Water: How much should u drink every day?

By | August 30, 2013

You may not have considered water as an important factor in your daily diet, but the Canada Food Guide does. It specifically recommends to health-conscious Canadians: “Drink water regularly. It’s a calorie-free way to quench your thirst. Drink more water in hot weather or when you are very active.”

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

For the past two years, I’ve been avid tea drinker. Mainly loose leaf oolong and green tea. I’m quite certain that I drink more than 8 cups of tea a day.

Bkr

Bkr bottle
My friend shown me her water bottle one day and I completely fell in love with the design and its feel. I looked it up and it’s called a bkr.

Pro
The bottle itself is made from glass, which can be recycled many times over. Glass is also proven to not alter the taste of your beverage, so you won’t have any nasty chemical taste. Speaking of chemicals, this bottle is completely free of any and all nasty Bisphenol A (BPA) or other junk that will leech into your beverage.

The fact that it is made of glass also makes it a bit easier to keep clean than bottles made from plastic or other materials.

The silicone sleeve that makes the BKR bottle so lovely also helps protect it from getting broken in your backpack. The sleeve can also be adjusted in many different ways to alter the style of your bottle.

Although it’s technically a reusable water bottle, you can use it for other types of beverages. Pretty much anything you can put in a glass can go into your BKR bottle.

It’s relatively compact, so it won’t take up much room in your bag or backpack.

If you happen to lose the cap, you can order a replacement from the shop.

If you decide to get rid of the bottle, you can send the silicone sleeve back to the company for recycling.The glass itself can be thrown in your recycling bin.

The bottle is top-rack dishwasher safe, and you do not need to remove the silicone sleeve prior to washing.

Cons

It’s currently only available in a 16-ounce size, so it’s better for short outings.

At $28 per bottle, the price tag may be a little steep for some customers.

Although the silicone sleeve offers some protection against breakage, keep in mind that the bottle is still made of glass. No matter how careful you are, glass can break. The BKR requires a few extra precautions when traveling to avoid cracking or smashing it. If you do break it within the first 90 days after purchasing it, BKR will replace it for you.

I’d been advised by bkr to not use hot water in the bottle but I will try it anyways.

Conclusion: BUY! I can’t wait for mine to arrive.

Fundraising for PH Awareness Month

By | August 21, 2013

Vegas2013-web

November is fast approaching and as you may know it is Pulmonary Hypertension awareness month. For the past 4 years our group, the Toronto Chapter of PHA Canada have been hosting a “vegas style” fundraiser at Brebeuf College (211 Steeles Ave. East) in Toronto. Over the past 4 years, our group have managed to raised over $48,000. Not bad for a group starting with 5 random strangers meeting at a Starbucks coffee shop with one goal in mind and that is create awareness and an environment where ppl can feel comfortable to chat and get to know one another.

I am proud to present our 5th annual fundraising event: “Let Me Breathe” – A Vegas Night Fundraiser for Pulmonary Hypertension on November 9, 2013 at Brebeuf College. With over 200 guests expected, the night will feature casino game favourites, live entertainment, live and silent auction, door prizes, raffles and much more!

Last year we added a new element to the night including a silent auction which did tremendously well. We raised almost $1500 on our auction items!

A key element to a successful fundraiser is to gather donations to use for a silent/live auction. A lot of companies have a “community involvement” program where they would make a donation – sometimes a product or monetary. Last year I wrote to over 40 companies requesting a donation. About 1/2 of them response back and about 1/4 will donation an item. It is quite an awesome feeling when I receive a package in the mail! In total, we received over $2000 worth of products last year. =)

We also had a key box with an iPad and each key cost $20 for a 1 in 30 chance of opening the house with the key. The tickets immediately show out and we had cash in $600! Amazing.

If you would like to donation an item to our auction, please get in touch with me. loretta@phatoronto.ca. We are also looking for volunteers to help out during the night. 19+ only please.

If you would like to make a donation to PHA Canada on behalf of our event, you can do so by going here: http://bit.ly/letmebreathe2013

Hospitalized

By | June 24, 2013

My current domain is giving me problems and I’m unable to login to post without redo a fresh WP install. Not looking forward to that.

I was hospitalized for 11 days in early June. It was my first hospitalization since March 2012 – I made it past the one year mark! But I knew I due to check in as not feeling so good lately.

At first it started with the darn sore throat. I had it for over 4 weeks. I took Benedryl for seasonal allegeries, Beneylin for coughing, codeine for the coughing and Tylenol for fun. Nothing seems to relieve my symptoms. Then the week I went into the hospital, I had these crazy dry coughing fits. I just could not stop coughing while I’m sitting up. I started coughing up mucus which is new and a good thing. I also had two nights where I puked. These were all good indications that I needed to go to the hospital.

