Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 44 · 1 year ago

Can you write to heal? Penelope Arnold hopes so.


This week, I discuss the necessity of celebrating, connecting to the community and staying active. I also speak with Penelope Arnold, whose story "The Imposter" got longlisted for the CBC writers' prize. I was extra excited to speak with Arnold because she works in Orangeville, where I grew up. We talk about anorexia, addiction, writing and missing home. 

My name is Tracy Ael and I am an apologetically Canadian, and so it is November first as I record this, and this week I'm going to be talking about how important, the importance of celebration, and I'm thinking about that a lot today because last night was the first night ever in my life that I remember actually that I did not celebrate Halloween. We just close the curtains and turned off the lights and didn't participate at all, and this is even though we earlier this year we actually all went to pick up pumpkins. We never did carve them. I've bought a whole bunch of treats to give out to people. I was going to be to participating because I love Halloween and so usually I participate, but yesterday I just went into it and rather than fighting my mood, I just decided note this year I'm not going to celebrate, and I don't have any great regrets about that, because I needed to sleep. I was it's perfectly fine and it's sort of emphasizes what I got out of it in previous years, because this is sort of the last hurrah before winter hits and it's an opportunity to have a lot of fun with your neighbors and and could to connect to people around you, and I'm not as connected people around me because I didn't participate. There's a lot of stuff on facebook going on. I'm not part of the conversation. So it's sort of emphasizes the point of what you get when you do participate, which is a really good feeling about living in a community where it's safe to give treats to a bunch of kids that come to your door and how people actually did some really innovative things to make that possible during the time of covid nineteen. So it just sort of reminds me how important it is to put regular celebrations in the calendar and keep them there and to keep them alive, and so I'm definitely going to make mixture a lot more fun for Halloween. Today is also the first first day of Nano Romo, so I got up early this morning, I already did my more than two thousand words and I'm about to go into a brunch with everybody to start off the competent to the season. This is a really good opportunity to celebrate writing and to celebrate the desire to get a novel written in one month. And I also spent almost all day, actually quite a long time, yesterday, updating my website, and that's because the coop hired an intern this week and in discussion with her about how the visual identity and brand and technological operations of the coop function, of course I couldn't help think of some of my personal brand issues and some of the things I really wanted to change about my website, and so I just got down to it and finished it yesterday and of course it's always a work in progress, so there's still things to be done, but the new look is there and it's operational and I transferred from my host and everything is take an eboot. So that's a really good thing to start off to get ready for this winter with. You know, it's a lot easier to think about the content and all of the how I can actually keep my community active when some of the basic structures are in place, like a website and you know thrive themes. I'm frive theme member, so it's really easy to keep updating things on a regular basis and they just create came up with a shape shifter theme, which means you could do anything you want on any page which means that I can bring some of my websites into the same website again, which will save me money next year. So that will be the next step. But at first I had to get the look of my personal brand in the blog and everything the way I wanted it. So if you don't like it, don't tell me, because I love it and I'm very happy with it. It's exactly what I wanted to do, and now I just need to focus on getting the content of the stuff, and that's so that you know that's in in terms of celebrations and my none of that has anything to do, however, with the episode that I'm going to be publishing this week, which is a conversation with penelopee Arnold. Have not met penelope because but she works in Orange Bell which is where I grew up, and but the reason that I'm contacting her is because she got short shirtlisted for the CBC Writers Plot Prize for Her story the impostor. So Hi Penelope, how are you doing? I'm kid. Thanks. How are you? I'm fine. So can you tell me a little bit about the because I mean, you're not you're not known as a writer in Canada. Your you work at as a pharmacist. Yes, yeah, well, I actually I did an English degree at Queen's.

