Monthly Archives: December 2006

Online Support Group for Those with Arrhythmia Issues

I have started an online Yahoo support group for people who have arrhythmia type heart issues. It would also be for friends and family of people with these conditions. Here is the description:
This is a support/friends group for people dealing with different heart arrhythmia issues. Whether it be SVT, IST, PVC, PAC, WPW…this group is for you. Do you have palpitations that make you anxious? Has your anxiety created an arrhythmia or did the arrhythmia create your anxiety? Or maybe you have a peaceful acceptance regarding your’s or a loved ones arrhythmia and would like to share helpful tips and advice for those who suffer. Talk about your heart troubles, share recipes, medication experiences even talk about your daily lives. This is an open group – non-discriminatory, non-affiliated and non-judgmental. We do not censor and you can speak about anything within reason as long as it is not outwardly cruel, offensive or mean.

This group is for support and friendships…for advice and venting. It is NOT to be a substitute for medical advice in any way.

Feel free to join and make some new friends.


My Letter to Santa


Dear Santa, 

I want you to know right off the bat that this letter will most defiantly be selfish and not one bit sacrificing on my part. I will be asking for that which I want and may not necessarily need. I will be whining a bit and even looking for some sympathy. Just as fair warning, this letter alone may put me on the naughty list.

I had a really bad year Santa. This was not a typical roller coaster year of ups and downs. This year, my roller coaster was broken. It sat there unattended in the dark corridor just looking at the tracks ahead with no way to move forward. It could hear the laughter and screams from the other rides, but that only made it worse.  

I have tried to be strong. Even through my tears and tantrums I was able to wake the next morning and get dressed. Perhaps I should have done more. But I was too exhausted, angry and sad.

Santa this year I am asking for some things I have not received from those in my life, some things I have not yet learned to give myself and even some things I may already have and not realize. Maybe if they were left at my step with some nice packaging and clearly addressed to me, I just might be able and ready to accept them. 

I will clearly outline my Christmas wishes for you to make it as easy as possible:

1.      Forgiveness. I desperately need the ability to forgive those who have hurt me. I have been able to do it in the past, but for some reason I am now at a point where it seems impossible.  

2.      Self acceptance. I have not worked as hard as I should at regaining my healthy shape. When I look in the mirror I want to cry…sometimes, I do.  I will make more of an effort, but in the meantime I would really like to be able to look at myself just once and say, “Not too bad at all.”

3.      Energy.  Between chasing my 2 year old daughter, bickering with my husband and taking fatiguing medication, I am simply exhausted ALL of the time. I want to have that feeling again of not being tired. I don’t even remember what that feels like but I seem to recall it felt pretty nice.  

4.      Friends. This is embarrassing and difficult to write but I desperately need some friends. Even just one would be fine. For several reasons the friends I have had over the years have sifted away. Some have moved, some have different lives to live, some may have just stopped liking me…I am really not sure of all the reasons. But I do know that I am lonely. And I do not know how to make new friends. I know I am picky. And my intuition and desire for sincere authenticity makes it difficult to get through those initial moments when friendships begin. But I just need someone who cares. Someone who has a great sense of humor. Someone who is honest, compassionate and smart. Oh…and they have to be able to tolerate me of course.

5.      Ambition. I need more. I need to want more. I need to DO more. But I need to get off my ass for that to happen. Can you help with that?

6.      Serenity. I just need to feel calm. At ease with no worries or stress that is beyond my control. I want to just be. Just enjoy. Just wade in the present without regret for the past or anxiety about the future.  

7.      A new US President with the compassion of Mother Theresa, the wisdom of the Dahli Lama, the sense of Jon Stewart and the looks of George Clooney (unless it happens to be a woman in which case Amanda Peet is pretty hot).

8.      Oh and just a couple more…a few less inches on my waist, a chocolate with no calories that tastes even better than Godiva and one day a week when I can sleep as late as I want and not be bothered for the entire twenty four hours.

So, as you can see, Santa, I have given this much thought. I truly hope you can fulfill my requests but I will certainly understand if you cannot as I am used to disappointment by now.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Don’t drink and drive…trust me…you do NOT want to get those geese pissed off!!


Heather Rayne

Peter Boyle…with a tear in my eye..

I am very saddened by the news I heard tonight. Peter Boyle dies, age 71. Peter Boyle was a wonderful actor and an interesting man. I will never stop laughing at his impecable performance as Frank Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. And one of my fondest memories is the episode of X Files he starred in. When I saw the footage of the news tonight I shed many tears. I have not cried for the death of a celebrity since Jack Lemon (and before that Phil Hartman). Those have been the only three actors who have moved me enough to see them as favorites. Not just favorites of mine, but of the industry as whole. What a loss. What a sad loss.
Holy crap.