My doc asked me to come see him on Thursday morning. I knew that if I go downtown then it would make sense to get admitted. I did not want to go home empty handed where I might black out, call 911, go to York Central and be incubated. This seems to be the cycle in the pass. My doc was quite relieve to hear that I wanted to be admitted.

Once at St Micheals, they set me up on 2 IV antibiotics. The next day, Friday, I was sent to do a CT scan in the AM and I was completely out of breathe. Even getting up from my bed to the toilet was a lot of work. I had to be on 6L of oxygen. When I came back from CT scan I put on my bipap and tried to sleep. I had trouble breathing even with the bipap, I was breathing way faster than the machine could put on. This went on for about 20mins until a nurse came around to do her rounds. Well, fuck no wonder. My O2 stats destat to low 70s. I had the nurse bump up my O2 flow from 2L to 6L. At this point, I was feeling really discouraged and thought that I might die.

The doc later came by and asked if they could take me to ICU for the weekend for closer monitoring. My first thought was I would be incubated. I told them I do not want to be incubated unless I pass out. Also no trach! Doc said they have a private ICU open so I said okay. 1 RT and 2 ER docs tried to get a ABG and failed at a total of 6 times. They even used an ultrasound scanner which I’ve never seen one done before. Total failure. hahaha. My poor wrist. It seems harder and harder to get ABG now. Although, there’s one RT that get it on first tries every time. I like her!

Once in ICU I finally got some solid hours of sleep. I spent 2 nights in ICU and they kicked me back to 6Bond. My appetite had been pretty poor and difficult to eat much food. Did you know St Micheals now give out snacks twice a day? Snack as in a chocolate bar and bag of chips! I lost a total of 4 lbs.

Back on the floor, I slowly started to feel better as each day went by. The IV antibiotics must be working! By day 9 I was getting ready to go home! Thank you to all who came to visit me! I had new visitors every day which help make time go by faster.

I realize now that most diagnostic tests are useless, especially chest x-ray. I refuse to take any more radiation to my chest as 99% they can not see anything “abnormal” as my chest xray is always abnormal looking. Another test that is useless is PFT. My FEV1 is always at 15%. My doc agree with me that my numbers are so low and always the same because output is too low. It is broken.

I also met a lot of cystic fibrosis patients. In case, you don’t know CF. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited (genetic) disease in which excess mucus clogs the lungs, prevents food from being digested, and damages the reproductive system. I have a lot of respect for them and what they have to deal with on a daily basis. The amount of medications they take. Numerous weeks stay at the hospital for tune up. Poor life expancy. It is insane.

I first learned more about CF after watching the film 65Red_Roses. I recall watching her film first then shortly after found that Eva had passed away. Many of the struggles that Eva had, I could totally relate too. I have never met anyone whom I don’t know touched me in the way she has. She has done remarkable work for CF and continues to do so. Read more about her here and be sure to check out her documentary film – 65_RedRoses. Love, love, love.

My final diagnosis during my June hospitalization was chronic respiratory failure. GREAT.

Lung Transplant

By | April 21, 2013

Many people have asked me if I’m on the “list”. Unfortunately I am not a lung transplant candidate.

I went to see the Lung Assessment team at TGH when I was 20 years old. During that time my lungs condition dare I say was pretty good. I was able to do normal activities but still felt SOB walking long distance, but that was solved by taking rests. It was “normal” for me. I used a bi-pap at night and only 1L of oxygen during the night.

When I retired from Sick Kids, they sent me to TGH to see Granton as a follow-up Respirologist. At the same time they did a work up for possible lung transplant. I wasn’t really informed or cared about my health back then. I thought it was crazy that I would need new lungs one day, I mean my lungs were working just fine.

Coincidentally, Granton was also a Pulmonary Hypertension specialist! But I was not diagnosed at that time yet. I recall him saying to me, “Your lungs will naturally deteriorate when you hit your mid-20s.” And that was exactly what happened on my 25th birthday! I was dx with PH. He predicted this would happen! For some reason Granton did not leave a good first impression with me so I started to see another Respirologist at St. Micheals Hospital whom I really admire and respect. However, I hear only all good things about Granton so I have nothing against him.

If you asked me 5 years ago if I could, would I do a lung transplant? I would say, hell no. It was too frighten to undergo that process. Ask me that today? hell yes. I would do anything to be a candidate as that is really my last chance for a normal life. I am unfortunately not a candidate because of my kyphoscoliosis.

