Heart to Heart with Anna

Coronavirus and the CHD Community

April 07, 2020 Ann Koplow and Valerie Guerin Season 15 Episode 12
Heart to Heart with Anna
Coronavirus and the CHD Community
Chapters
Heart to Heart with Anna
Coronavirus and the CHD Community
Apr 07, 2020 Season 15 Episode 12
Ann Koplow and Valerie Guerin

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our world. We are experiencing social distancing, lockdowns, and fear such as we, in this generation, have never known before. In this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," two members of the congenital heart defect (CHD) community join Anna to discuss how the coronavirus has affected their lives.

We'll hear from returning Guest, Ann Koplow, a therapist who has experience working with this virus on a number of levels. She will share her struggles and her advice as an at-risk individual on two fronts -- due to her age and her heart condition. We'll also hear from Valerie Guerin, who is the mother of a teen who was born with a congenital heart defect and three years ago received a heart transplant. As the mother of three children and the wife of a now stay-at-home worker, Valerie has her own unique battles and advice.

If you enjoy hearing Ann Koplow's advice, you might also enjoy her blog, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Ann's previous appearance on "Heart to Heart with Anna" was Shameless Appeals for Applause: With a 66-Year-Old ccTGA Heart Warrior.

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

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Show Notes Transcript

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our world. We are experiencing social distancing, lockdowns, and fear such as we, in this generation, have never known before. In this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," two members of the congenital heart defect (CHD) community join Anna to discuss how the coronavirus has affected their lives.

We'll hear from returning Guest, Ann Koplow, a therapist who has experience working with this virus on a number of levels. She will share her struggles and her advice as an at-risk individual on two fronts -- due to her age and her heart condition. We'll also hear from Valerie Guerin, who is the mother of a teen who was born with a congenital heart defect and three years ago received a heart transplant. As the mother of three children and the wife of a now stay-at-home worker, Valerie has her own unique battles and advice.

If you enjoy hearing Ann Koplow's advice, you might also enjoy her blog, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Ann's previous appearance on "Heart to Heart with Anna" was Shameless Appeals for Applause: With a 66-Year-Old ccTGA Heart Warrior.

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

Apple Podcasts

Facebook 

YouTube

Instagram  (h

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)

Ann Koplow:   0:00
You are not alone and we're all in this together.

Anna Jaworski:   0:09
Welcome to "Heart to Heart with Anna.' I am Anna Jaworski and the host of your program. I'm happy you're here with us today. Today we're taking a look at, something that is constantly in the news in which most of us air directly impacted by since most of us are on lockdown, I'm talking about the Coronavirus. We'll be seeing how it directly impacted a member of the CHD community and her family. And we'll talk with the mother of a teenager who has had a heart transplant. Let me introduce my guest on today's program. Ann Koplow was born in 1953. Her first surgery occurred at age 10 in 1963 on November 22nd. She was at Children's Hospital in Boston for observation, they were treating her complete heart block with medication. Ann has a rare congenital heart defect known as Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries or Levo-Transposition of the Great Arteries. And many of you know that as CCTGA or LTGA. Currently, Ann is a group therapist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center doing virtual or remote groups during the Coronavirus pandemic in Boston. Ann is also the president of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy. My loyal listeners may remember Ann from Season 14 when she was on a program entitled "Shameless Appeals for Applause with a 66 year old CCTGA heart warrior," and we also have Valerie Guerin on our program. Valerie is the mother to three children. Two of Valerie's children are heart-healthy, but like me, she is a heart mom. Her daughter, Cora, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Cora received a heart transplant three years ago. Valerie is a recreational aid in River Bend Senior Center and a substitute for Region 15. She's also a Girl Scout troop leader for both of her daughter's groups. We'll start today's episode by interviewing Ann, and in segment two will talk to Valerie. In the final segment, we'll be in the studio together to discuss what living in the age of Coronavirus means to the CHD community. Welcome back to heart, to heart with Anna, Ann.

Ann Koplow:   2:14
Hi Anna, I'm glad to be back and my previous appearance we called it "Shameless Appeals for Applause," and I'm going to be appealing for applause too as you'll see in my story.

Anna Jaworski:   2:29
That's what I love about you, Ann. You are not afraid of applause.

Ann Koplow:   2:34
That's right.

Anna Jaworski:   2:34
I am glad to see that, and we need some applause right now. I think we need everything and anything positive we can possibly get our hands on, don't you?