I guess I graduate in one thousand nine hundred and ninety three and and had thought about being a journalist, but my parents are very into science and and you know, I was I was kind of a good girl. I was. I was like okay, I'll do whatever my parents want me to do. So I was I kind of thought, Oh, I'll do something, maybe medicine or pharmacy or even they were. You know, it was just I realized when I was younger I wasn't very confident about stuff. So I ended up doing pharmacy, started a study pharmacy and but I always loved reading and writing. So I always thought it would be so lovely to be a writer because I'm quite reclusive and I love like being on my own and reading and writing. So I had I hadn't really written anything like this before, but because my daughter had gone through a period of illness that was quite difficult, I one day just wrote, sat down and wrote about it and I was surprised that it it did well in the question, but I was pleased right because I thought that it's it is a subject that I think a lot of people don't know much about. So it's a good thing to kind of talk about. Yeah, well, on, and your daughter didn't know that you were going to publish it before. If I know, I know. So I had I think it was went like it was very close to the deadline and I had done this creative writing class and at hot at Christmas, on the last creative writing class, the teacher said, Oh, I've got these calendars. Are called contest calendars and they cost, I don't know, twenty dollars and every month there's a contest. So if you want to improve your writing, you should enter contest. So I thought, okay, I'll try to enter contest every month. And so of course I'd missed January, so I thought, all the February is the CPCN fiction prize. That sounds pretty good. So I I managed to get it in by the deadline and forgot all about it. Like forgot all about it because of the coronavirus, basically. So yeah, so it was a hot July Day when I got into my car after a strenuous work shift and got this email saying congratulations, you've made the pallast and I thought what are they talking about? Like I just completely forgotten about it right, because covid has been so devastating right for in pharmacy it's been very, very stressful. So and and also, yeah, this has been stressful for everybody who's been and I rent a farmers market and so I'm also we've been operating every week. It's not quite as stressful as indoor locations because we're outdoors. We start we're going to be indoors this week and it's a red zone. So it's like it's much more stressful this week that it has been all summer. But it is stressful when you're trying to make sure that you keep people safe and that you know you're right you're doing is important. And Yeah, yeah, it's. And it's just sketch to work. Yeah, it is. And and I think to people were panicking and because, like I work at shoppers drugmark. People love coming to shopper drug mark. I heard one letty go, I come here every day just to look at the deals and pick up my medicine and get my milk, and so shoppers was the one place that was open throughout. So we were seeing everyone every day. Wow, and of course, people's fears, you know, they're they're getting upset in shopper drugmart about about the coronavirus. So it was a lot of there were a lot of emotions for you know, within the staff, wasn't the customers. And so it was. And then I actually got coronavirus and the store had to shut down. That created a huge problem. Well, I think I probably got it at work, but who knows? You so that was and it was before the time of masks and you know, a lot of restrictions had been put in place. It was, you know, early April. So then it was interesting because when I returned to work, some people didn't want to come near me, you know, even though I had recovered. So it's a pandemic. Is a scary thing for people, it is. It's very scary. So interesting and your story, the imposter, is actually about a scary disease as well. I mean, can you talk a little bit about the beginning where your daughter comes home from Vancouver and is very clearly not her usual yes, she's not her. You like she had transformed and I, you know, I we thought she was just into fitness, which, if you have teenagers, it's a good thing to be into fitness, right. So I was like, she is the one, I don't have to worry about. She she was, you know, good marks and fit and did everything as she should.

And then she gets off a plane and I didn't even recognize her. And the problem with this illness, the hardest thing is that they become someone else, which is why I use that kind of theme. Yeah, the imposter. It's someone you don't even recognize. Yeah, like literally, physically you don't recognize them. And all so mentally, like her, her humor had gone, her her affection, she was just this you know, I am exercising, I am running thirty kilometers a day and not eating properly. Right. So the watch, the way, was rock. The disease called because it's some also, well, it's intirecte and a Rosa, but which which you know, and I said in in the essay, really that people use an erect like the word antirexic, as an adjective to describe models or to describe thin girls, and it and there's an element of it being voluntary, you know, like people think, oh, well, she wants to be skinny, so she's skinny. Yeah, without the image, but they actually see different images in the in the mirror and everything. Yes, yeah, so they and and it's this like a psychiatrist to use the word egosy tonic. They they see something else, they see beauty, and in her case she was seeing muscle because she lost all her fat. So for to her that translated into a very fit and healthy person. Right. And and you can't change the mindset. That's what that's why I wrote it, because it's like it's coming up against a brick wall. Of they are so stubborn about it. Or, you know, I shouldn't say they have. She was very stubborn. But I know that the part of the problem with training this illness is that the patient doesn't see what the problem is. Right, so what did you do? And so it was so well, healthy, no counseling. She's she is healthy now. But she did go through a stage where the you know, the physician she was seeing in Mississauga said, well, she might have to be hospitalized because she in our heart rate. The heart rate is compromise, the heart is compary all the organs. And you're talking about a person who used to be fully healthy six months ago is now, you know, the kidney fail is in kidney failure and you just can't really comprehend it. Yeah, and it's very it's very devastating because the one person who can do could help herself. She know, she just won't because she is someone else. It's like she's someone else. So you know, and you and I think parents do. They get angry. They're angry at their