May/ June ” It’s summer time ” and It’s time to party!

This May started with Mother’s Day in Edmonton at my oldest brother Joel and his fiancé Ashley’s house. My brother made BQQ ribs for dinner. We got mom some gifts for Mother’s Day, my brother Joel and his fiancé Ashley got her a cookbook, I got her water bottle with flowers and a picture of us that Misty made for her.

I finally celebrated Easter with my family on the May long weekend. My mom had turkey dinner with sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, & cranberries, stuffing with gravy. We coloured eggs outside, and we got chocolate squirrels! It was great late Easter!

My best friend forever, Teresa needed surgery on her elbow in May so, my mom ordered her flowers! Crossing our fingers that we can get together this summer!

On the 1st weekend in June was Jaywalkers. On Saturday afternoon Maryann and I played Freddy’s frog pond and a ball racing game. I got prizes. I got three stuffed animals, two fish and unicorn.

On Sunday afternoon, my parents took me back to Jaywalkers. I got a rainbow face painting and we went on the Ferris wheel! My mom changed my feeding tube!

Saturday night my family and I celebrated my birthday early . We had a yummy dinner “chicken , peanut sauce , coconut rice with green onions” . It’s Teresa’s chicken and everyone loves it. For dessert Salted Carmel Box Cheesecake. I got a beautiful flower & butterfly wallet from my parents and an beautiful butterfly mug. I also got Costco grey pants and a winner’s gift card from Luke. Ashley and Joel gave me gift certificate for nails. We went to neon bowling after dinner. It was a wonderful evening with the whole family.

For my 27 birthday I went to Centra Cam and I made iron beads into a butterfly shape magnet. We played a game that you get pairs and we learned about money in the grocery store it calls bananas to bananas. We played Yahtzee which I got a Yahtzee. When I got home I was welcomed home, with balloons everywhere. I got some bath bombs, new bedding set and jewelry with purple hair dye for my hair. I got some canvas to paint. I went back home and my mom had friends over for brownie cake with cream cheese icing. I got flowers, t- shirt and a kitten puzzle . My grandma sent me colouring books and markers. It was a awesome day to celebrate with friends!

I made some paintings for Mary’s son and Mary’s daughter. Joshua Junior was born on My birthday which is June seventh! Which made my day even more extra special. I wanted to make something for his big sister Alayna. I made a rainbow with a blue background and some clouds for Baby Junior! I made green glass with a soccer ball with a soccer net in the background for big sister Alayna!

On Saturday morning I dyed my hair purple! In the afternoon I got to go to winners and I got to use my gift card from Luke. I got a butterfly mug, bubble bath and bath bombs which is watermelon flavoured and strawberry flavoured . I’m looking forward to using them. Thanks for the Winner’s gift card Luke!

On Sunday afternoon my Auntie Gail came over from Lloydminster! We made homemade bath bombs. She gave me a few canvases for painting and a wooden box to paint, colouring books and word search books. I finally finished my cross stitch butterfly for Teresa’s birthday on Monday evening! On Wednesday afternoon was my last school presentation of the year.

On Wednesday evening I got to meet Kelsey’s newest baby girl Averie Jade! On Saturday afternoon I decided to paint my butterfly wooden box from my Auntie Gail. I made it rainbow colours!

On Sunday afternoon, My mom and I went shopping for Mary’s newest baby boy Joshua Junior, I got to meet him and hold him! Congratulations on your baby boy Mary and Joshua! My mom made him moccasins and we got him clothes & a children’s book! I also painted a picture of an rainbow clouds and his name!

This was Father’s Day, our plan was changed due to my Dad was called into work. After my dad worked he picked up some pizza and we gave him some presents. Joel gave him tools, Luke gave him some Bose, and I got a t- shirt deigned with musical guitar, drums and other musical instruments which Misty made. Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Dad! I love you very much!

Since the beginning of June I have been going back to Centra Cam for four mornings a week and then I shred paper at the fire hall on Friday mornings.

On Monday afternoon I finished my butterfly box and I started a sunset painting for my senior Sharon! Tuesday afternoon I did some more pink and purple paint into the sunset picture for my senior Sharon.

On Wednesday afternoon we drew the palm trees on the sunset painting and I painted over top with green and brown paint! I organized my paints in my butterfly box! On Thursday afternoon we drew the outline of the trees and paint the leaves more green. We put a quote “A sunset tells us what we are and where we should be”.

