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Oh Canada! Part 2

As promised here are the footnotes to my continued adventure while in Canada.

Upon arriving in Dallas, Texas I had some time on my hands before catching my next flight to Vancouver so I thought I would check out Fort Worth a little bit. ((((insert record scratch here)))) IT WAS FREAKIN COLD! So my adventures took me to a local mall not too far from the airport where I ate a little donair for lunch, then jumped in to a cab to get my butt back to the airport. Noteworthy point: no WiFi in the Dallas airport! Well not entirely correct, its there its just not free like advertised. Even in CR there is free WiFi at the airport. What gives?

Before I knew it I was off to Vancouver, home of the Canucks! Yeaaaaaa….

While on the flight in I was briefed by a woman returning home from New Orleans who told me what to expect in terms of weather there. What I didn’t expect was “sub zero” temperatures. Clearly I was determined to venture down to Granville the moment I got there so sure enough this is where my instinct attracted me.

Good ol’ Granville Street. Last time I was there it had a handful of bars, the Roxy, the Orpheum and the Commodore but now it’s like a mini Vegas strip with bars lining both sides. Funny sight: women waiting in lineups outside the bars wearing almost nothing while freezing their tails off.

Sushi? I don’t mind if I do actually. The following day I needed to cure my urge for some world class sushi. We hit…ummmm…ummm…can’t remember the name but it was in Richmond so clearly this would be the place for sushi, and ate all you can eat sushi for like $13!!!! It was craziness. I left feeling like a beached whale and the restaurant owners wondering, “who was that guy?”.

Then came the touring. Like a good old tourist, I had my friend chauffer me around taking pics and absorbing my surroundings. I truly do love the city of Vancouver and even more, British Columbia. We went to Stanley Park, Pigeon Park (hehe), Pacific Centre, Canada Place, English Bay and….Winners. Yup! To buy myself some new clothes. As luck would have it (not really) all the summer stuff was being blown out (like the snow outside).

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The following day I jumped a ferry ride over to Victoria. Now most of you might not get this but when you’ve been away from it for so long, then you come back and ride that ferry through “the pass”, it’s the most relaxing and beautiful part of the journey. Lots of photos and vid here.

After docking in Victoria I had another good friend pick me up there and take me in to town and straight to catching up with some old friends.

Having such generous and trusting friends, I was afforded the liberty of a vehicle while there so I took full advantage and went VISITING! I went by my old house near Saxe Point (not much has changed) and then dropped in and surprised a lot of people. After many smiles, laughs and stories (some pretty outlandish), I then thought how refreshing it would be to do some of the things I use to do while living there. I walked plenty. And with good company. I went to the breakwater. I went to Ogden Point. I went to Cook St. I literally went everywhere in Victoria. It was something well needed to get my mind off the heresy here in Costa Rica.

I’ve written about this before but I’ll do it again…

Costa Rica is not known to be very productive when it comes to getting things done. IE: road to Quepos (40+ years) So when I returned to Canada I really began to take in the fact that when something needed getting done…IT WAS DONE! Another noteworthy fact. Canadians: whether Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Polish, Indian, Arab or what-have you, all seem to have common sense. The reverse is the case in Costa Rica (there are exceptions). Here whether Costa Rican, Canadian or American, common sense appears to get lost in luggage while arriving. So many peeps here prefer to ignore their gut and go with illogical conclusions that, when thought about, dont make much sense. IE: a person not being able to leave the country over a divorce.

It is only in Costa Rica where a half-wit can construe a web of lies, that in any other country, wouldn’t fly, and drag it out over years and years. And on top of it all: every time having a foot caught in the trap, creating more ludicrous lies and stringing people along even more. I’m satisfied now to know that this “group” of Kool-aid drinking pawns, does not stretch outside of the borders of Costa Rica. Even family figured it out.

Wow! Did i just fall in to a bit of a rant again? Appears so…shifting gears now.

Contained within this blogpost you will find many photos of my adventures in Canada. Although my time there was cut short (by choice), in order for me to come back and spend Xmas with my family, I did thoroughly enjoy my time there and will be heading back very soon.

With my doctors telling me great news about my eyes, the real news came when I was told what was happening inside my body. I found out that my kidneys (kidney disease from diabetes) are being hammered and therefore this not only throws a concern for my kidneys but also my heart whereas I am at a high risk for heart attack. Eeeks…what to do Doc? Take a few hundred of these pills and see me in a year! Huh.

Normally I am one to think of how I can do this naturally without the need for thousands of dollars worth of medicines so that is precisely what I set out to do. I asked, “ok Doc. As for the cholesterol, what can I do naturally to lower that?”. My doctor replied with, “Run 5 miles a day and become strict vegetarian.”

Clearly I would not be running 5 miles a day however I am virtually a fence walking vegetarian already so this is something I might want to pursue further. It’s worth noting that my LDL was within normal levels its just in Canada they set the bar high(or low) depending on your pre-existing conditions like diabetes etc. Myself, I was not too concerned about the cholesterol as much as the kidneys and heart.

Here’s some more meds you for your kidneys and heart to lower your chances of kidney failure and heart failure. Oh by the way the side effects included possible cardiac arrest. Pardon me?

Apparently the combination of the RAAS blockade, used for treating this condition, can lower potassium levels so that you end up starving the heart of its fuel…and die. AWESOME!!!

Ok so what I needed to do was think about what has changed drastically since Canada and I began to do my research.

After many midnight shifts of researching this, I’ve finally done it. Oddly though doctors don’t emphasis this to patients to consider but prefer the prescription method. It was salt!

According to this article on the effects of sodium in relation to losartan, salt can completely nullify the medicinal effects of your RAAS blockade. So that was why my protein numbers were out to lunch, because the medicines were being countered by the amount of salt in my diet. In Costa Rica everything has salt. EVERYTHING! And I’ve often said through the years how odd it was for me to have this much salt in my diet as compared to Canada. Bingo.

I’ve also now become a strict, very strict, vegetarian. I’ve now tailored a really good diet for myself however this does not include anything like beef, chicken or pork. Even eggs are not on my diet yet. Not sure if I want to add them. I’ve also included oats and nuts in my diet for protein but most effective for its protein content is the red snapper “pargo”. I cook it with simply dill weed, pepper, white wine, lemon juice and low fat, non salted Country Crock margine. Its delicious.

Apparently my trip back to Canada was so very worth it. I not only got my dose of medicines but also of reality and the peace in knowing that my friends are some of the most important people to me. Thanks peeps. For being there and helping me when I needed it most. Pura vida!

So what lies ahead for me in the future? More exercise. More creativity in food. And in turn, more time with my family. The most important part of my life and who I do everything to protect.

…not to mention the energy to wrap up loose ends remaining in CR.

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