Ann Koplow:   2:42
I agree. Yes.

Anna Jaworski:   2:44
Let's get started. I wanted to start with you because you're doctors actually believe that you had the Coronavirus. Can you talk to us about what your symptoms were and what happened?

Ann Koplow:   2:55
Yes, and this is how I'm going to make myself the hero of my own story. The first week of March, Anna, I was at a giant group therapy conference in New York City, and that was before everything changed and we were aware of the Coronavirus and we were told to do things like wash her hands, not shake hands, and be careful, and I was very careful. I didn't touch any surfaces. But in retrospect, I just realized that Coronavirus was right there with us the entire time. I was there with over 1000 people from all over...  

Anna Jaworski:   3:34
Oh, wow!  

Ann Koplow:   3:35
...from all over the world We were in rooms together very close to each other. It was a dance. So I came home on March 7th and my roommate at the conference had symptoms of a cold, and I was like, "uh oh." And then Monday, when I was supposed to go into work, I noticed that I was running a slight fever, and I never run fevers. And as a matter of fact, whenever I run a fever, I get tested for endocarditis because I've had it a few times.  

Anna Jaworski:   4:11
Ohhh. Yeah.  

Ann Koplow:   4:12
Yeah. So I immediately called my manager. I called my doctors. I explained what was going on, and I called employee health and amazingly, employee health said, "Nope, that's not really a fever. We're clearing you to come back into work." And I thought, 'That's ridiculous,' considering where I just came from. So my doctor said, If you run any fevers over 100.3, come into the hospital, and this is Tufts Medical Center, and we will test you for the Coronavirus. So sure enough, 5:30 that evening I ran a fever. I came into Tufts, they isolated me. They tested me for everything, including endocarditis, and the flu. They took swabs to test me for the Coronavirus. But unfortunately, the Department of Public Health said, "Nope. We don't have any test kits." So, ...  

Anna Jaworski:   5:13
Oh, no!

Ann Koplow:   5:15
Oh, yes. That's the way it was. So they kept me overnight because they were a little concerned about my oxygen levels and it was very terrifying because all the people that came in were totally suited. But then they decided, 'Oh, you probably don't have it,' and they let me go home. But, my husband and I decided and were advised to self-quarantine. In the meantime, I was getting reports from people who had been to this conference, and my roommate got tested and she was positive.  

Anna Jaworski:   5:51
Oh, no.  

Ann Koplow:   5:52
And there were so many people who were at that conference that were testing positive that there were actually articles about that conference in The New York Times and The Washington Post.  

Anna Jaworski:   6:03
Wow.  

Ann Koplow:   6:04
So we pretty much knew that I had it.  

Anna Jaworski:   6:07
Right,

Ann Koplow:   6:08
I ran fevers. Some of them were quite high for a week. And then everyone was nervous because the second week is supposed to be when the lung issues kick in.  

Anna Jaworski:   6:18
Right.

Ann Koplow:   6:18
And because I'm in both risk categories, I'm now 67 and I also have CCTGA, everybody was very nervous. However, I never had any shortness of breath and any lung problems at all. I had a dry cough, but it resolved. And after two weeks of symptoms, I was fine.

Anna Jaworski:   6:42
Wow, I can imagine that everyone in your family was terrified for you. Especially your husband.

Ann Koplow:   6:49
Yes. We didn't really do what you're supposed to do when I first came home because we had no idea. So we've been assuming that he had it also. He is one of the 25% of people who have no symptoms at all.  

Anna Jaworski:   7:07
Oh, my goodness. Okay, so that's good. So you were running fever. You had the dry cough. Your husband was right there with you in the same house, experiencing no symptoms whatsoever.

Ann Koplow:   7:18
That's right.

Anna Jaworski:   7:20
Well, that's a blessing.  

Anna Jaworski:   7:21
It is. I think we would feel a lot better if we could take the test, which I think is coming where they test for the antibodies. Because, the reality is, if we test positive for the antibodies, we are immune

Anna Jaworski:   7:37
Right, right. Now, do we know if you're immune If that also prevents you from being a spreader?

Ann Koplow:   7:46
Immunity is one thing. You're not a spreader if you are okay

Anna Jaworski:   7:52
if you don't actively have the virus, Right?

Ann Koplow:   7:55
Right. Okay. So my primary care physician told me that we were free to leave the house after, it was something like two weeks without symptoms, no cough, no fevers for many days. And because, here's another shameless appeal for applause, I don't want to infect anyone I waited several days longer before I went out. And I am continuing to wear masks because I don't want to infect anyone.