On Friday afternoon I got a cleaning at the dentist and we finished American Idol in the evening.

Saturday morning I dressed up as I was supposed to be watching a friend of mine, Alesha get married to Neil but unfortunately the app wasn’t working properly. So that was disappointing for me. Saturday afternoon I did my fingernails, Janelle, me and our staff went out for a walk and took some pictures.

We watched some of Cinderella’s story while having supper and then went to an outside party at my parents house. My dad’s band was playing in the backyard, * the baking soda *. Auntie Karen and Dave were there! I got to met Joshua’s fiancé, Donnell. It’s seems like everyone is in engaged in Joel’s friends group!

Sunday morning my parents put up our swimming pool in the backyard! My Dad and I played ladder ball on Sunday afternoon. My Mom and I watched my friend Alesha and Neil’s wedding video! It was an beautiful day to get married!

It’s been busy. I hope it slows down a bit!

My friend Kelsey and her journey with A1AD

My friend Kelsey has A1AD and I was curious about her journey. She works with me at my house! I did know that A1AD was a thing that you could get in your lungs and could be carried down genetically in your family! I hope people will learn about Kelsey and her journey with her A1AD and her asthma!

Kelsey W: What is Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and what does it do?

Kelsey G: Alpha 1 is due to a mutation in the SERPINA1 gene.  It is a lung and liver disease. It can effect either organs or both. My family is lung affected. If caught in time it can be managed with lifestyle, steroids and intravenous infusions. For more severe cases it can result in double lung transplants. Which both my dad and his sister have had.

Kelsey W What’s were your symptoms of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?

Kelsey G: My symptoms were Shortness of breath, wheezing chronic lung infection and knife stabbing pain in my ribs and back.

Kelsey W: Does this run in your family and who also has it?

Kelsey G: It started with my dad, then my brother and I were tested. We both carry the A1AD Gene. Both of my dad’s parents carry the gene. His brothers and sisters both carry it as well. When my dad was diagnosed, he was only the tenth person in Canada to be known to have it. So it was hard to find a doctor that specialized in it. But he found Dr. Lein at the U of A. Out of my brother and I, so far, only I have shown symptoms. But the more they learn about the disease the more they are finding that it can show up in your life at anytime. You can be healthy for 50 years and then it can activate and come out of nowhere.

Kelsey W: What is your advice for other people who have it?

Kelsey G: Stay active, don’t smoke and keep alcohol to a minimum. And if you feel like you even slightly are having a hard time breathing see a doctor! Early intervention can make all the difference.

Kelsey W: Do any of your kids have it?

Kelsey G: Because their dad does not carry the gene, they only have a 25% chance of it being passed down to them. We haven’t had them tested yet!

Kelsey W: How did you find out that you had asthma and A1AD?

Kelsey G: I found out that I had asthma when I was two. I was wheezing a lot so my mom took me to my pediatrician and they diagnosed me. Then at twelve, my dad got sick. After extensive testing he was diagnosed with A1AD. Because it’s genetic they tested my brother and I right away. We both carry the gene.

Kelsey W: Where did you grow up?

Kelsey G: Tumbler Ridge. A tiny town in northern BC. Weird thing is, out of a town of less then 2000 people and the disease still being relatively new, there have been 8 people diagnosed in Tumbler. 6 people belonging to my family.

Kelsey W: What’s your favourite memory of your mom?

Kelsey G: When we surprised her with her puppy Wiley.

Kelsey W: What’s your favourite memory of your dad?

Kelsey G: Since he has passed I can’t pick a favourite. All of them are so special to me.

Kelsey W: What did you do after school?

Kelsey G: I went back to school for business and accounting

Kelsey W: Were you popular in school?

Kelsey G: Tumbler was so tiny there wasn’t things like clicks or different groups of kids. Most of the kids were friends with everyone.

Kelsey W: What did you do for fun when you were a kid?

Kelsey G: Swimming or biking. We pretty much grew up at the arena. I figure skated and my brother played hockey.

Kelsey W: What are your hobbies?

Kelsey G: Being a mom, making spreadsheets for fun, traveling with my family and camping.

Kelsey W: Where have you travelled?

Kelsey G: Germany, France, Italy, Las Vegas, New Orleans and San Francisco.

Kelsey W: How many jobs did you have before this job?

Kelsey G: Panago pizza , foxsal communications then, I worked at a Bar, then moved here I worked at family services for children with disabilities. Then I came to team 12.

