2 min read
18 Jun

The day after i had my nails done, I had my second Swedish massage.  I walk through the ByWard Market to get to and from the therapist.  Where are all the market street stalls?  There are only two.  It’s now June and a beautiful sunny day.  The market should be buzzing with people, instead it’s rather quiet.  I buy a bubble tea from one of the indoor shops and sit outside at a picnic table to enjoy it and people watch

The market was started by Lt.Colonel By in 1826 When Ottawa was known as Bytown.  It’s one of the oldest, and was the largest, outdoor market in the country and drew many tourists as well as residents daily. Right now it seems to be another victim of the two years of Covid and street people of whom there are many - it is in the core of the city after all.   With its 200 year anniversary coming up shortly, there are plans being discussed to revitalize it, I sincerely hope they are successful!

The reason I have to spend half the year in Canada, as you may recall from the beginning of my blog, is to maintain my Ontario Health Insurance coverage.  If any of you are thinking you may become a nomad too, the following comments are important to give you a heads up.

My GP is in Orillia.  When I moved to Collingwood in November, 2021, I tried unsuccessfully to find a local GP.  I registered with Health Care Connect and, as instructed,  I also phoned every doctor’s office in the area - no luck.  

In October, 2022, I had occasion to drive to my Orillia doctor’s office at her request because she wanted to follow up on something a previous test had indicated could be an issue.  I was prescribed 3 meds which I took for a month, then I requested she take me off them because of side effects.  She did but told me to take my blood pressure and my weight daily, which I do to this day.  BP is always normal and weight rarely varies a pound, more less.  I feel great (if I didn’t I wouldn’t have made this dramatic change to my lifestyle) so no need to see her. I did phone her once to report my BP readings and steady weight.

Before moving to Ottawa I had meant to call her to advise her of my move , but everything was so rushed, I didn’t.  

When I arrived in Ottawa I requested the Rexall Pharmacy across the street have the prescriptions I do have (sleeping pills, a bone density med and an acid reflux one) transferred from the Collingwood Pharmacy. A week later I was told by Rexall that the prescriptions had zero refills!

That certainly prompted my call to my Orillia GP who relayed a message to me through her receptionist that she hadn’t seen me in a long time - I needed to come in to see her.  

“That’s out of the question - how do I get there and why?  Wouldn’t a video call or phone call suffice?  The reason I haven’t seen her is because I‘m healthy - there was no reason to see her.  Please tell her this.”

I got a response, “She’ll renew the prescriptions for 6 months this time but you need a new doctor by then!”

Wow - with the lack of General Practitioners in Ontario, and the burgeoning Canadian population (we are now 40 million souls in Canada) the lack of doctors is only worsening!  Good luck With finding one!  Walk-in clinics or Emergency Room visits seem to be in my future.  Without a GP you can’t get prescriptions or referrals to specialists if you need one.  Two tier medicine is desperately needed in Canada and it’s not the bogeyman so many uninformed or misinformed Canadians are afraid of, but I won’t get into that argument here.

Fortunately I have wonderful doctors in Mexico and I’ll be there in November.  I intend to see my GP who is also an internist to have her give me a complete check up.  Preventive medicine!  The way medicine should be practiced in Canada.  It keeps people healthier and therefore less drain on our universal health care funds.  (End of sermon.)

Dee picked me up on Monday, 10 days ago, to head to North Bay.  (I bet you were beginning to wonder if I’d ever get to this part of the story.)  it rained all the way, but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm about our visit.  

Two-year old Maddie is a very pretty little girl but also very bright.   She already has a boyfriend in day care and was caught kissing him - I told Ryan it’s in her DNA 😂.  It was a delight to spend 3 days with her, Ryan and Michelle, and Dee of course..  Maddie loves puzzles, as do I, so together we did the 3 jigsaw puzzles I had given her. 

The day after we arrived, Ryan and I went to Service Ontario where we transferred ownership of my Nissan to him.  It hit me (not the car, lol) that this was the last thing I had still owned from my previous life - I was truly now a nomad.

My dear friends, Monique and Vanna Rossman, FaceTimed me.  They just purchased their AeroMexico flights from Toronto to Manzanillo via Mexico City, leaving November 2.  They invited me to accompany them and even come a few days earlier and stay with them in Whitby if I would like!  

Monique watches flights and prices.  The price had just dropped so I booked the same one-way flight.  All that’s left is to book my flight to Toronto on November 1st and an overnight hotel at Pearson Airport.  I decided not to take up their offer of staying with them because it’s my 89th birthday October 30th which I would like to spend with family.  However, I really appreciate being able to travel with them.  It’s not fun travelling alone and I would never go via Mexico City airport by myself - I would likely go via Puerta Vallarta and have my driver, Jose, pick me up the following morning for the 4-1/2 hour drive from there to Manzanillo.  I’m really happy to be travelling with the Rossmans - that relieves my travel anxieties of going alone.

Back to today - my next adventure starts tomorrow - Laura arrives tonight and Dee moves in with me for a few days.  Dee has to work, but we have plans for the time we can spend together…

NOTE TO MY READERS:  I have now caught up to the present day, so blogs won’t be twice weekly anymore.  I don’t know how often I will write, it depends on what happens to me that you would be interested in hearing about, but I’ll let you know!  Keep an eye out for me 🤗

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