Heart to Heart with Michael Promo:   8:27
"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:   8:56
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.

Questions and Comments:   9:17
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 [email protected] That's [email protected] Now back to Heart to Heart with Anna.

Anna Jaworski:   9:36
Before the break, we were talking with Ann Koplow about her experience with the Coronavirus. Now we're going to talk with Valerie Guerin. Valerie, you live in Connecticut, which is very close to New York City, where the Coronavirus seems to have simply overtaken the entire city, and your daughter Cora, has had a heart transplant. Many people feel she is at an even greater risk of contracting the virus and having problems than others. However, you and I were talking before the show, and there might actually be some science that might contradict those beliefs. So can you tell me what you learned when you talked to Cora's nurse?

Valerie Guerin :   10:13
It's interesting because normally when I talk to Cora's medical staff, I type everything out because I know that I'm distracted and there's things that won't remember. I might need to go back and repeat something. I was so busy monitoring the kids with their homeschooling that I didn't take it in as well as I'd like. I did admit that at the time I said, 'basically, my takeaway was Cora's in a unique position because they're not finding many concerns with transplant kids,'

Anna Jaworski:   10:38
right.

Valerie Guerin :   10:39
There's a paradox about how her medication just might be helping her because her immunity her, uh, immune...

Anna Jaworski:   10:48
suppression

Valerie Guerin :   10:48
 That's the word. Yeah,

Anna Jaworski:   10:50
Yeah, yeah! That's exactly what I heard. In fact, that's so interesting! A friend of mine had a cousin who was on the cruise. Remember this last month? Or maybe it was even two months ago. There was that cruise ship that had to dock and they were taking people off with the Coronavirus. Well, my friend's cousin was one of them, and she and her husband were on the cruise together. The husband is a liver transplant survivor and the wife is the one who had the symptoms. She had the fever, she was hospitalized. Both of them tested positive for Coronavirus, but even though the gentleman was a transplant survivor, he didn't have any symptoms. He's like Ann's husband, one of the 25% that was symptom-free.  

Valerie Guerin :   11:33
  Right!

Anna Jaworski:   11:33
And they said that they felt that the Coronavirus is strange with the way that it works in the human body, and it forces our own immune system to kind of attack itself - or it was some kind of explanation like that. And so since he was immune suppressed, his body was not attacking itself, it was not having the same kind of problems. So he was told that actually being immune suppressed was an advantage to him with this virus. Who would ever guess that? Right, Valerie?

Valerie Guerin :   12:06
it was our dinner conversation that night because they asked my son, "Do you see much difference?" because we've always been careful before. His comment was "no, I use the L more because I'm worried about hygiene." But now we're able to say, "okay Cor, now you have to be careful because you don't make your siblings sick."

Anna Jaworski:   12:20
Right! Exactly! Right, right. So, just because they're not showing symptoms doesn't mean that they don't have it, doesn't mean that they couldn't pass it on to somebody, so that's pretty darn scary. But who would expect that somebody who's on immunosuppressant drugs might actually be at an advantage in this horrible Coronavirus environment?

Valerie Guerin :   12:41
It was good news when she told me that because I know that Cora was particularly worried,

spk_2:   12:46
of course. But even before the quarantine, she was worried?

Valerie Guerin :   12:50
She was worried, and she's still processing transplant. She's a freshman in high school. she's not the heart kid anymore, which is great for her because now she gets to bring out other parts of her personality. But she still feels alone with that. Who do you talk to in school? I was debating on whether I should take her out, and I would have gone further into that, but she emailed her nurse practitioner and said, "should I wear a mask?" so she's responsible enough, but you know, she's got worries like the rest of us. And there's times I'm wondering, 'how worried are they?' because they're used to chaos. But she was. That manifested itself in some good teenage angst and arguments.

Anna Jaworski:   13:26
But I think It's interesting what you're saying the transplant still relatively new to her, and what people who don't deal with transplant may not know is that this is your normal.  

Valerie Guerin :   13:38
  Mmm-hmm

Anna Jaworski:   13:38
Having to be really worried about germs, having to be really worried about not getting contaminated because their immune system is reduced. So you guys live in a heightened awareness of germs,...  

Valerie Guerin :   13:52
Right.  

Anna Jaworski:   13:52
...and cleanliness compared to people who aren't dealing with transplant, wouldn't you say?