Kelsey W: When did you start your family?

Kelsey G: When I was 16, I started to take care of a little girl who became my own child. Then I met Joshua when I was 25, and we had our first baby in 2019.  I just has a baby girl in May 2022 her name is Averie.

Here is some information I found on the internet…

What Is AAT Deficiency?

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disease, which means it’s passed down to you from your parents. It can cause serious lung or liver disease. You may also hear it called AAT deficiency. Symptoms often include trouble breathing and jaundiced, or yellow, skin. There’s no cure, but treatments can help you manage your liver and breathing problems. You get the disease because your liver doesn’t make enough of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin, or AAT. You need AAT to protect your lungs. Without it, infections and other irritants, like tobacco smoke, break down parts of your lung even faster. If you have AAT deficiency, you might not have breathing symptoms until you’re in your 20s or 30s. When they start, you could feel short of breath or wheeze when you breathe, just like someone who has asthma. For some people, AAT deficiency can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). When you have COPD, you often have symptoms of emphysema, a serious condition that makes it hard for you to push air out of your lungs. COPD can make you cough up mucus, make you wheeze or have trouble breathing, and make your chest feel tight.

My Friend Norah and her Spinal Stenosis

Norah worked at CAFCL office for 15 years and I would see her around the office and through the different activities. When I heard that she had back surgery I was curious about her experience with her surgery and her recovery on her back! Thanks so much for your information and interview with your spinal stenosis. I hope people can learn about Norah and her experience.

Kelsey: What’s were your symptoms?  

Norah: I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis about 10 years ago. It was very painful to walk.

Kelsey: Why did you need back surgery? 

Norah: Vacuuming all sorts of different things shovelling snow was impossible and it got to the point where vacuuming or washing the floor was next to impossible.

Kelsey: How much pain were you in before your surgery, how long was recovery from the surgery?

Norah: The pain was pretty severe it went from my lower back down the back of my legs into my feet and up the front of my calves. The recovery from the surgery was four months. And up until the four months I didn’t know if I had done the right thing. I never had physio therapy before or after but after the four months. I was able to walk for a couple days and then a new pain started and I thought oh dear. I had an appointment with the surgeon and told him about the pain and he said unfortunately it probably is still part of the stenosis because it goes all the way up my spine. He told me in about six years I would probably need it again. I did not want to hear that but I’m so glad that I had the surgery.

Kelsey: If anyone else need this surgery, what would you say to them?

Norah: If anybody has it, I would say get the surgery it is changed my life. It’s given me back my life, I guess you could say I am able to walk now. I do an average of 10 to 15,000 steps a day which is about an hour and a half to two hours of walking.

Kelsey: What’s your hobbies?

Norah: As for hobbies I have all sorts of hobbies I love to paint, knit and crochet. I love to play cards with my good friends or family and grandkids.

Kelsey: Tell me about your childhood, where did you grow up? Do you have any siblings?

Norah: I grew up in Edmonton I was the youngest out of five kids, I had two sisters and two brothers.

Kelsey: How do I know you?

Norah: I worked at CAFCL for just about 15 years, and I met you through work at different events.

Kelsey:  Do you have any memory of your parents?

Norah: I absolutely have great memories of my parents. They were the best parents any kid could ask for. We didn’t have a lot, but we always had a roof over our head and lots of food and clothes on our back. My parents have been gone for quite a while, my mom 15 years and my dad about 25 years now. They worked hard and the kitchen table always had lots of family and friends around it.

Kelsey: Did your family and friends give you support for your surgery?

Norah: My siblings and my kids gave me lots of support and my Friends were amazing.

Kelsey: What hobbies did you do as a child? 

Norah: As a child I didn’t really have hobbies I babysat a lot I always loved kids.

