Sarah: TOF, 1982

Hey y’all! My name is Sarah Miller and I am a (South) Carolina girl. (Not a University of SC girl, because, yuck! I was raised right as a Clemson Tiger.) The world didn’t know what hit it when I was born in the Spring of ’82.

I was born with several birth defects, including Tetralogy of Fallot. I can’t sit here and give y’all the medical jargon for the specifics, but I can tell y’all I had a hole in the wall between two chambers and had some backflow of blood into a place where it shouldn’t have been. I had the Blalock Bilateral Shunt when I was just a babe that “held me over” until my corrective OHS when I was four years old at MUSC in Charleston.

I’ve been lucky in my cardiac health thus far and have only just had my PVR in March of 2017, via catheter. Ever since my PVR, I’ve been dealing with an inflammation of the nerves in my chest wall. I left my pediatric cardiologist a few months ago to go to the adult specialist of CHD at MUSC.

My pediatric cardiologist basically told me it was all in my head. Ummm…no.

When I’m sitting on the couch crying because it feels like I’m having a heart attack, its terrifying. (Right down to the jaw pain and pain up and down my arms. So, scary stuff.) My husband does help me when it is happening by rubbing my chest. (What husband would turn down that opportunity, right?)

I am now wearing a patch version of a halter monitor that looks SUPER SEXY. I’ll rock that for four weeks and then return to MUSC mid April to get the results. I was ecstatic to finally get a competent cardiologist who didn’t view me as a lab experiment. As far as diet and exercise go, I’m all into fitness…fitness pizza into my mouth. Ha. But seriously, I’m walking every single day between 10,000 and 20,000 steps per day. I’m a stay at home bonus Mom to two girls, eleven and eight years old.

My husband and I get the girls one week on, one week off. We have an outstanding relationship with his ex wife and her wife. (I was swimming with them at their house during the previous solar eclipse!) Shortly after my husband and I married in the summer of 2017, I wrote an article for Pantsuit Nation on Facebook that was liked over 18,000 times. And yes, I did reference my TOF.

We have three dogs and a hedgehog, so its always busy at my house. Some days I have more energy than others. I just roll with it and don’t fight it. I got my ovarian tubes removed, so my Mom knows she’s got my bonus daughters and all of my furbabies as the only grands I’ll give her and we’re all good with that.

I am obsessed with Reba McEntire (met her twice), the Golden Girls (because who doesn’t love them some Sophia Patrillo), Dachshunds, and my family.

Reba’s song, “Survivor,” fits my life perfectly…in terms of surviving CHD, that is. “I was born three months too early, the doctor gave me thirty days, but I must’ve had my mama’s will, and God’s amazing grace…I was born to be, the baby girl without a chance, a victim of circumstance, the one who ought to give up, but shes just too hard headed, …with gentle hands and the heart of a fighter, I’m a survivor…”