child, like just eat, like just stop this, and and then you it's there's no point being like that, right, you can't. It's and and accounts said to me. You have to separate the illness from the child. It's until you can do that you're going to still be angry. You're going to be angry and upset. And so we called her like we had another name for her. She said she called we called her loose seal. I don't know how he got that name, but she was lucial when she was a different person. Wow. And so, because they say it helps them to see two separate the illness from themselves, and it did help her. That did help her, okay, but it is a really difficult thing to watch your child just sink down and you can't really do a lot. When you captured that emotion so well, and your story to I mean that was what was so captivating about reading it, is that you really felt that, that all of the emotions, like the fact is began with your shock and then it went through with your actually understanding it and then trying to help. And I mean it was a very well written story. Yeah, congratulations. Oh, thanks, thanks very much. Thanks. And so how does it feel to get recognition for this personal story? You know, I mean you had to tell her. Well, I know because I never pretense for alas reading about it. You know I know. Well, I thought and when I realized it he had been short or long listed. I I you know, I messaged my daughter and said, I'm really sorry that I've written this story and now other people are going to read it and I actually have never really told you that I wrote it. And she was she thought it was kind of funny. She's like, oh my gosh, but she knows, you know, I get quite emotional about the children. So it's like, oh, it was probably good for you to write it. Like she's very understanding and and and now she's so good about talking about her illness that she because she says it, if it helps other people, it will be a good thing. Right, right, right, exactly. So I'd like to think it could help other people yet, because when I was investigating it, when she had first a diagnosed, I had read a blog from a lady in Australia with a daughter and it really helped me to know that there were other people who were as mystified as I was about this behavior. Right, yeah, and then once she's seeing a medical professional, you...

...don't actually get access to what they say or anything. Right. So how did you? No, no, and then you wonder like and, and the whole time you just feel guilty. I'm like, are they saying it's my fault? Did I do something wrong? You know? And and I was always very careful about never saying much, about waiting things to the girl, you know, because I have another daughter too, and so I thought, no, I didn't do that. But you know, you as a parent, I think when some things happened to your child, you you kind of blame yourself, or at least I do right now. I'm I kept saying, you know, I just kept in the counseling because it was always myself and my daughter and a counselor and she'd say, Oh, you're crying the bit. That's good, you know, and I said it's because I feel guilty. She goes. You don't have to feel guilty. This is not your fault, right, but you do feel that it is your fault. I don't know what I think is. I mean, I'm a parent to and I feel guilty even when they're perfectly fine. So, yes, exactly, it's just this burden of guilt. But that seem to be into idea that it's always the mother's fault too, especially, rather than yeah, you, rather than just parents full you know. I mean can be parents fault Yor but it seems like mother's get brilliant more often than father's, but depending on the situation, of course. But you're right. Is Right. It was. Yeah, it was a great story and I was interested in reading also that you're you're actually going looking at writing other projects that around very serious things, because you were you were saying your next part resolves around the OPIOD crisis. We had a crisis. So yeah, because I thought, like I find that some practicing pharmacy, you I mean community pharmacy. You see a huge range of illness and situations. But in Orangeville there are quite a few people who have addictions to you, opioids and we and and I think there's a lot of stigma with addiction. And I'm when I go yeah, and I grew up in Orangeville. There was opiods. Weren't a thing then, but there was. We had the dogs, you know, there was a big drug problem and we had dogs in every Friday at the high school and there was a there was a house that sold Hash and all sorts of other things just up the street. And so it's all right, you know, this is not a the the problems with drugs, there's not are not new. I think every small I think every community has some sort of that like yeah, I think so. I think you're right and and so I I just I thought, you know, you go up like zign the streets, such a pretty street with all these pretty houses, and then just a few blocks over you're kind of in this neighborhood and you're you're thinking, oh, would I walk here late at night? But but you know, I it's interesting to me that people live side by side and and some people have no idea about the lives of their neighbors and and it it's not really about that, but it's about someone like a couple who dose like, they take method on to overcome an addiction, and they have a child and I always have wondered when people come to dose method on at our pharmacy that you see them with their children and you wonder. I wondered one day what that child was thinking as she watched her mother drinking them Atho don't like. Yeah, is she thinking that this is a medicine or is she thinking that this is just a nice drink and that the child didn't ask anything? So I've thought they've told her something. I just don't I just sometimes wonder, and so I thought it'd be interesting to have a book about this child, like her prospects for her future, you know, and what her life would be like. So I started writing a book about it and it's I think I've been trying like it's been a it's a couple of years old, but it's so the creative writing class was you go to the class and you give chapter by chapter to your colleagues and they critique it, and so there was, of course there's a lot of criticism and you have to be able to take the criticism, which is good, but sometimes it's discouraging. Right yeah, I guess it was. So actually, when it's the check, when it's a work in progress, I'm surprised that there would be a lot of criticism with the work in progress, like seems to me. Yes, well, well, I think like yeah, some people are very encouraging, others are very critical. But then you think, well, this would be my audience and this is quite a range of ages at around this table with different experiences, and if they're all saying that this voice isn't the good, you know,...

