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Patients with acquired or congenital heart disease often require lifelong cardiology care. Call 310-267-7668 to learn more about adolescent transitional cardiac care.

You know you were either born with a heart defect or developed a heart condition as a child.  You also may have had one or more surgeries, but how much do you really know and why is it important?  At the UCLA Transitional Care Heart program, we want to help you understand your heart condition and more importantly how to take care of yourself.

Why Should I care?

So far so and dad have been there to take care of all the "boring stuff" like making my doctor's appointments, ordering my medications" but in a few years I'll be wanting to be on my own, like if I go away to camp or when I go to college. So ask yourself, "will I be ready"? 

Here's are some questions to ask yourself

If I got sick or had a problem would I be able to tell anyone

  • What's kind of heart condition to I have?  What's the name of my heart defect? 
  • Have I had surgery?  What kind?  How many?
  • What are the names of my medications?
  • Who is my doctor to call about my heart condition?  And what's his/her number.

If you missed even 2 of these question, then maybe it's time to get ready to start planning ahead.

So now's the time to start thinking of taking charge of your life and start making a life plan, something to help you take better care of yourself and make you set some goals and think about things.

Creating my own life plan

Now's the time to think about what you want to do with your life. Creating a life plan will help you take better care of yourself, set goals and understand how your heart condition might affect your goals. Creating a life plan now will  help you get started, that way when the time comes you'll be ready. Here's a few steps to get you started.

  1. Do you know what type of heart defect you have?   
  2. 2 Be proactive. Begin to take charge of your life; ask questions, look up answers.  Here a few things you should know:
    • How to make an appointment with my cardiologist?
    • What are the pills I'm taking? What are they for?
    • How do I refill prescriptions? Where's the number?
    • Who would I call if I didn't feel well or had an emergency?
  3. Live a healthy life.
    • Eat healthy diet. Watch the amount of salt in your diet.
    • Stay away from alcohol, smoking and street/illegal drugs. Do you know why? If not ask your doctor.
  4. Stay active, exercise regularly but you have to know if there are any sports or activities that might be harmful to you. If you don't know or never thought about it, time to ask your doctor.
  5. Do you think you want children someday?  If yes, do you have any questions about having children?

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