Smart Kid, Heart Attacks and Faking It

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My daughter (6) has been absolutely amazing me lately. Ever since she could speak I have felt she has a VERYYY strong intuition. She has said things in the past which were unexplainable. But now I am also noticing how smart she is…I mean, I know every mother says that about her kid…but I really mean it 🙂

I bought my husband a few things from Kohl’s last week. And like almost every time I buy him something…I had to return it. Apparently I have horrible taste…which doesn’t say much for HIM does it?? Haha. Anyway, my daughter kept making a big deal about it. She kept repeating, “Dad!! She spent 30 bucks on you and you are going to just make her take it back??!!” Now, when I purchased these items, I was alone. And I had NO idea what I spent on him because I bought other things, had a coupon, had Kohl’s cash AND everything was marked down. So I really had no clue.

After returning the items the cashier says, “Oh look at that – 30 even!”

Just weird.

Then another day she says – out of the blue – you know (she had a complex, thinking look on her face), 3 goes into 12 because 3 and 3 make 6 and 6 and 6 make 12.

Division. In kindergarten?! I was impressed.

She just says the damnedest things. Of course, she can also be quite the bratty tat tat. Last night I said to her, “Cassidy, do you EVER listen to me when I talk?”

Her response very matter of factly, “No. Your voice is boring.”

Hmm. Time for bed.

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It had been awhile since I’ve had an appointment with my shrink. About two months. So when I saw her on Tuesday, I asked her how her vacation was (she was to be going to Africa during those two months…like Africa Africa…safaris, jungles and shit). Then she says something to the affect ‘Oh you don’t know?’. Ugh, oh no. That can’t be good. “I had a heart attack two days before I was suppose to leave.” I was overwhelmed and began to tear up. I could tell she was expecting my reaction.

For those of you who are new here or do not know me very well…I have quite the insane history of health anxiety. And the focus was always heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms…things like that. Things which just HIT a person from out of nowhere. This hypochondria was brought on by an undiagnosed and untreated heart condition which caused symptoms for over a decade. It is a fairly benign condition and I now take medication which keeps it in check. But for all of those years, I felt irregular and VERY fast heart beats and everyone would just tell me they were just panic attacks. Eventually, I really DID develop panic disorder and health anxiety. Added to this was the fact that my dad had a quad bypass in his thirties and died at 46. His father also died in his 40s. So, yea…though I am a bagillion times better now, it was really bad for a long time. Two medications and I very rarely feel any heart or anxiety/panic symptoms.

Another thing which contributes to this mess in my head is this weird OCD (not technically OCD, but there really isn’t a better way to describe it…I have the O but not the C) and my extreme need for control. One can attempt to control many aspects of life. Job, marriage, kids, home…you can convince yourself you have some control – even though you truly never do. But one thing you cannot remotely convince yourself of is control over the possibility of sudden death. Sure, you can make sure you are vigilant about your health…eat right, exercise, take vitamins, check ups…but that means nothing when you are aware of so many cases involving perfectly healthy individuals dropping dead for no “good” reason. This was the case of my therapist.

She is a healthy person. She practices yoga, eats well and had been completely symptom free. Yet one day she was with a patient when she felt pain in her upper back and eventually in her chest. She said it was tremendous pressure – not like a sharp, identifiable pain – but like an elephant sitting on her chest. She was in denial and took some Tums. Eventually her and her staff realized this wasn’t right so she called her Dr. who directed her to the ER immediately.

One artery was completely blocked and two others were 90% blocked. She indeed had a heart attack. They put in 8 stents and she was ready to go back to work in 2 weeks. These are moments when it definitely helps to have the knowledge of a therapist. She is able to analyze her fears and worries and keep them in check by remaining rational and not constantly fighting against which she cannot control. I told her that I was jealous of her ability to reconcile all of that and keep so calm. She said, “This is why you need to listen to me, Heather. I know what I am talking about.” I laughed. It is so true. And I know this cognitively, it just hasn’t sunk in all the way yet.

Anyway, her tragedy turned into a session about my reaction to her tragedy and now I feel like a narcissistic asshole. I am really truly amazed and inspired by her strength and peace about  it all. I have to send a card and tell her so. I am so glad she is okay. But it is going to take me a while to get this out of my head and stop thinking every pain means imminent danger.

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These writing gigs are pretty cool. It isn’t a ton of money…one is on a volunteer basis…but that really isn’t the point. With Patch I write two columns a week. Knowsy Neighbor (every Tuesday) – I interview someone who either lives or works in Mount Pleasant or Sturtevant. It is a profile piece, a get-to-know-ya sort of thing. So I get to ‘meet’ a lot of interesting people and learn about topics of which I never had a clue. And starting tomorrow I will have an editorial column (every Friday). I still do not have a title yet. I will list some suggestions below and maybe you can help me decide??? 🙂 I would also love suggestions for interviewees for the Knowsy piece!!

Here are my title suggestions so far:

Rayne’s World

When it Raynes

Just Sayin’

Box of Soap

Just Thinkin’

How I See It

Just a Thought

Please send my your ideas!!!

The other writing job is a volunteer position through The Volunteer Center of Racine. I work specifically with the RSVP organization. RSVP organizes volunteers and opportunities for those over 55. So, what I do is get assigned a person, interview them about their life and volunteer experiences and then write an article. I do one a month and it is printed in The Racine Journal Times.

Yesterday I interviewed my first RSVP volunteer. I was so nervous. These interviews will primarily be done face to face…where the others can typically be done by email/phone. I didn’t know what to expect. The man who I was profiling was a man in his 70s who has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He is very open about it, which is why I am mentioning it here. Anyway, I spent about two hours with him and his wife just talking. It was such a relief and made for a good morning.

So, both of these jobs afford me the opportunity to meet so many interesting people all with stories to tell. We all have a story. I was worried because for all of these years I have had my bat and ball, but no field in which to play. I have been fearful that I now have a field and no equipment. I thought there was no way I will be able to come up with ideas. and even if I did…I don’t have a writing education. I have no professional writing experience. I mean, what a fraud, right?? I knew I would have to fake it for a while. So far, the act is going okay…lets hope it lasts! But it is nice to know that the area is not short of people with a story.

Alrighty…time to clean up and play a Wii game before putting my daughter to bed.

Talk at ya soon!

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About Heather Rayne

I am a mom, wife, writer, volunteer, eater of food, lover of animals and avid TV enthusiast. I am opinionated, honest, compassionate and sensitive. I can also be difficult, hard headed and emotional. I consider myself to have a great sense of humor and am very attracted to that in others. I am striving to live an authentic life. I am attempting to learn how to find happiness in the now. I always have hope to be a better person. That being said - I can be vulgar, negative and even a little bitchy at times. I say what I mean and my filter is often dysfunctional. With me, what you see is what you get. I have strong opinions and am quick to speak my mind. This can cause problems from time to time but I do not ever intend to hurt or offend anyone. With that - be warned. I do hope you enjoy my site. Thanks for visiting and have a swell day.

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