I Like That

I Like That
See, hear, taste, touch and inhale the wonders of the world.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chronic Liver Disease

I LIKE THAT my doctor is thorough and sent me to have an ultra-sound based on an irregular blood reading. Later that month, she directed me to an appointment with a liver specialist.
            “You’ve got Chronic Liver Disease as a result of a fatty liver,” the specialist said.
            I was shocked and scared but stayed focused as he explained what it meant.
            “It’s likely that you’ve had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease for sometime. Your liver changes when fat is deposited in it and also, in some cases, the liver resists insulin. You also have type 2 diabetes which is being controlled somewhat by your metformin medication. But what’s most critical is that you must lose another fourteen pounds in order to stabilize your liver and prevent further damage. Your liver is being overworked and is in the process of progressive destruction and regeneration. You need to pay close attention,” he said.
            I sat in silence trying to picture my liver in its place protected by my ribcage. I had an image in my mind of a large shriveled mushroom cap.
The specialist had more to say.
            “You must exercise more. Change it up. Get a bike, walk more, go to the pool more often. Lose weight.”
            I am ready to step it up by adding walking on those four days that I don’t go to the pool and floor exercise program at the Strathcona Community Centre. I’m a ‘Chronic’ and now need to be a fitness buff. Here are my current statistics:
Weight: 170 pounds
Chest: 40”
Waist: 40”
Umbilicus: 38”
Hips: 42.5”

Prayers for health.

Susan learns about her liver

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chronics Continue Pool Action

I LIKE THAT the Chronics 4A team gets to perform exercise routines in the Strathcona Gardens pool twice a week. Our upbeat team of male and female athletes prepare by exchanging their street clothes for various styles of swim trunks and bathing suits. Most of us snap a floatation belt around our waist and walk into the pool down a stablized staircase. Others prefer not to wear the buoyancy device and cannon ball into the pool.
            Our personal trainer takes attendance and steps right into the role of show and tell. We begin by pushing the water with our hands and marching. We build on this routine until we turn left and jog from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end. Bobbing around, we match stroke for stroke with the instructor as we perform various motions with our bodies underwater. We move quickly and then slow down. There is some pleasant chatter amongst the attendees and the utmost patience from the teacher. We are all there to perform to the best of our ability and work toward weight loss, stamina, balance and having fun.

Get ready to exercise!

Poolside view of Chronics 4A

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Susan's Scented Apple Crumble

Serves 4 to 6

6 apples
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons butter

4 teaspoons butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼  cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
½ cup rolled oats

Peel and slice apples into greased baking dish. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Dot with two teaspoons of the butter. Blend the remaining four teaspoons of butter into brown sugar. Mix and add flour, wheat germ and rolled oats. Spoon mixture over apples. Bake covered at 350F for 15mins. Uncover and bake until crust is golden and apples are tender (approx. 35 minutes.)

P.S. That's me but I snagged the photos from the Internet.

Susan loves apple crumble

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baffled in Bolivia

I LIKE THAT I have enough experience with international travel that I could help this explorer. He asked:
Would someone please explain to me why the Bolivian Government HOLDS your passport during the entire Residency Application process? Doing such a thing while remaining in a foreign country is disconcerting as it is hardwired into me to NEVER relinquish my passport for obvious personal security reasons. Is this standard worldwide when applying for residency?

The Bolivian government holds your passport during the entire Residency application process and beyond because it is a corrupt system. It is not common practice anywhere else in the world where my husband and I have travelled and worked to hold your passport beyond two weeks. We have travelled to China, India, Nepal, and Bolivia. So far, only Bolivia acts this way.
You should be disconcerted and approach the organization that contracted you to work in Bolivia immediately to have them pay the officials to stamp your passport with a Temporary Resident Visa. It is illegal for you to work in Bolivia without a Resident Visa. You are not at fault. The organization that contracted you should be looking after this matter for you within a proper time frame.
Your passport is not your private property. It belongs to the government of  your country. You are simply the keeper of that document and are responsible for its whereabouts at all times. Indeed, it is troubling, restrictive and dangerous for you not to have your passport in your possession.
If you are not getting a quick response from the organization you are contracted with, we recommend that you contact your country’s embassy or consulate. This is what we had to do in order for our passports to be returned to us in Bolivia. Dutifully, we handed over our passports to the director of Cambrian College Bolivia along with six hundred bolivianos each so that she could hire a handler to have our passports stamped with a Resident Visa. Without our being aware, the director arranged for our passports to be driven over the border by her handler into Argentina! The director’s plan was to have the handler give up our passports to the official at the Bolivian entrance booth and have the officer stamp it with another Visitor Visa. However, the Bolivian government official refused to stamp our passport again. When we first arrived in Bolivia we were issued a three-month visitor visa stamp on our passport. The school director’s first attempt to get us a Resident Visa failed so she resorted to corrupt behaviour.
Her ridiculous and illegal ploy was meant to extend our stay in Bolivia as visitors. A visitor status on your passport does not authorize you to work legally.
Two months and twenty-seven days later, three days before we would have been considered illegal in Bolivia, we had to resort to threatening to bring the Canadian consulate representative with us to get our passports back from Cambridge College Bolivia. Surprisingly, when my husband and I arrived at her office the passports were on her desk, but without Residency authorization or even a second Visitor Visa. The director’s next desperate attempt was to have us take our passports on a thirteen-hour bus trip from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to an Argentinean border town, cross into Argentina and then back again into Bolivia so that we could have our passports stamped with another Visitor Visa. We refused this outrageous idea and escaped her corruption with our passports in hand.
Do not wait until you are desperate. Get this passport matter settled immediately or you will be in Bolivia illegally and subject to arrest.

Bolivia! Bolivia!

Susan and Frank in Bolivia

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sayward 63

I LIKE THAT we live 63 kilometres from the village of Sayward. It’s a precious little wonderland north of Campbell River on Highway 19A. We jump on the URAL bike and motor up the road on sunny days. The wind blows around the windshield, pushes against my cheeks and turns them red. The scent from the trees along the side of the road penetrates my nose and mingles gently with fragrances of flowers and dirt. At the forty-one kilometre marker we are stopped by a road construction crew and my nostrils are bombarded with the stench of tar. A little further up the road we encounter a large group of bikers heading in the opposite direction. Each driver greets Frank with a victory sign, a slight hand wave or a thumbs-up gesture. There’s a unique camaraderie amongst bikers.
We turn right at the Sayward Junction, rattle over the one-way bridge, and cruise to the Kelsey Bay Wharf. The panoramic view of the surrounding mountains is breathtaking and the dark blue ocean water is calming. We sit with our friends on comfortable lawn chairs and appreciate the wonders of the Village of Sayward. 

Our bike excursion to Sayward

The fun is in the journey

Kelsey Bay Wharf