September 15, 2014

Say “Eye” If You’ve Had An Eye Exam Lately

Last night I stood in front of our full-length mirror and took a hard look at myself. “You know,” I said to my husband, “I see an old woman. My face is wrinkling, my body is succumbing to the effects of gravity, my hair is greying and I have age spots.”

Disgusted, I turned to my husband and said, “Tell me something positive to make me feel better.”

He thought for a minute and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.”

Okay, that didn’t actually happen. My husband values his life too much. No, that was just a little humour preceding the serious topic of eye health. I guess you could say it was “vitreous” humour. (I’m so glad I paid attention in high school biology so I could make that joke.)

But seriously, the topic of losing your sight is no laughing matter.

Did you read “The Fault In Our Stars?” It’s a beautifully written, but tragic story. When one of the characters loses his vision due to eye cancer, I could easily imagine how frightened he must have been. When I sneak into my sleeping child’s room at night to kiss her forehead, as I feel my way through the dark to avoid stepping on a sleeping dog or tripping on a toy, I imagine I’m blind. The feeling makes me uneasy, but soon I step out into the light of the hallway. With my vision restored, I go on with my life, rarely giving my eyesight another thought.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had my eyes checked. Shocking considering how precious my eyesight is to me. Without it, how could I take care of my family? My daughter’s special needs require that I constantly look out for her—both figuratively and literally.

A few years ago I had an ocular migraine. I thought I was going blind. After that you could say I saw the light. I’ve scheduled yearly appointments with our doctor of optometry ever since—for the kids, and my husband too.

Early detection of eye disease significantly lowers your risk of vision loss. In fact, 80 per cent of vision loss can be prevented or treated. An eye exam can also uncover underlying—and life-threatening—health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes, brain tumours, cancer of the eye, eye tumours, high blood pressure, and certain vascular diseases like strokes and heart attacks. An eye exam can help save not only your sight, but also your life by red flagging other potentially serious health concerns.

Your family doctor probably won’t remind you to schedule an appointment with a doctor of optometry. This is something you need to do for yourself. It’s important, so do it and go annually. Appointments are quick and painless. In many provinces, annual eye exams for kids are covered, so it won’t even cost you. To find out if your child’s eye exam is covered in your province, click HERE. My husband and I have full coverage under our medical insurance plan.

Don’t turn a blind eye on your eye health. Sorry, but do you even know how many eye puns there are? I’m trying my best to put a ‘lid’ on it. ;)

So before I get on your last optic nerve, I’ll just end here with this list.

Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Your Eye Health:

  • Eat healthy — eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables - especially leafy greens, and consider upping your intake of Omega-3.

  • Protect your eyes from the sun — consider this permission to buy those new Ray Bans you've had your eye on.

  • Wear eye protection — we wear squash glasses when we have Nerf gun wars at our house. As my mother always says, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.” She’s right.

  • Consider vitamin supplements — Lutein and zeaxanthin (say that three times fast) and vitamin C to help you see.

  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum — sadly, highballs are bad for eyeballs.

  • Don’t smoke — unless you’re talking salmon *see point about Omega-3s.
  • Educate yourself — and then pass this information around to peeps whose peepers you’d like to protect

To VIEW more storEYEs of an OCULAR nature, LOOK no further. Read an ocular haiku/eye-ku here (Beware, the bloody eyeball photo is not for the faint of heart).

Or if like me, you spend entirely too much time staring at a computer screen, watch this to find out if reading on a screen is bad for your eyes and what simple things can you do to lessen the symptoms of eye strain:

This post was brought to you by Doctors of Optometry Canada, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit

September 12, 2014

Bunions and Breakouts: This is 40


I'm forty-four not eighty-four so why do I feel like I should be joining a senior centre and doing needlepoint? Being diagnosed with a bunion has the power to age you faster than 48 consecutive hours in a tanning bed. 

I know there are worse things. Much worse things. But this one thing makes me cringe. And wince! A bunion can be painful—like wake you up from a sound sleep, achy, throbby kind of painful.

I'm currently tiptoeing into the primary stage. I can't wait to get to tertiary because that looks like some sexy fun doesn't it?

If you happen to be looking for some hot pictures, forget the porn and just Google "bunions." My god, my eyes. Disgusting bunions aside, people—cut your toenails! You might also want to hide your feet from cameras forever. Or just spare us the horror and put on some socks.

The word BUNION itself sounds awful. The medical term, hallux abducto valgus is no better. Valgus? Val-dis-gus-ting.

Bunions are a physical deformity. So, I'm deformed. Awesome. They are "characterized by a lateral deviation of the great toe, often erroneously described as an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the head of the big toe." Thank you Wikepedia.

What causes this pedial affliction? Some claim the cause is tight-fitting shoes. Others say the problem is genetic. If you're an overpronater like me, you're basically screwed.

Is there a cure? Not really. So you'd better come to terms with your swollen bursal sac and boney metatarsal bump.  There is a surgical procedure available if your bunions become crazy painful or if you're a foot model or a lifeguard and your livelihood depends upon not grossing people out with your deformed feet. But before that happens, you can try to slow down the progression.

There all kinds of toe splints and separators you can buy, but they're ugly and uncomfortable. I just got fitted for custom orthotics designed to disperse the pressure on the ball of my foot. I'm hobbling to my podiatrist's office to pick them up next week. Yes, I now have a podiatrist. Hello old age home. I see you just off in the distance...

Ironically, I have an appointment with a dermatologist right after the foot doctor to see about this new adult acne situation. Why?? Why would an elderly bunion afflicted woman suddenly sprout pimples on her chin? It's just wrong. 