Severe musculoskeletal disease affecting the thorax, e.g., kyphoscoliosis, is a relative contraindication, and progressive neuromuscular disease is an absolute contraindication to lung transplantation.
International Guidelines for the Selection of Lung Transplant Candidates

Now I’m at the dead-end with no treatment options left. My lungs will deteriorate to the point where I’ll probably need bipap support 24/7. Next, A tracheostomy will probably help me stay alive but there’s no way I want a tube in my neck, can not eat or talk. I have told the medical team that I do not want a tracheostomy. So you see, I have no options left than a slow dying death. Ha Ha. Okay, not funny but it is reality.

Be a Donor
If you live in Ontario, please consider to sign up to be a donor. You don’t need your organs/tissues after you die and 1 organ can save up to 8 amazing lives! Organs and tissue that can be donated include the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, small bowel, stomach, corneas, heart valves, bone and skin.

Even though I have shitty lungs, I still signed up. Please go to beadonor.ca in Ontario.

New URL

By | March 8, 2013

Hello everybody! We have moved our blog! Please bookmark us and follow us here. You will be automatically redirected in 3 seconds! If not, click below!

http://phenomenalyouthcanada.ca

Ten Random Things About Me

By | February 18, 2013

1. I don’t wear any socks unless its long stockings.

2. I eat the same breakfast everyday 6-7 times a week – 4 pcs of bacon, boiled egg, hash brown with ketchup

3. For one reason I’ve stopped drinking cold drinks. I only drink tea now and sometimes my SB latte. Strange, I used to not drink enough liquid but now I drink lots.

4. I don’t drink water – bottled/tap. Unless its Fiji water I’m not drinking. :P

5. I was a very quiet kid growing up. I don’t know why.

6. I lived in a bubble when I was in elementary school. I thought all families were the same as mine. A nuclear family. Little did I know there’s a whole different world out there.

7. My first experience with death was my school’s friend AS in grade 8. Her mother passed away suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. It was so sad. I remember seeing her mother couple days before her passing. She was helping us with our science project. She looked perfectly healthy. Then the next week, she was not in class and we were told her mom passed away. She called me to tell me details of the funeral. I attended. I remember the mirrors in her hallway were all covered up. Gawd, I didn’t know what to say to her but I’m sorry.

8. I love violent and bloody movies. No sappy movies please. – Django Unchained, Seven, Fight Club, Black Swan

9. I collect things that people have written to me. Some back from elementary school days, get well cards, Birthday cards, Christmas cards, postcards from adventures, notes exchanges from Willowbrook days. I still have them all. :)

10. I feel my time is running out soon. Going to ask my doc what my prognosis is. However I don’t think he can give me an answer. If I KO tomorrow I think I may be fine with it cuz living now really sucks.

Butter Pound Cake

By | February 9, 2013

Pound cake has always been a favourite of mine since I was a child. There was this one brand that made it deliciously good that is sold only at Longos. It comes in a white box. They bake several other baked goods too such as their soft chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, etc. I also notice the price increase as long went by. I think it retails for about $7 last I checked.

I also finally purchased a Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer in Onyx Black. Something I have wanted for a long time but wasn’t sure to take the plunge to purchase it. They have a rebate program for the Mixer series for $80. So in the end I only pay $316.34 – $80 = $236.34 which I think is a pretty good deal!

So far I’ve only tested it twice with same recipe. I like it. I’m going to test a few others that require yogurt and or buttermilk.

Vanilla Pound Cake – By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/vanilla_pound_cake.php


Bakers of all stripes want this classic in their collection – as well as their freezer. A true pound cake relies on beating each egg thoroughly since there’s no baking powder. This is a good time to use imitation vanilla extract, because there is less flavour evaporation than with pure vanilla extract.

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
5 eggs
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) artificial vanilla extract or pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) sifted cake and pastry flourPreparation

Line 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan with double layer parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy; beat in sugar until combined. Beat in eggs, 1 at time and beating each for 1 minute. Beat in milk, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour until no longer streaky. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Bake in centre of 325°F (160°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 1-1/4 hours.

Let cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes. Turn out, right side up, onto rack; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and store for up to 2 days. Or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

It’s Almost 6AM and I can’t Fall Asleep

By | January 27, 2013

What is wrong with me!? I am having Zipoclone withdrawal. My insurance denied to pay for my refill because I am refilling it too early – 6 days early. Smart little fuckers. I have a 30 day supply. On some nights I double up because I just can’t sleep. Apparently, I’m not allowed to do that because then I won’t have enough pills to last the 30 days.

