by Andrea Baer, MS, Director of Patient Advocacy and Program Management at Mended Hearts
“I have been where you are, I know how you feel” – That’s a powerful statement. The sense of connectiveness and bonding that can happen is soothing, and often a key to successful recovery. Individuals who are going through a medical crisis or learning to change their lifestyle can find success in these connections. When my son was born in 2009 with a congenital heart defect, I was scared, alone and feared our future. I was given lots of medical information from healthcare professionals, but what I lacked was the everyday “how am I going to get through this” answer. Questions from formula, or sleep, or what to pack for surgery. My questions were never-ending. The first person who reached out to me and said those words: “I know how you feel, I’ve been there,” changed my entire thought process and set us up for success. Nine years later, I still benefit from this community. I give advice sometimes, and sometimes I need advice.
According to author Charles Duhigg, a movement starts because of the social habits of friendships