Friday, September 28, 2012

Falling, falling...

Yes, it's fall - or autumn - and, no, it's not freezing in Canada (yet). I know y'all enjoy giving me a difficult time about living in the "frozen north", but I'd like to point out that it's been warmer here than in Virginia for 27 of the last 30+ days. No one ever taunted me about being cold in Virginia...

To that end, I'll also say:

1) We live south of the United States. (think that one over)
2) We drive north to cross the US/Canadian border.
3) We live south of 15 states in the U.S.
4) We live in the "southernmost part of Canada".
5) We live south of where we used to live in Oregon, and, yes, they make wine here.

Are you surprised? Read on for a few fun facts...

A) The border between Canada and the US is the longest unprotected border in the world (5,525 miles!).
B) Superman and basketball originated in Canada. Add to that fish sticks, instant mashed potatoes, and the zipper as well as the television, walkie-talkies, and the telephone (yep - the Bell family lived in Canada when they tested that 1st call). Oh - and the cardiac pacemaker!
C) Canada is the world's 2nd largest country (behind Russia).
D) Hockey is beloved, but lacrosse is the country's official sport.

I know... I love trivia, but all this makes me think about how much we "assume" we know. 

And y'all need to quit saying, "It's almost like it's another country".  It IS a foreign country! 

Truthfully, it's a great option for our "international" assignment.

P.S. - I have not tried poutine and have no intention of doing so ;-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

50 million Americans, and I, have an Auto-immune Disease

That surprised me - 50 million Americans! Granted, we can have different auto-immune diseases, but I've learned that once you have one, you're susceptible to others. Great.... The good news is that most of them are quite manageable, even if their onsets are not.

I have Hashimoto's disease - My friends and/or family members have Graves, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS), Vitiligo, Celiac, Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Sarcoidosis, or Multiple Sclerosis.  Those are just the ones I know of, and I have a feeling many of you know someone with one of these afflictions as well. And, yet, we're basically healthy people.

Thyroid disease is prevalent in 20 million of us - with 13 million of those undiagnosed. Does that surprise you? Perhaps there really is a reason you/we don't feel well all the time... My friend, Terri, was at the doctor's office, when he dared to say to her, "You look a little down, a little depressed". She looked straight him, and said, "Well, yeah. That's because I'm sick and at the doctor's". Can we collectively add a "DUH"? My point is that if you don't feel well, don't let anyone tell you "You're fine" or that they can't find anything wrong. Dig deep, my friends.

Doctors have, as I've said before, an almost impossible job - dare I say they live their lives in a guessing game? It would be fun except for the fact that people's quality of life is at stake. Physicians carry a burden I cannot imagine, and I don't envy them. I do, however, love the ones who want to keep learning and who want their patients to have "optimal" health.

On a side note, I'm trying to gain weight back (go ahead, comment below. I can take it and still love y'all). Try explaining weight gain goals at the gym and have trainers and staff just look at you blankly.

The older I get, the more I realize that most people want to be sensitive and helpful. Join me in being one of those kinds of people to those around us. Someone needs a smile, a phone call, or an email. Encourage one another.