Here is some information I found on the internet:

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal or neural foramen that results in pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.[6] Symptoms may include pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs.[1] Symptoms are typically gradual in onset and improve with bending forwards.[1] Severe symptoms may include loss of bladder control, loss of bowel control, or sexual dysfunction.[1

Causes may include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal tumors, trauma, Paget’s disease of the bone, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and the genetic condition achondroplasia.[3] It can be classified by the part of the spine affected into cervical, thoracic, and lumbar stenosis.[2] Lumbar stenosis is the most common, followed by cervical stenosis.[2] Diagnosis is generally based on symptoms and medical imaging.[4]

Treatment may involve medications, bracing, or surgery.[6] Medications may include NSAIDs, acetaminophen, or steroid injections.[7] Stretching and strengthening exercises may also be useful.[1] Limiting certain activities may be recommended.[6] Surgery is typically only done if other treatments are not effective, with the usual procedure being a decompressive laminectomy.[7]

Spinal stenosis occurs in as many as 8% of people.[4] It occurs most commonly in people over the age of 50.[8] Males and females are affected equally often.[9] The first modern description of the condition is from 1803 by Antoine Portal, and there is evidence of the condition dating back to Ancient Egypt.[10]

My staff Alex and her tore ACL and MCL

I met Alex while she was working at my house. When, she tore her ACL and MCL, she said you should interview me about her experience. I quickly made-up interview questions.  When I found out she hurt her knee and needed surgery, I was scared and shocked to hear the news!

Kelsey: What happened with the ACL and MCL in your knee?

Alex: I play for Ambrose Women’s basketball team, and I tore my Anterior Cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in a practice during preseason. I got my leg caught between my teammate and fell backwards and as I fell it twisted and I heard a loud POP.

Kelsey: Rate your pain 1-10

Alex: My pain depends on the day, when I sit down, I have no pain, but when I walk for a long time I have a pain around a 4. My swelling is still there in my knee.

Kelsey: What things are difficult for you to do?

Alex: Things that are now difficult for me to do are any physical activities. I also am unable to bend my knee all the way due to loss of flexion in my leg for keeping it straight for 2 weeks after surgery. But the flexion will return in a few months.

Kelsey: How did your family act when you hurt yourself?

Alex: When I got hurt, my family felt sad for me because they knew I was in a lot of pain. My mom felt bad for me because she had the same thing happen to her knee. But my whole family was very supportive and helped me through the whole process.

Kelsey: What would you tell people that went though this same issue in their knee? 

Alex: I would tell other people to keep their head up, it is a very difficult and serious injury but having the surgery has allowed me to attempt physical activities again. Although recovery time is around one year, it is definitely a learning experience. I’m hoping it is worth it in the end.

Kelsey: Can you still play your favourite sports?

Alex: I can not play them at the moment, but I am hoping to return to all of my activities once I am fully healed.

Kelsey: What are your hobbies?

Alex: My hobbies are hiking, playing basketball, hanging with my family and friends, and going to the lake, watching the sunset (not really a hobby ha-ha) and snowboarding!

Kelsey: How was your childhood?

Alex: My childhood was good! I grew up in a Christian household, and I have two siblings. A younger sister and younger brother. My childhood was filled with love laughter and so much adventure.

Kelsey: What’s your plan after school, what did you go to school for?

Alex: I am taking bachelor of arts in behavioural science and after that I am going into a two year education degree to become a teacher for children with special needs.

I found this information on the internet if you would like to know more about ACL and MCL.

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) connects the top of your shinbone (tibia) to the bottom of your femur (thighbone). Located outside of your knee joint, this ligament helps hold your bones together and adds stability to your knee. MCL injuries are most common in contact sports, like soccer and football, and are the result of a hit to the outer part of the knee. While MCL surgery can be necessary in some situations, it’s not always the go-to form of treatment. Symptoms of an MCL Injury An MCL tear has similar symptoms to other knee injuries, like ACL tears. Because of the similar symptoms, it’s crucial to have an orthopaedic physician assess your injury. Most commonly, the following symptoms are reported after an MCL injury: A popping sound at the time of injury A swollen knee joint Pain and tenderness along the inside edge of the knee Locking or catching in the knee joint Diagnosing an MCL Injury Your physician will need to first examine your knee by bending or applying pressure to the outside of the joint. This will also tell them if your knee is loose. From there, an orthopaedic surgeon will likely order imaging tests to get a look at your knee joint. An X-ray will show them the bones in your knee while an MRI scan will give them a closer look at your ligaments. For patients with claustrophobia or anxiety, an open MRI scan can be ordered in certain locations. Once your orthopaedic physician has reviewed your scans and completed the physical examination, they will classify your MCL tear as one of the following grades: Grade I: A partial MCL tear Grade II: A near complete MCL tear Grade III: A complete MCL tear with a non-functional ligament MCL Treatment The right MCL treatment plan will depend on the severity of your tear. Grade I and Grade II tears can heal on their own within a few days to a few weeks as long as you get plenty of rest. Since Grade III MCL injuries are complete tears, the ligament is unable to heal itself and surgery is needed. Surgery may also be needed if there is any grade of an MCL tear along with other ligament issues. A nonsurgical treatment plan will include some or all of the following: Applying ice to reduce swelling Taking anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling Using an elastic bandage or brace to compress the knee Walking with crutches to keep the weight off the injured knee Limiting activities that could cause reinjury or disrupt healing Physical therapy to regain strength MCL Surgery & Repair During MCL surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon will make small incisions in your knee and insert an arthroscope, which is a small tube-shaped instrument. Methods for reattaching or reconstructing the torn ligament can vary. Options include using a portion of the patellar tendon (which connects the tibia and the kneecap) or the hamstring tendon (from the back of the thigh). Tendon grafts can come from the patient or an organ donor. MCL surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning an overnight stay in the hospital is not necessary. Recovering from an MCL Injury Whether MCL surgery is needed or not, the outlook for recovery after a tear is very good. However, recovery times will depend on the severity of the injury and the treatment option you’re prescribed. It’s important to follow the guidance of your orthopaedic surgeon and/or physical therapist throughout the recovery period to ensure that your knee heals properly and to prevent further injury.