Valerie Guerin :   13:57
It's interesting because I think I actually read at one point there was a heart mom on Facebook, I haven't been in the heart community as much since transplant because I am still trying to open mail and figure out who I am. But this one struck me and she was saying her son was turning seven and he was concerned about heart warrior friends. A lot of families started putting pictures up with their kids, and it made me think I put Cora up with the dog and she's very happy and I said, "Happy birthday to your son, and we're gonna come out to a much cleaner world because people will learn how to wash their hands."

Anna Jaworski:   14:26
  (laughter)

Valerie Guerin :   14:26
That's my hope. You know? It's all the things that we remind everybody else to do now - horribly wouldn't wish that kind of fear on anybody - but now that we're here, these are some of the skills we will take out of it. More emapthy.  

Anna Jaworski:   14:37
Well, and does it make you feel almost validated for the things that you've been asking people to do ever since Cora had her heart transplant.

Valerie Guerin :   14:48
What's really interesting is it was harder when she was a baby because I didn't have the ability to articulate, and that was frustrating. But post-transplant, I think I've become a lot more relaxed, and I think that may come from the fact that she's been through so much, and I don't think we have a room in our lives for another big panic. Like, I kind of feel like, you know, I just can't get that worried now because everyone's got their own amount on their plate and I feel like we'll get past this like we got past the last thing and will be as cautious as we were before.

Anna Jaworski:   15:22
Yeah, now Cora could be her own advocate, and you see that she's taking charge of her health and she's being very responsible. That probably allows you to relax a little bit

Valerie Guerin :   15:32
for the first time in January, my husband took her down to her follow up because this is our new normal that now he can take time off, we don't have to go down all the time and it was the first time I didn't go with her. And it was her annual biopsy, which was zero rejection. Thank God, by the way.

Anna Jaworski:   15:48
Good. Yay!

Valerie Guerin :   15:49
But it was huge for me to a) not go with her, even though I know she can speak for herself and b) my husband said it was neat to watch how the staff spoke to her and not so much him. You could see the transition happening, how they encourage her. And it's funny because I asked for puzzles and people are very generous and drop them off for a friend of ours who we miss, who loved puzzles. And I thought, 'I'm not gonna hit my husband with that to go down with.' I'm looking forward to our next trip. But it was huge for me to not have that control and that ability to go down and do the things we normally do and see the friends we do. So, yes, it's the letting go process

Anna Jaworski:   16:27
and it's hard. It's so hard! But,...  

Valerie Guerin :   16:29
oh, my gosh yes,  

Anna Jaworski:   16:30
...I'm going to applaud you. We applauded Ann in segment one. And...  

Valerie Guerin :   16:34
Thanks to Ann I can applaud myself now because, she really helped me out there. Thank you Ann.

Anna Jaworski:   16:40
I love that, I love that! Okay, so let's go in a totally different direction. I am seeing a lot of humor on your Facebook timeline. How important is it to you, the mother of three - three Children who are homebound as well as your husband, who is homebound to keep a sense of humor during this stark time?

Valerie Guerin :   17:00
That's what kept us going from the time we got her diagnosis, and Mark and I would make warped jokes while I was pregnant about imagine getting her through that and then this happening and I realized meeting other heart parents, that's essential. My son has an incredibly sophisticated sense of humor, which he needs to watch out, but he's also been exposed to a lot of heaviness. So I get it, and he knows it, too, and I think also because we've been there before, like when Cora was at her worst pre-transplant. I remember, my son said to me, "I don't like that she's sick, but the being in together is nice." I think we learned a lot from that time. I know post-transplant Cora and I had to be together and we had our own version of quarantine in Philadelphia and we still went out, ut it was restricted. So my takeaway from that was all the times I complained there got annoyed with her, you know, like it's nice having her here now. It's nice to have that normalcy, and that's something that when this is lifted, I'm hoping we're gonna take something out of it in terms of, like, spend more time like play more games. You know? 

Anna Jaworski:   18:00
That brings back a sense of nostalgia, so that's kind of cool you can share that with your kids.

Valerie Guerin :   0:00
Right!  

HUG Store Promo:   18:08
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.

Baby Blue Sound Collective Promo:   18:44
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.

HUG Promo:   19:22
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 www.congenitalheartdefects.com for information about 

Anna Jaworski:   20:00
Now all three of us are in the studio together. What is one thing that we can do as members of the heart community to get through this pandemic in a healthy way? And by healthy, I'm not just talking about washing hands, I think we all know that. I'm talking about mental health and Ann I would like to have you answer the question first.