The 40s are cruel ladies. Cruel and ugly. Sonofabitch...

September 5, 2014

Random Thoughts In My Head

This is what I do upon occasion whilst I'm supposed to be working or cleaning my house or grocery shopping or god forbid, exercising. I visit the countless random thoughts in my head and jot them down. I also, upon occasion, use the word whilst.

1. Recently I wrote about how we all eventually fall prey to the dreaded mom cut. So what do I go and do anyway? I get clipped despite my own warning. I was going for more 'Julianne Hough' than mom cut. Preeeeeeetty sure I nailed it. Wait, why are you sniggering? I can't even properly evaluate what's going on on my head at the moment.  I woke up and immediately pulled my hair back into a stump of a ponytail. I'm a creature of habit. My friend laughed at me because I didn't know who Julianne Hough actually is. She's the host of that dancing show on t.v. This is what happens when you don't have cable.

I'm the one on the right. Just in case you didn't know because Jules and I are basically twins. I'd better put on a hat. The last thing I need is the paparazzi following me around Wal-mart. Why am I hiding behind sunglasses? Because old + tired + ragweed + no make-up + vain.

2. Taking selfies is weird. And hard. I don't enjoy them. Except for this one. I really enjoy this one.

3. I feel sorry for those sign holding waving people who stand on the street corner, sometimes in hot sweaty costumes, waving you into their stores. I feel rude not waving back so mostly I drive by and avoid making eye contact.

4. People who drive with their windows down and music blaring... why? Why do you do this? It seems needy and show-offy and I feel embarrassed for you.

5. A little hair attached somewhere to my shirt, tickling my bare arm drives me crazy and I can't focus on anything else until I locate and remove it.

6. Over-ripe fruit makes me gag. A banana has maybe one day and then it's inedible to me.

7. Facebook is creating a culture of fake, lazy people. Instead of engaging with people, we simply "like" their posts or photos without commenting. Don't get me wrong, I do it too. It's fast and easy. Last week as an experiment I banned myself from liking any posts whatsoever (with the exception of comments people leave for me... I feel like it's rude not to acknowledge comments.... is that weird?). Instead, I have to leave a comment. I still think Facebook makes it easy for us to be lazy in general. As for the fakery, I see people offering up "likes" soley to get likes back. Or liking the posts of people they don't even like. Or liking posts as a passive aggressive "I see you mother-effer" kind of way. How has this even become a thing? Aren't we all grown ups with actual REAL lives? I'm not judging, I'm sincerely asking? I'm worried for us for reals.

8. After doing this Karma Cleanse for the second time (I challenge you to try it for a week) I've discovered that people get irked when you can't participate in smack talk or when you offer up a positive spin to their sour grapes. It's highly entertaining. And annoying. Which makes it more fun.

9. I'm a horrable speller

10. If "sitting is the new smoking" (in terms of negative health affects) then I've developed a three pack a day habit.

August 23, 2014

Wonderland Then and Now

wonderland toronto

When I moved to Ontario from B.C. in 1987, I left my best friend behind. In body that is, but not in spirit. We're still best friends ALL these MANY (I can't even do the math) years later. Every summer Tiff would fly out East and we'd always hit Wonderland.

Let's discuss my 80s outfit, shall we?
What it lacked in shirt length, it made up for in oddly high waisted cut-offs. And the puff of hair atop my head? Seems I may be partly responsible for global warming as a result of my excessive use of Aquanet.

Even though photographic evidence screams dork, I'm convinced I was hot at the time. We strutted around the theme park like we were all that and a bag a banana clips. We'd arrive when the park opened and were the last to leave. One year it absolutely poured. They shut down most of the rides, but we didn't let it stop us from having fun. We ran around singing and splashing in the puddles like idiots. To avoid catching cold, we drove home in our bras and underwear—more comfortable for us, not as comfortable for the truckers passing us by on the 401.

Flash forward several decades (again, more hard math) and Tiff is now a busy mama of two and she hasn't been able to come out here for awhile. I look forward to the day when she and her family can all come to visit. Of course, Wonderland will be on the agenda.

In the meantime, I have a new theme park partner who shares her mother's love of roller coasters and Tiny Tim Donuts. This summer she and I were invited to visit Wonderland with a group of family bloggers.

Canada's Wonderland

We came to test out the park's newest attraction — Wonder Mountain's Guardian. Avery loved it. As in, she rode it over and over again. The child has no fear. In fact, she'd ride the biggest fastest coasters if she was tall enough.

Wonder Mountain's Guardian

I may be a full grown adult now, but as soon as I step inside the park gates, I feel like a kid again. Until I'm reminded of my ancientness when the kids are fascinated by this odd looking telephone system "we used way back then."

telephone booth

Well, I may have been roaming this earth for nearly half a century (I just fainted), but I'm still young at heart. Need proof? Take a look at some of the photos I took simply because they tickled my immature funny bone. 
After we took a ride down Thunder (thighs) Run.... I dared a friend to ask the 'Wax Hands' guy if he could wax her moustache. She countered by daring me to ask him what other body parts we could cast. We chickened out but made a mental note to return later in the day to check out "Swing time." I was curious to see what kind of people showed up...

I think the other photos pretty much speak for themselves.

Sill wonderland Photos

It's no wonder I love Wonderland. Amusement parks bring out the kid in all of us.

I've written other stories about our adventures at Wonderland. Click the links below to read about:

Taking your child with special needs to Wonderland 

Ten Tips For Making Your Trip to Wonderland Extra Wonderful


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