April 2022-  Covid hit our house  (☀️spring is in the air , I can’t wait until summer ☀️)

This April started with Easter bingo with Rose Club. There were two bingo Easter sheets one was Easter pictures and the other was Easter words. I didn’t get a bingo, but I got a prize for doing the activity with Rose Club!  

One Saturday night, we had Spa night with facials, and I watched a girly movie with Jessica and Theresa.

Another Saturday night was Radio with Rose Club and another Saturday evening was birthday bash with Rose Club!

I went to the bowling alley with Centra Cam for our 25 years of the bowl a thon on the second Friday in April. It was a wonderful morning with 2-3 games of bowling.  In the afternoon I painted tulips for our senior.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that I got covid from the bowling alley.  On Saturday night my staff noticed that I wasn’t feeling well, but I didn’t really realize until 6 am on Sunday morning, I started feeling unwell. My staff Karli tested me for covid and it took 3 minutes to turn the test positive for covid.   I was isolated for ten days in my room.  It started with a headache, stuffed up nose and a cough. By Monday evening my chest was hurting me too.  The 3rd day I woke up and I couldn’t breathe very easily and I coughed so hard that I threw up in my bed.  Mom took me to the hospital on Monday evening and we found out I had pneumonia covid and also a nurse noticed that I had a burn on my back too.  By Thursday evening I was throwing up my supper, so my staff Kelsey phoned Healthlink and they told her to go to your family doctor but my doctor was away so we went back to the ER for more medication.  I did lots of word searches and took some naps during the time that I was in my room!   I tested negative after 10 days in my room. I still had a cough, sore throat and sore chest for a few days, but I think it’s because of the pneumonia!  I missed some of the rose club activities, there was a baking muffins night and there was a scavenger hunt with rose club end of April but I was just getting over the pneumonia!  I had to reschedule school presentations. I missed Easter with my family and Grandpa Ray because I was sick during the Easter weekend.  Once I got over the covid and pneumonia, we found out that I had liquid in my ear, and I got ear drops for 7 days! 

My BFF, Teresa sent me some sunflowers and other daisies with a bee wooden decoration and a gold sign saying get well soon. She wrote me a note saying a prayer for me to get back to my normal self so I can do the activities that I enjoy.  The Flowers came with a little teddy bear!  It was a wonderful special surprise for me, and I’m thankful that I had her as my grade one teacher and we had stayed friends since I was six years old. I’m thankful to have her in my life!  

My Grandpa Ray came down from Ontario for almost 3 weeks in April as my parents renoed their kitchen and living room, new floors, they got new lights, new cupboards, new appliances and new countertops. They put in an island for the 1st time in their kitchen. It’s a beautiful kitchen. I FaceTimed him and my family a few times and I saw him twice before he went back to Ontario.

Once I started feeling almost 100% better from covid and pneumonia, I could finally dye Easter Eggs!

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter with family and friends. I hope everyone has a wonderful spring ahead!

Kathleen and her Mental & Physical Health

How does it make a person feel to be happy?

It feels like you have a bright light inside of you, keeping you warm and smiling. It also makes you feel like you have purpose that is greater than yourself. I find when you’re happiest, it also bubbles out into other people’s lives, because yoi can’t help but smile at people and be warm towards others.