Ann Koplow:   20:19
Well, I think it's all about connection and, I'm, a group therapist, and I'm doing all these remote groups five times every week. I do groups called 'Coping and Feeling,' I have more people in my groups than ever before. People are finding it so helpful to realize that they're not alone. And also, I have been sharing with people that I survived the Coronavirus, and they're finding that very helpful, too.  

Anna Jaworski:   20:51
  Right.

Ann Koplow:   20:51
I'd say, connecting with people. I leave room for everybody's feelings; people cry, they laugh, they're anxious, they're worried. But we also talk about coping strategies. So I think accepting all your feelings and other people's feelings is hugely important during these really challenging times.

Anna Jaworski:   21:13
That is perfect. I love that advice. Okay, Valerie, what about you? You're dealing with young children at home. Well, teenage and younger children, so that's a really tough How could we stay healthy?

Valerie Guerin :   21:28
Well, first, I want to get Ann's information so we can get in her group therapy. An artist learning again.

Ann Koplow:   21:35
I would say read my blog because I blog every day..

Valerie Guerin :   21:37
I will. I absolutely will. Thank you. I'm so glad I got to meet you. I just had a conversation with a friend about this. We do try to take positive, and we got a lot of positive from her transplant in terms of every cloud has a silver lining. And if we're gonna go through something really difficult, what is the good we can get out of it? So far, I watched my 10-year-old who refuses to sit with me and do distance learning help her 13-year-old sister with her science project, and it made me realize... But, that's it, I've come to learn. And this is especially the positive I got from all of Cora's experiences was, If you're going to go through something, what's the best way you can come out of it? You have to survive. So with that, it's 'okay, guys, I'm in my pajamas. I'm gonna sleep some more, you know how to log in,' and we're just all going easy on ourselves. We're very forgiving. We know that this is temporary, and don't get me wrong, the arguments are very creative and they're wonderful and they're interesting. And then we can laugh about them and say, "Wow, I didn't say that to you before. That's a new one."

Anna Jaworski:   0:00
  (laughter)

Valerie Guerin :   22:39
But the kids were big into meditation now. There's wonderful apps out there. We have our distance therapy, which is phenomenal. We're still using the resources we have and I think, for us, the fact that we don't have to be running around anywhere, it's okay. It's helping me regroup because I'm a co -leader for our Girl Scout troops, but by no means am I organized. So, this is what I'm learning. I'm going to come out so different that no one will recognize me.

Anna Jaworski:   23:06
Oh, my goodness! This is spring cleaning time and I am seeing a lot of my friends who are like, "Hey, I'm finally getting my garage cleaned out." "I'm finally cleaning out my closet." And yes, it's giving them a little bit of downtime that they wouldn't have had otherwise, that they might be driving to work, and instead, they're cleaning out their closet, so there are some positive things that we can get out of this pandemic. So it looks like the pandemic is going to change social interactions in the future. Or maybe not? I don't know. What do you predict will be a lasting change that is going to occur because of this pandemic? I'll start with you, Valerie, because I think you have kind of an inside track into what you think might happen with the kids.

Valerie Guerin :   23:51
I've seen my youngest, who's not really big into technology because she needs it for school. Now she's getting on FaceTime. She's connecting with your friends, but yet still needs to be monitored. So, I think there's social distancing by media as well that were starting to come around to. So there's gonna be new things to monitor, I guess. We're just going to have new social rules.

Anna Jaworski:   24:15
Mmmm. So do you think the kids are going to be up for these new social rules or do you think when the pandemic scare is over, they're just going to go back to the way it was before?

Valerie Guerin :   24:26
I wonder because it takes how many days to have a habit form, and I wonder if the fact that when we see people like me, I'm a hugger. I have to belong to that group. those who do not hug. Now, I don't know. I think, especially for kids, there's going to be a lasting change and I don't know how long that will be. I think it depends on how long were in quarantine, but the other side of it is family. We have more influence with the kids, and I joke with her friends saying, "yep, I'm flattening their behavioral curve," because by the time they go back to school we will have no issues because everyone's gonna listen because they have no choice.

Anna Jaworski:   25:04
I love it. Ann, what do you think is going to happen as far as possible changes in social interactions in the future when we're done with this horrible pandemic?

Ann Koplow:   25:14
Well, I'm a pretty optimistic person. I like to look for the silver lining, and my hope is that by experiencing this together that this will help us connect on a global level rather than in a very sort of individual and separated level. And my hope is that this will help us save the planet.