A New Exchange Program?


The following was published in the Chicago Tribune as a Letter to the Editor December 22, 2006


“Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses…”

This was the golden gate philosophy on which this country was once based. We were supposed to be the compassionate country. We were meant to be the land of opportunity when opportunity was an impossibility to those of other regions. But now our country has fallen into the blame game and wishes to point Lady Liberty’s finger at anyone but her own citizens.

Who is to blame now? Illegal immigrants. These are people who enter this country with nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs as they dodge bullets and police dogs. They risk their lives, humility and pride to find a way to attain a piece of life that is simply livable for their families. They come from squalor, starvation and filth. They live in homes we would not find suitable for backyard play forts. Their education is almost non existent. And their futures are as bleak as the night through which they travel.

Do illegal immigrants garnish a toll on American economy? Perhaps. But to what extent I would like to really know. I do not consider myself an expert on this topic, or any for that matter. But this is how I see it.

We are so quick to blame these outsiders who speak another language. Yes, they come to our country, our neighborhoods and our homes. But when they are here they are working. Any illegal immigrant I have ever come into contact with had the stained, cracked hands of a hard working human. They work harder than any citizen I have yet to meet. And they work for little just in hopes to one day help their family have the simple hope for a future. These people are humans. Why must it become about us and them? What benefits are they really taking away?

I can tell you that I have seen our own American citizens gouge and take advantage of our system time and time again. I see it everyday. How about the parents who are too lazy to discipline their child so they collect social security because of junior’s supposive ADHD diagnosis? Or how about the woman who squeezes out as many babies as she can while she sits on her butt collecting state aid? I have even known women on welfare who take fertility medications!! Talk about selfishly taking advantage!! I see these atrocities everyday. I do not see illegal immigrants sitting around watching Jerry Springer while they do nothing but collect a check every month. I have not once witnessed an illegal immigrant order a lobster at fancy restaurants. But I have seen jobless drug dealers driving Hummers.

How about we establish an exchange program? We will take your tired, hardworking, poor, huddled masses; but we will give to you our lazy, criminal, irresponsible losers. Not exactly a fair trade I suspect. But THAT is what would make this country what it should be.

These immigrants come from cultural backgrounds that are family orientated, have morals and convictions. They respect and adore their elderly. They teach their children right from wrong.  What is our American cultural background? I don’t even know. I do know that we spoil our children and let them become burdens to society. I do know that we stick our dying elderly in a room while fighting over their belongings. I do know that our financial status, our cars, our clothes and our reality TV means more to us than what is happening to our fellow human. Is that what was intended for us?

I say we show some compassion to those who deserve it and start taking action against those who truly are sucking us dry – citizen or not.


Strange Occurance Friday Night


On Friday December 8, 2006 I experienced something strange. Whether it is simply a coincidence, my own neurosis or just a simple day of malaise I will likely never know. But I decided to write about it nonetheless. Perhaps you have an opinion?


At approximately 5pm I was discussing with my husband, Charlie, that I did not feel well. I said I felt like I was coming down with something because I wasn’t breathing easily. He said, “Yea, my nose is stuffy too.” I replied, “No, my nose isn’t stuffy, I just feel strange in this area,” as I waved my hand over my chest and neck. I said I just didn’t feel right.


About one half hour later I was ordering food on the phone when I had something stuck in my throat; or at least that is what it felt like. I wasn’t eating or drinking at the time. But I felt that something was obstructing my throat. I kept coughing to try to relieve or release it. Again I told Charlie that I just didn’t feel right. Jokingly he just said, “Man, you’re just a wreck!”


I tried to go to bed early and fell asleep finally about 10 or so. At about 11:30pm I woke up suddenly and felt extremely sick to my stomach. I ran to the bathroom as I thought I was going to vomit. Though I did not get sick I remained quite nauseated and increasingly got very dizzy and lightheaded. And my heart was pounding. I take a medication to keep my heart rate down, but it was still pounding out of my chest. This was a very strange and unfamiliar feeling. Yes, I have been nauseated many times. I have even been dizzy and lightheaded in the past. But this was different. I felt something was seriously wrong. I laid on the floor and was shaking like a leaf. I was quite scared, but this was not a panic attack. I had not had any alcohol or any new medications. I had no fever or swollen glands. As I laid there I continued to feel worse and worse. I called to Charlie and he finally woke up. He came in there and eventually coaxed me back to bed. I had to crawl because I was too dizzy to walk. As I laid in bed I talked to Charlie. I said I wanted to go to the hospital, that I thought something was very wrong. I kept telling him I feel like I had been poisoned. As ridiculous as that’s sounds, that is how I felt. He refused to take me to the ER and said I was just sick and would get over it and that if I got worse or passed out he would call 911. My heart gradually slowed and my nausea got a bit better. I fell back to sleep around 2am. When I woke in the morning I felt very tired, but basically okay. My abs were a bit sore though I am not sure why as I never did actually throw up.