How do you enjoy your day at work, do you enjoy going on daily walks and workouts?

I usually enjoy my days at work. I always try to keep busy, as it helps the day pass by. I also try to keep the people I work with and for engaged and entertained during the day. The best kind of work is work that you can laugh and make good memories at. I love going for daily walks at work. It helps everyone’s mental states to get out into the sunshine.

Do you have a base diet?

I mostly try to stick to eating foods that have as little processing done to them as possible. High protein intake as well, as it helps me get through the day with energy. Always making sure I’m having a good intake of water, as that really helps flush out any toxins that might be in your system.

If you have a bad day at work what are your tips for making it better?

Doing some controlled breathing to help lower my stress levels. Also just taking a moment to step back and think about the situation before responding. Sometimes I better at this than other times though, haha.

What’s it’s like to sit in a chair all day?

It gets very uncomfortable to sit all day for me. I get very antsy and just want to be up and moving around.

Does your back get sore? Yes, if I’m not remembering to lift properly, or if I don’t do stretches regularly, my lower back can feel sore. It’s never enough to stop me from getting things done though, more just an annoyance.

How do you keep on moving when you are sitting at the computer all day?

I’ll remind myself to get up for 5 minutes to take a break, walk around and do some stretches, sometimes a yoga move to loosen some muscles.

Do you enjoy the company of friends at lunchtime?

I’m a mixed bag. Sometimes I really love having company on break, we can talk and discuss the day and what’s happening in our lives. Other times I like to just be able to sit out in the sun 🌞 and soak it all in in peaceful silence.

What’s it like with covid around, was it hard on your physical health?

Having covid around was really difficult, mentally physically and spiritually. I had to make a lot of very difficult decisions. Masking was really hard on me as I’m someone that needs to see people’s faces to really understand how they are feeling. I also got very anxious wearing them as I have a bit of a trauma response to things being on my face. I get the same way with makeup, if I have it on it makes me feel almost claustrophobic. But I pushed through and tried my best with it. Just getting outside as much as possible when away from work.

How does your physical health matter with your sleeping habits?

Sleep is soooo so important. One of the best things you can do to make sure you’re staying healthy is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. And to also make sure it is good quality sleep. If my sleeping habits aren’t at their best, then my routines and ability to workout and eat healthy also goes downhill.

How do you keep a happy face on when life is hard and difficult?

I try to think about the next day, and how it’s an unknown and could be the best day ever. Also talking to a friend, going for a coffee or a walk and just talking about the difficult parts in life. Then after you get all of that out you can talk about happy things and smile and laugh. I also like going for drives and listening to music as it really helps me process and work through difficult emotions or feelings.

Was it hard to be active when Covid started because gyms and other businesses were closed?

It was a little more difficult. But I just did a lot of hiking and walking. Also doing yoga in my home. In 2020 I did yoga every day for about 300 days in a row. It was awesome and helped keep me feeling a little more balanced.

Were you able to work out at home or at the park on a sunny warm day?

I was! I did a lot of bike riding, as wells as hikes and just walking around. It kept me feeling lighter, especially because of all the time in the sun!

Rebecca and Her Mental & Physical Health

How does it make a person feel to be happy?   

To be happy makes me feel warm and safe. When I am happy I feel free and not weighed down as much by negative aspects of my life. The bad things don’t (and aren’t) seem so bad. 

How do you enjoy your day at work, do you enjoy going on daily walks and workouts?   

I enjoy my day at work by making sure I accomplish all my tasks and do a good job on them. I also enjoy my day at work by getting to know all the individuals and laughing with them / sharing memories with them. I take pride in a job well done and love spreading happiness. 

I do enjoy going on daily walks. My dogs do as well. Sometimes they push me to get outside (even if it’s cold) 

Do you have a base diet?   

My base diet would consist of eggs, vegetables, chicken / pork, popcorn and water 

If you have a bad day at work what are your tips for making it better?   

If I have a bad day my tips to make it better would be to get outside, take a nap, or spend time doing something that makes you happy (reading, drawing, writing etc) Also, pet a dog if you can, that always helps me (or any animal, animals help me) 

What’s it’s like to sit in a chair all day?  Does your back get sore?   

To sit in a chair all day can be tough, my back does get sore. I like to change positions frequently, be mindful of my posture and try to remember to stretch periodically when sitting all day.