Anna Jaworski:   25:40
Oh, wow. I love that. This will help us to save the planet. That would be really nice. It would be nice to think that something is horrible, where you're afraid that we're going to lose possibly hundreds of thousands of people, that in the end, we end up saving the planet somehow. It would give a purpose to the loss and I think that's something that we search for, don't you Ann?

Ann Koplow:   26:04
I do. We all search for meaning, and I honestly believe that there are some positive effects that are going to come out of these awful losses that we're facing right now.

Anna Jaworski:   26:19
Yeah, I agree with you. I think we have to focus on those positives because otherwise we'll just all fall apart in sadness.  

Ann Koplow:   26:29
That's right.  

Anna Jaworski:   26:31
So we have to look for the silver lining, and I think there are some silver linings there. I'm amazed at how kind I am seeing people behave to one another. Are you noticing that too ladies?  

Ann Koplow:   26:44
Yes, absolutely  

Valerie Guerin :   26:45
Very much so.  

Anna Jaworski:   26:48
And that's the way it should have always been. 

Valerie Guerin :   26:51
But, I remember times when you're in hospital and this is what I've noticed. It's always been a different atmosphere because there's that group empathy. But if you're there, there's a reason, and people say hi to you. And I'm seeing that now in the community as well.

Anna Jaworski:   27:03
Oh, yea!.  

Valerie Guerin :   27:04
People offering each other, "Are you out of this?" " Do you need this?" That's what I hope does day.

Ann Koplow:   27:10
Yeah, and one thing messages that I'm constantly giving to people in my groups, is you are not alone and we're all in this together. And now more than ever, that's ringing true for people?

Anna Jaworski:   27:25
Yes, yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. Wow. Ann, I loved having you come back on the show. Thank you so much for talking about this really important topic and kind of being a voice of reason and calm in a sea of chaos and fear.

Ann Koplow:   27:42
I'm really happy to be here. And I think one of the reasons I'm calm is because I have the therapy of doing my groups five times every week. That's keeping the very sane. And it also keeps me sane to connect with the two of you.

Anna Jaworski:   28:00
Awe, thank you

Valerie Guerin :   28:02
Oh, my gosh I've been applauding myself since I heard you talk, you're great! That's something I think that we lack and I love that message. Thank you for sharing that.

Ann Koplow:   28:12
Thank you.  

Anna Jaworski:   28:13
Well, Valerie, it has been lovely getting to know you better and I really appreciate you coming on the program today, and I hope your family continues to stay well.

Valerie Guerin :   28:24
Thanks. That's the other thing, exercise in the yeard will be great

Anna Jaworski:   28:27
Right! I'm seeing a lot of people out in their yards doing yard work. I've been doing a ton of gardening for me that's been necessary for my sanity.

Ann Koplow:   0:00
Anna?  

Anna Jaworski:   0:00
Yes ma'am?  

Ann Koplow:   28:40
Can I plug my blog?

Anna Jaworski:   28:42
Yes, ma'am, I want to put a link to your blog in my show notes. But, by all means, tell everybody out loud right now how they can reach your blawg.

Ann Koplow:   28:50
All right...It's Ann Koplow, so it's a n n k o p l o w dot wordpress dot com, and the name of the blog is, "The Years of Living Nonjudgmentally," which I think is especially important now because when we're under stress, we tend to get more judgmental of ourselves and others

Anna Jaworski:   29:16
Excellent and if you all haven't seen it, what I love about Anne's Blog is that she has a lot of fun pictures, and there's a lot of humor. That's what I love about you Ann, you really know how to use humor and I think that's something that we all need right now.

Ann Koplow:   29:33
Thank you, Anna.

spk_2:   29:35
That's all for this week's episode. It went by so fast, ladies. If you enjoyed this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," would you please take a moment and leave a review on PodChaser - podchaser.com - is a directory of podcasts, and in April 2020 they are making donations to Meals On Wheels for every review that is left on a podcast because they want people to know what other people who are listening to the podcasts actually think about those podcasts. So if you will leave a review about "Heart to heart with Anna," they will donate 25 cents to Meals On Wheels and then when I comment as well, then they make yet another donation. So please take a moment to leave a review at podchaser.com. You just type in "Heart to Heart with Anna in the search box and my podcast will pop up. And remember, my friends, you are not alone

Closer:   0:00
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.