...this is this point of view isn't good, I should change my point of view, then I would follow what they were saying. But what was interesting is that one of the ladies there, and I didn't, I hadn't said that I was a pharmacist. She said, well, I just don't believe that that people would go up to the pharmacist and get dosed for methodone and I she goes, I think you need to do a but she goes, I think you need to do a bit more recent and won't you know, looks about that. I know, as I said, well, actually I I do this every day and so it they were absolutely shocked. Right, and I thought he it's to me that was so interesting that people aren't aware of it. Like they are just not aware that people are being dosed to withdraw from opiates. How would you be aware, like unless you happen to be a patient? I mean, who else would know? Yeah, who else would know? That's true. Like there's a lot of in the news about naalocks own hits and, you know, as an antidote to OPI opioid overdose, and some people take more of an interest than others. But I guess you wouldn't know and that. But then there's the whole because I didn't know. Yeah, and yes, so that's why I thought. That's why I thought a book would be a good way of maybe informing people, you know, like, I don't know, I don't even know if it's appropriate for me to write about this, but I don't know it's. So, is it not a novel? So it's not. It's fictional. It is fictional completely, but it's taken from experience. Right. So, well, I mean with that wonderful author, the WHO does the WHO's a coroner? Oh, yeah, Shebo heard as yeah, yes, I know what you mean. Yeah, right, yes, exactly. Yeah, she could tally. But the thing is, what I find interesting is there's also, you know, people who are who are professionals, who are who take method own, who want to hide it. You don't want to be seen and and you have to be very careful with that kind of thing. But so, you know, it's difficult. It's a difficult subject because it's a very private thing. But I do think addiction is more common than people realize. Right. Yeah, Oh, I'm sure it is. I mean it's I think that's one thing about small townes versus cities like mine is you can ignore also it's a problem that are right around you, because I don't know everybody. Yeah, I know you're right. You're right. I mean it's everybody. Don't everybody, but I did have one. I had it. I mean I had one patient who's I said, you know, you're taking oxycode own and your are you're always early requesting it, so this is a sign of opioid use disorder. And he was so angry, so angry that I said that, and I said I'm not being personal, I'm not. I'm just telling you that the first sign is refilling your prescription two days like two days early, then four days early. I said, so you're not taking just for a day. Now you're taking six a day. that. So this is the most highly addictive medication out there, oxycodon. So then a couple of days later I got a call from his doctor saying you can talk shut the patients like this, and I said, well, this is ridiculous. I've done the the course like Cam makes, like the Center for opiated and Mental Health, right, Center for addiction and mental health. So I think more physicians and more pharmacists need to take this course. Right. And so so then a week later this patient's wife turned up and said you can't talk. You Talk to my husband as though he was a street person, she said. I said, what is the street person? I said anyone can become addicted to medication. Anyone like medication or ope like you can't just it's not. It's not just one portion of society that has this problem. So you know, that's so that's when I decided to write this book. And they're not in the book or anything like that, but I it just should tells me that people don't believe that it can happen to them. Yeah, and yeah, well, very clearly they can't. I mean they feel like that, but I mean even though all the warnings and are there. I mean, I guess if you're you're taking it for whatever reason, you're not paying attention to those warnings anymore. Yeah, yeah, and you're right. It's like post surgical painkillers, right. So, yeah, they make you feel great, so you want more. But yeah, that's what and this is a big problem. Right. Yeah, it is a big problem and and it's but it'll be interesting to see what you that how your novel...

