doctor.

Nauman Shahid:

So first things first as I answer this question. Obviously I say this over and over again. Talk with your doctors in terms of your lifelong care, what you are expected of in terms of how often do you need to have any interventions? For me, I never had those conversations because I was in some sense lost to care. I think I'm guilty of it in the sense that back in the '90s unfortunately the words "You're repaired now. You can go live a normal life." That word 'normal' is very dangerous for the CHD world because we tend to think that, 'okay, I can go do anything, everything without limitations' and while we do live very normal lives somewhere in that, it translates as to I don't have to see a doctor as often. So I think that's the key thing that I want to emphasize is that go pursue your dreams.

Nauman Shahid:

It's very good to see all these CHD Heart Warriors pursuing medicine. In fact, I think we're well-equipped to handle the patient demographic because we know things that no professor, no lecture or no book will ever teach us, but medical school is rigorous. It is demanding. And for that reason, every medical school, every program, has something called a health technical standard. It's a list of requirements that you're expected to do. Take that form and go to your physician and tell them that, 'Hey, I want to go to medical school. What do you think? Will I be able to do this or not?' Obviously my answer would be (the) more the merrier. We need more CHD Heart Warriors who practice medicine - that's my opinion. But whether it's medicine or not, it could be anything. Certain jobs have limitations. So it's very important again, to have those conversations, to be transparent with your health team, to tell them that, 'Hey, this is the career path I'm choosing. Would this be suitable for me?' It's a simple question.

Anna Jaworski:

Right. And it seems to me from your and my personal communication that when your doctors found out you wanted to pursue a profession of being a doctor yourself, they were very supportive of you.

Nauman Shahid:

They were; they were actually very proud of me. One, because it's an inside joke between my doctors that will only say "yes" if you do cardiology. Yeah, so it was an inside joke, but no, they were very supportive of me and I said, "I'm going to do my very best" and so far things have gone very good for me in every facet - professionally and medically. I actually enjoy it. I love talking about my journey. Obviously when something comes up with cardiology, my attention span goes from 100% to 120-30%. It's fun for me.

Anna Jaworski:

Right, right. Well, I know as if it wasn't difficult enough for year that you had your own open-heart surgery to deal with. Not to mention, I remember you getting colds every now and then, and other problems possibly interfering with your studies. Then your mom became ill! Can you tell us what it was like for you to be home with your mom when she became the patient and how your medical training helped or maybe didn't help you through that period in your life?

Nauman Shahid:

Yeah, so my mother got ill. She had a spike in her blood pressure. You know, 99% of the time. I'm very calm and collected. I had a scare when I took my mom to the ER and you're working up for her blood pressure and giving her history. My grandmother also died because of renal failure due to her blood pressure. I was worried, but I was also confident in the doctor's ability to take care of her. But the moment that got to me was when they took her away for a CT scan just to make sure to rule out a stroke. The ER, they rang the bell "Code Stroke room, you know, it was her room at the time" and that really, that got me very worked up and I mean in the sense that, I said, in my heart, I said, "Mom, not tonight. Not right now.

Nauman Shahid:

You got to see me cross the bridge becoming a doctor." I'm living for that moment. Not tonight. It was much more difficult because it happened to be the same ER, the same hospital where my sister died and later that evening they took her to the ICU. I remember it. She was in room 11 and my sister was in room 9 right across. So, but my sister's room was empty, so I sat across outside the lobby, my mom's room and stuff while we were taking care of her. And my sister's room was empty, my mom's room was there - so that was a very challenging time for me. I'm in a profession that this is, this is where I'll be doing. So I had to control my emotions and just hope for the best and she turned out fine. But to answer your question, I think that my medical training so far has enabled me to understand the language.

Nauman Shahid:

Obviously when the doctors are taking care of my mother at the time, I don't step on toes, I don't interfere. I don't ask questions because I trust their judgment - they're taking care of my mother. But I think one of the most important things I've learned from my mother's experiences that when a patient is ill, they want autonomy in their decision-making ability. So that was very important for me in learning that because my mother would ask questions that were technically very challenging at times. So translating that technical knowledge to my mother allowed me to be the bridge between medical science and to a layman. So I think that I'll be using that with my own patients one day in dissecting the information and at night when she would be asleep, I would request if I can get her EMR records just so I can study them and stuff. So it's fascinating to look at how to treat her. And when I look up, I see my mother's face and she's sleeping. It comforts me that she's okay. She's getting the treatment she needs. But obviously it's your mother; it's not easy, but one day it'll be patients and it'll be more different because patients come in when their homeostatic balance is not correct and they come to you and that's why I'm doing this.

Anna Jaworski:

I just love that. And I know that you made sure your mother had the best of everything while you were there.

Nauman Shahid:

Yes, I make sure because she thinks everything to me and like I said, I trusted doctors' judgements, you know, they did everything - ultrasound. Ruled out the bad things/stuff, renal artery stenosis, you know, just hearing that lingo and it gave me confidence that she's in a great care. She turned out fine. She's doing great now. I call her prescriptions and I take care of her if she needs something. I watch for sodium intake. I taught her how to use the app to monitor her health so these are all things I think that that need to be taught in modern medicine, that doctors can only do so much. A lot of it has to do with the patients.

Anna Jaworski:

Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for coming on the program today. Nauman, I always love talking with you.

Nauman Shahid:

Thank you Anna for having me and just to shout out to all Heart Warriors! Keep being the amazing people you are and pursuing medicine for you because in the next 15 minutes that child is going to be diagnosed with a CHD. All my efforts are for that child.

Anna Jaworski:

I love that. Well, that does conclude this episode of Heart to Heart with Anna. Thanks for listening today, my friends. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, please consider becoming a patron. Just go to www.patreon.com/hearttoheart and pledge a monthly amount to support our program. It only takes a few minutes to make a big difference. For the cost of a pizza, you can help us continue to provide great programming for the congenital heart defect community. Have a great day and remember my friends, you are not alone.

Conclusion:

Thank you again for joining us this week. We hope you have been inspired and empowered to become an advocate for the congenital heart defect community. Heart to Heart with Anna, with your Host, Anna Jaworski, can be heard every Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern Time.