Thursday, 24 February 2011

Oohlala, This Feels Good!

I wish someone had told me sooner that my insurance covers massages--yeah, yeah, I should have investigated.

I went for a massage today after getting a prescription (only covers you if you have a doctor's prescription) from the doctor. With my thesis in full-swing and me up at odd hours of the night and sometimes in the lab till 10pm, the doctor didn't even blink when I asked her how do I go about if I wanted a massage.

She just said "oh, you need a prescription" and handed me one.

The massage therapist asked what my complaint was and when I said "STRESS!", laughed and said "fair enough!".

By the looks of how much the plan covers, I might actually be able to squeeze in a massage once every week before school ends in about 2 months! This is taking into account the fact that I have to pay about $10 per visit (co-pay).


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Skating on the Trent Canal...

Skating on the Trent Canal...

Ok, I finally did it!

It's been about 3 years since I've been to Canada and this is the first time I've gone skating. The last time I skated, it was probably like, 10 or 12 years ago (in Sunway Pyramid)!

But like riding the bike, you never completely forget...That and the fact that I can kind of roller-blade ;)

It was a pretty lovely day out. It was relatively warm outside with a low of about -3 degrees (that's warm for Canadian winter)...

I started out walking like a duck on the ice, and the two little kids and teenager who were there with me were laughing...I had gone with the family whom I work with for Kinark Child and Family Services (no pictures of them for confidentiality reasons); they were really awesome and had even brought an extra pair of skates for me to wear.

And then after that when I figured out (somewhat!) how to stop, we went all the way down the river until the signs told us to stop. The kids were having a great time falling and sliding all over the ice, and towards the end, there was a huge gust of wind that sent me wham onto my bum.

So much for saying just minutes earlier that I hadn't fallen on the ice.

When we finally had enough, we made it back to where we had left our boots, and as I tried to stop myself from going headlong onto the bench (I also had to navigate snow that had piled around the bench), I took another mighty big, spectacular splat onto the ice. The elderly men around had a nice laugh as my feet went up into the air...

You know, as much as we complain about the winter here in Canada, it can be quite fun! Heeeheee...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Healthcare, anyone?

For things like prescription drugs, we pay 20% here in Ontario...

One thing which fascinates me to no end is how two countries which are separated by just a border can be so different (of course there are similarities!). Think Malaysia and Singapore...

I can see that over here in North America too. Although Canada has many similarities to the US, there are some things which are very different. Healthcare comes to mind...

I hear my friends and/or acquaintances in the States grumbling about healthcare and how it is exorbitantly expensive to seek medical care. Many don't have insurance.

And I realise how lucky I am to be here in Canada.

Canadians pay alot when it comes to taxes, especially here in Ontario where the tax is 13%. So everything that you plan to buy, be prepared to add an additional 13% to the price tag. Needless to say, shopping ain't much fun.

But healthcare, especially if you need regular healthcare, is great. The waitlist is long, and it is a pain that you need a referal for everything, but when you do get in, it's awesome!

I go for physiotherapy and hydrotherapy now (Note: At least in Ontario--I don't know about other provinces--services such as physio, occupational therapy, dental and prescription drugs require the patient to pay 20%; other services like hospital/doctor visits, diagnostic tests/bloodwork are free) for my double joints, in addition to my ballet. And in just these short 6 months, I can already see the difference.

I fell just the other day that resulted in a big bruise on my knee. But unlike the previous times where I would have limped quite a bit for some days, this time, I was able to walk just fine. In fact, I could even go for ballet just a couple days after and jump around.

And I really like my physiotherapist because she tailors my exercise such that I can do it in the university gym (which is connected to the physiotherapy clinic) or at home with regular things like textbooks.

The healthcare Canada provides (remember we pay a substantially high tax) is a welcome blessing, although the waitlist is a real pain. Regardless of the waitlist, if it weren't for the healthplan, I'm sure many students like me will shun hospitals even when we're horribly ill. Like when I needed the hospital in my first year (a real bad case of the flu), I could at least rest assured I won't get a heart attack when the bill came.

All I had to pay was 20% of the ambulance fee--I paid $45 in case anyone's wondering.

Which I found out THIS year, my extended coverage plan would have covered the other 20% (Darn!)...