Share your Story: Christine Ashburn
“ There was so much I didn’t know about my case and I was just tired of being shoved around.” said Christine Ashburn a 28 year old from Lawrence, Kansas who was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) about a year ago. She never really understood her condition until she went to the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA) recognized Center of Excellence (COE) at the University of Kansas, where she is under the care of Dr. Berenbom.
When Christine first presented notable symptoms she was referred to a cardiologist who she very much liked, but had little experience with HCM. It was clear she needed a cardiologist who was more specialized in managing HCM. She found a COE through the HCMA. This decision allowed for her to receive the focused cardiac care she needed by have a team specialized in managing her HCM.
In order to keep all of her various medical information organized, Christine has adopted a method of arranging her information in a very orderly fashion that is a great model for others to learn from. Due to her multiple medical conditions including Tourette's syndrome and HCM, she has a binder organized with sections for medications, questions to ask her doctors, specific descriptions of symptoms, her medical history, and family histories. This allows her to differentiate between symptoms of her different conditions, and help her recall questions to review with her medical team. The binder is proving helpful when organizing her family histories. Although no one else in Christine's family has been diagnosed with HCM she is working to get her family tested because HCM is a genetic disease.
Christine’s way of handling her medical conditions and not letting it stop her from pursuing her multiple interests as a seamstress, upholsterer, and in her work as a security guard at a power plant. We can learn so much from Christine and her outlook on life, “I had to put a mask on and after a while that mask isn't a mask it is who I am and I am able to get past things.”