It’s been 3 nights of being awake at this godly hour. I can’t believe I’m so attached to his drug. I don’t even believe it works that well as there are still some nights where I don’t sleep till 5AM. Nothing as bad as these past 3 nights where I’ve been awake till 9AM or so. I have 5 days left.

I’ve been stubborn for not wanting to pay full price for the drug but I guess I give up. I need my Zipoclone.

My doc also told me not to take double dosage so I guess I’ll stop that.

I seriously believe it’s my shitty lungs that prevents me from sleeping…

The Worst Year of my Life Review

By | January 7, 2013

A recap in review for 2012

Jan
- started going to work on time 10-5pm for 3 days a week
- Hooray Frankster is in town. We had family dinner at Magic Wok. First time!
- KaKa came to visit from Seattle. I fainted when she arrived and she did CPR. EMS to rescue.
- Stayed 2 weeks at York Central, declined to go to St. Michaels and went home to rest. In retrospect perhaps I should have gone to St. Michaels. Whatever.

Feb
- attended Dennis and Ramona’s wedding. My voice has not return so I was completely mute.

March
- My cousin Esther and her husband came to visit me from Edmonton. Fun week of activities.
- Shortly after they left, I had episode of massive hemoptysis and passed out. EMS was called and I stayed at York Central for 2 weeks then transferred to St.Michaels ICU for 1 week then 1 week in 6Bond. I was intubation for almost 3 weeks. I was pretty nerve racking when they extubate me. The ICU team were doing their rounds and there were at least 6-8 doctors surrounding me. I told them I was nervous and asked for them to leave. The RT removed the tape then pulled the tube out. I closed my eyes. When I saw the tube out it was rather short. There biggest concern was that I wouldn’t be able to breathe on my own. But I did OK. Remained on the bipap for the next few days.
- 3 people died in ICU while I was there. Although when I told my mom to ask the nurse she said they did not die? WTF. They closed their blinds all night. In the morning someone came to take the body away. Please tell me I was not hallucinating!?

April
- Dora and I attended Oprah Lifeclass Tour at the Metro Convention Centre. It was fantastic and we were treated VIP style. Hehe! We were upgraded to Row10 from the stage. Mind you there were 10,000s of people jammed packed in one room.
- told work I can not return so I remain on leave of absence indefinitely. Yay benefits. Bye bye to the working world. :(

May
- first evening out this year. Attended Cheryl’s bachelorette party at El Convento Rico (gay bar). Fun times.
- attended PH Golf Kids to raise funds for PHA Canada

June
- toss and turn on deciding if I should go to Florida for the International PH Conference. I had a chronic cough but in the recent weeks it started to get better thanks to the codeine. So yes, I decided to go
- after hours of flight delays we finally made it to Orlando. 48 hrs in Orlando!
- reunited with all the PHA Canada gang
- started taking 7.5mg Zipoclone

July
- G’s birthday bash at the Mansion
- Kelly’s baby shower for baby Lucas
- bought a treadmill but I hardly use it. It’s now my living room decoration
- went to Coldplay Mylo Xyloto concert with hooeyJ – best fuckin concert ever!
- my birthday – invited the guys over and I cooked them a full meal
- Auberge du Pommier birthday date with Dora

August
- Yve’s bridal shower
- Yve’s wedding reception
- Denny&Ramona’s baby shower with the bouncy castle
- Kat’s baby shower
- Scarpetta date with Frankster

Sept
- feeling emo. Don’t remember what happen this month

Oct
- PC and Nancy wedding reception
- Uncle in town for 5 days, went out to eat nonstop at Terroni, Yangs, Magic Wok, Solo Sushi.
- watched Amaluna Cirque du Soleli

Nov
- Vegas Night fundraiser raised over $11,000 for PHA Canada. I personally started contacting companies requesting for donations in July and received over $2,000 worth of items!
- 6 Minute Walk for Breath was a success

Dec
- went to One of a Kind Show to buy $70 worth of shortbread cookies
- finally got my stupid hair cut and donated to Pantanee
- hot pot for Christmas with cousins, and Frankster’s family

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People Come into Your Path for a Reason, Season, or Lifetime.

By | December 27, 2012

I came across this poem and really liked it. So I thought I’d share:

People Come into Your Path for a Reason, Season, or Lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON it is to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty…
To provide you with guidance and support…
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…
They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die…
Sometimes they walk away…
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…
Their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON.
Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.
Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being a part of my life…
Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime

~ unknown author