Because of past strange occurrences such as this relating to what I feel could have been empathic circumstances (please see this entry for more explanation!656F9A4108C3E513!860.entry ), I thought perhaps this was one as well. I looked on the computer for news that may have happened over night.


I came across several articles pertaining to a fire that had occurred Friday night in Russia. 46 women who were trapped in a mental health hospital were killed in a fire. 12 women were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.


Here is an article about the fire:


Why do I feel my symptoms are in anyway related? Seems odd. I know. And I certainly do not expect people to understand these thoughts. But this is just one of many occurrences like this in the past few years. Anyway…at about the same time I was feeling an ‘oddness’ in my chest and throat area (when I mentioned it to my husband) is when the fire broke out in Moscow (I believe it was about 1:30am their time). Same as when I felt something was obstructing my throat and kept coughing. The feelings I had when I awoke in the middle of the night are identical to the symptoms one would have with carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, if you recall me stating, I kept telling my husband that I felt I had been poisoned. Like the other occurrences, the symptoms vanished as suddenly as they appeared.


I don’t know about all this. This is all very new to me. But I have decided to start writing about these things when they do happen not only for my own record, but in case others have the same strange types of phenomena and want to discuss it.


So, anyway, thanks for listening. Would love to hear your thoughts!!  

Welcome to My Negative Toxic Whining Session…


Maybe it is the seemingly sudden onset of winter. Perhaps the whole “Montel” disappointment. The decision to make a heart medicine change has me a little weary. Maybe it is just feeling dissatisfied with my life right now. Whatever it is, I am in quite the slump.


I hate winter. I truly do. Driving in bad weather makes me a nervous wreck. Being cold is painful to me. Not to mention the lack of sun. And I feel like simply hibernating for 4 months. Yep, it is that time again.


I have been feeling down for quite some time. A year actually. Ever since the whole child abuse accusation. It left lingering effects and constant reminders that I cannot seem to shake no matter how hard I try. It effects my marriage, my relationship with my step daughter, our finances and the most obvious…being on probation. I have just been in this depression that seems unending.


I have also been feeling tremendous fatigue for quite a while. Basically ever since being put on my heart medicine, which is a beta blocker. It is common for it to cause fatigue and that was a side effect I was willing to accept in order to alleviate the fast heart rate and palpitations. But lately, perhaps because Cassidy is getting older and more active, I have been absolutely exhausted. And it was just getting unreasonable. I also found out that the medication causes weight gain. Since I had Cassidy I have had about 60 lbs to lose. I did lose about 30 of those (plus the additional ten that I lost right away). But the last 20 or so pounds (my goal isn’t as low as pre-baby) have been impossible. I eat well and even exercise. All seeming futile. I have since learned that this medication can make it nearly impossible for some to lose weight. This was kind of a last straw. Fatigue and being heavy are just not doable for me right now. I am only 32 for Christ’s sake. So I talked to a couple doctors and have decided to try cutting my dose in half. This could cause heart reactions and that is what I fear most. It could also not make a difference in the side effects. I just have to wait and see. Ugh. I hate waiting.


When I heard from the Montel Show and thought for 24 hours that I would be going to New York I was suddenly lifted. It was this excitement, this treat I have been waiting for and quite frankly, deserving. I was thrilled for the first time in years. Then when I learned that the show was changed and I would not be going it was so..well, no other term than…disappointed. Really disappointed. It seems silly, but it was like this big tease right when I needed something to lift me up I was thrown back to the ground.


This all brings me to the bigger picture. My life. Yes I have an awful lot to be grateful for…and I truly am. My family, my home, my basically decent health, food on the table, clothes on my back, a nice car…really I am so grateful for what I have. But my dissatisfaction isn’t about haves and have nots. It is about what’s inside. I just feel unaccomplished. I feel my life is passing by just so very quickly. And I just cannot seem to muster up the motivation, guts and confidence to actually DO something about it. I am not even sure WHAT I should do. It is like I am waiting for this big sign to fall from the sky, hit me on the head and I will finally realize my life’s purpose. I guess that seems a bit unrealistic, eh?


So, you have now traveled through my negative, toxic ramble. Hope you have a towel. Thanks for listening anyway.