Do you enjoy the company of friends at lunchtime?   

I do enjoy the company of friends at lunch. Eating is a very social activity in my family, so that can be tough when you live alone or COVID keeps people apart 

What’s it like with covid around, was it hard on your physical health?  

COVID has affected my physical health because I used to go to the gym and now I don’t. I need to get better at working out at home and improve my motivation. 

It was not that difficult physically for me when COVID began, however, the pandemic has affected my mental health sometimes. The closures of businesses, the inability to see family and friends. The fear of the unknown in a pandemic. The jeopardizing of my source of income all weighed heavily on me. That in turn then affected my physical health. 

Working out outside was possible, and I preferred to get outside as much as possible when the weather is nice. 

How does your physical health matter with your sleeping habits?  

Sleep affects my physical health because I do not have the energy to participate in activities when I am tired and tend to snack more. 

Sleep is very important to me, if I don’t have enough sleep it is more difficult to maintain my happy face and troubles seem more troubling. I am a strong believer in getting enough rest. Getting enough sleep can change your perspective on many things. 

Yes, my days will feel long and more stressful if I am not well-rested 

I don’t need coffee in the morning, but I enjoy the quiet time that drinking coffee in the morning brings. 

To avoid bad habits, I could take more consideration of my physical and mental wellbeing. I could also surround myself with people who have the good habits that I wish I had. 

How do you keep a happy face on when life is hard and difficult?  

I maintain a happy face because I have the power to make my day better and actively choose to not let my poor mood affect another person’s day. Happiness is contagious. 

Misty and Her Mental and Physical Health

HOW DOES IT MAKE A PERSON FEEL TO BE HAPPY?

Happiness, to me, is the positive emotions and fulfillment we have in life. Being happy is having the motivation to succeed and help others along the way. In a way being happy to me is by being a good person to everyone I meet.

HOW DO YOU ENJOY YOUR DAY AT WORK?

I love being at work! CAFCL is one of my favorite places to be. The variance in our scope of practice, on a daily basis, always keeps me interested.

DO YOU ENJOY GOING ON DAILY WALKS?

I LOVE walks! I take my two dogs on walks a couple times a day. Walks are the perfect opportunity for me to relax and decompress from the day.

DO YOU HAVE A BASE DIET?

In a way I do. I’m lactose intolerant, allergic to nuts, and sensitive to spicy and acidic foods. If I did not restrict these things I would be physically ill.

IF YOU HAVE A BAD DAY, WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS ON MAKING IT BETTER?

When I have a bad day I remind myself how much my attitude could affect those around me. I talk to people who make me laugh, I call my husband, cuddle with my dogs, and try and maintain a calm outward appearance. I truly believe there is always someone out there who is having a harder time than me, and that makes me grateful and appreciative of everything in my life.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SIT IN A CHAIR ALL DAY? DOES YOUR BACK GET SORE?

I cannot sit for any length of time without getting restless.

HOW DO YOU KEEP ON MOVING WHEN YOU’RE STUCK AT A COMPUTER/DESK ALL DAY?

I absolutely could not sit at a desk. I have to keep moving.

DO YOU ENJOY THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS AT LUNCH?

I do enjoy the company of friends at lunch. Prior to covid I did lunch dates with my best friend weekly.

HOW HAS COVID AFFECTED YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH?

Covid hasn’t really affected my health other than the effects of wearing a mask. It causes my mouth and nose to be dry and stuffy, and my asthma can be aggravated.

HOW DOES SLEEP AFFECT YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH?

Sleep is a major part of maintaining good physical health. Our bodies heal and regenerate fastest when we are asleep. When you don’t get enough sleep you can be irritable, tired, have an increased probability of accidents or mistakes happening.

IF YOU HAVE BAD HABITS, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID THEM?

If you have bad habits you should limit your exposure to them. Try and find alternatives or a healthier variations to that habit until you can ween off completely.

WHEN LIFE IS DIFFICULT, HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A HAPPY FACE?

When life is unpleasant I focus on the positive. A giggle from a baby, seeing an elderly couple just as in love as the day they met, and sometimes you really just have to use every bit of energy you have to keep that smile on so you don’t become the cause of someone else’s unhappiness.

WAS IT HARD FOR ACTIVE PEOPLE WHEN COVID FIRST BEGAN, DUE TO THE CLOSURES OF BUSINESSES?

Absolutely! It was cold weather and with so many businesses shut down it was hard to navigate healthy alternatives. I think it eased up with the warmer weather and that bit of freedom outdoors to be active.

WAS WORKING OUT POSSIBLE AT A PARK ON A WARM, SUNNY DAY? OR DID YOU WORK OUT IN YOUR HOME?

Working out is possible at home and outside. I live across the road from a provincial park so we have an abundance of outdoor activities we can take part in, or my son has a small gym set up downstairs that is accessible if needed.

HOW DOES SLEEP AFFECT YOUR LIFE? YOUR DAY AT WORK?

The quality of my sleep is completely correlated to my daily life. My central nervous system overreacts and if I am not well rested it could cause extreme fatigue and pain. If I’m at work and I am tired I will be much less productive.

IF YOU ARE NOT WELL RESTED WILL YOUR DAYS FEEL LONGER AND MORE STRESSFUL?

Absolutely! My days start to feel like they are twice as long, I am much easier to get stressed out about things that are not even a big deal.

WILL YOU NEED COFFEE IN THE MORNING TO WAKE UP?

YES! I drink coffee most days. Long term it doesn’t help with making me feel more energetic but it sure tastes good and adds a little happiness to my days.

Ashley and her Mental and Physical Health

How do you enjoy your dat at work?

I actually just started a new job and had to work from home for a week and a half of it due to Covid, so I can’t say for sure.. but I think I am really going to like it! I get to meet lots of new coworkers and families once I am better!

Do you enjoy going on daily walks and workouts?

I try to walk or workout several times each week, although it’s much harder when I am not feeling well or super busy. I love taking Coco for long walks around our neighbourhood and also really like swimming!

Do you have a base diet?

My diet changes a lot depending on how I am feeling, how busy we are, and if we are away on weekend.

If you have a bad day, what’s your tips on making it better?

I like to either go to the gym or take some time to read a book when I have had a bad day. Taking this time helps me forget about it and feel better!

How do you keep moving when you are sitting at the computer all day?

This can be hard for me! I do try to stand up and go for short walks, even if it is just to fill my water bottle or stretch.

Do you enjoy the company of friends at lunch time?

I do like seeing friends at lunch! I will miss that about my old job. Now that I work from home or will be driving around a lot, I don’t think I will get the same opportunity to spend lunch with my friends.

What’s it like with Covid around, was it hard on your physical health?

At the beginning of Covid when everything was shut down I definitely became less active. I was also working at my computer a lot more so I was moving a lot less. I think this did impact my physical health. I think I was actually sick less because I was seeing less people and doing less things, but I think that also negatively impact mental health, so it is really a balance. Now that I have Covid, it has definitely impacted my physical health. I have been very tired lately, even when I don’t do anything!

How does your physical health matter with your sleeping habits?

I need lots of sleep to feel healthy throughout my days! I make sure to keep a fairly consistent sleep routine to make sure I am getting enough rest.

How does your sleep actually effect your life and your day at work?

If I don’t sleep well I am less able to focus and become frustrated easily. I drink lots of coffee to keep me energized throughout the day!

My Mom and her Mental & Physical Health

What makes me happy?

I feel a sense of happiness (accomplishment) after getting a job done. After I’ve cleaned the house – I’m happy. After I’ve done the yard work – I’m happy. Spending time with family and friends makes me happy. A heart-to-heart talk makes me happy. The feeling after strenuous exercise gives me a happy feeling.

Do you enjoy daily exercise?

I try to exercise five-six days a week. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happy. Regular exercise also gives me more energy.

Do you enjoy daily walks?

In warm weather I like to go for a walk every day.

If you have a bad day at work what are tips to make it better?

I would recommend exercise of some sort, maybe tackle a chore that you’ve been putting off. Do something that will get your mind off your bad day and will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Do you enjoy the company of friends at lunchtime?

When I was working I loved to have lunch with friends and coworkers.

Was covid hard on your health? No. The gym closed so I bought some dumbbells, exercise bands and an elliptical machine. It took awhile, but I found that I had better workouts at home. I didn’t have to wait for equipment and I didn’t waste time driving to the gym.

Does your sleep effect your physical health?

If I don’t sleep well I don’t have as much energy, I crave things like chocolate more and I might get cranky at times.

How do you keep a happy face when life is hard?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep a happy face when life is hard. Be patient, things eventually get better.