...progresses. And I can understand the feeling of having a I have a book that it's been around that I'm still working on since one thousand nine hundred and ninety six. So I've written many other books and things since then, but it's like there's some projects that just take time to percolate. I think, yeah, I think you're right. And then, and so I wasn't. I kind of lost confidence in the book. And but then, but then this CBC contest. It's given me a bit of a boost. Rights like okay, I think I can do this. Right, so it's kind of Nice. It's good, if you think, because I think to like I just turned fifty, so I was like, oh my gosh, am I going to be doling out pills when I'm eighty. Still, I think I need to do something else with my life and I really love writing. Yeah, well, why not? It's certainly. It's certainly when you've shown that you can get a not only a topic, that it attracts people's interest, but also you've written in it a way that it that garnered awards. So you know that you can do it with a short story, so surely you can do it with a novel too. Well, thanks to say. It's very encouraging. LEAS my other question, because you are a full time farmacist, how does writing fit into life? Like? What's your schedule? What do you do? How do you make it work? Well, so what I do is because I like the three till ten shift because I'm not a morning person. I'm pretty bad at the morning. I like to do like lighthouse work and possible groceries in the morning and then I go to work. But then at eleven pm I'm like fully awake and you know, so that's when I will write from like eleven so one maybe. So you work it once and then and then I'll like like eleven P or so. I work at in the pharmacy FA okay, at ten everything then, okay, yeah, yeah, relate schedule and then and then I do by writing sort of eleven pm till one or two am, because I because no one's around and I kind of I seem to have more energy, whereas I am asking broke. We're off. This is that way. Yeah, yeah, well, I used to be light out whenever's in the high school and things, but I mean since I had kids that I still get up at the time that they used to wake me up. But there's a lot await. But I that's when I write. I write untill nine. See, that's so good. I admire people who can get up early, I really do, because obviously having small children almost killed me because they get up so early and I'm like, Oh my God, matters which way you do it, as long as you make time to do it. Right. Yeah, yeah, you're right, right, so, because I yeah, it's fun and so, so, I mean, that's I'm sorry, I was going to ask you what other kinds of things you write, like, are you writing? Are you working on the novel all the time? We're do have other projects? Well, well, I had a bit of a break because I kind of make things up as I go and I've tried, like I'm teen times to make an outline and I can't do it. I just can't stick to it. So I just kind of write the novel when I'm in the mood, like I'll suddenly think, oh, this would be good, so then I'll go and scribble it down. But but so what I had done is joined this online it's I think it's a British website called reds. I don't think this. Think I know everything. And they do it. They all right. Well, they just doing a short story prompt every week. So some things just catch my imagination and then I'll write a short story and I usually, I always submit it to them and have never ever like one on anything. And I don't know how reputable it is, but it has its sparks me to kind of do which I think is good. I think reads. He is very reputal and it has a it actually you can hire editors and things through that site to and so no, there's nothing wrong with it. I mean, who cares as long as groups view? Okay, are you going to be part of? No, I know you're right. Have you heard of the national rite, national novel writing? What is it? Called and then rymos. It's a national writing hold on, let me look at my email for it. But basically every every year in November there's a there's non profit, or it's notin o Ramo, Doorg, and they do a challenge to write fiftyzero words in a month, and they have all sorts of writing prompts and all this kind of stuff too, so that the ideas that you would finish your novel in a month. Have you ever proticipated in that? Good, no, I didn't. It's an a and Oh, wriri... Oh and actually this particular are our conversation will be published probably during Nano Rymo, because because it's I think it's four weeks from now that it's going to be published. But basically it's Nano rhyme. And then you, and there's in what you are as you're called a Pancer, which means that you don't play your books right. Yes, and so you can. You can, actually you have like not you. You're basically I'm a planner. I'm a Pancer, and then I or I'm a plancer, which means that you plan some of it but then you make it up after that, you know. So it's really interesting but anyway, so Nano Rymo and if you go to national novel Writing Month, if you just plug that into into Google, you'll find it. But it's basically Nano Rymo DOT ORG and a car I am Oh and they have a ton of different and they have a local community writers who get together and this will be my first year doing it as well, so I think it's really excited. Oh so that yeah, that's exciting. So thanks a lot. I will, I will do that, I think, because that I kind of was in a Rut. You know, that's the thing is manage of this is that there's a whole bunch of other people. There's quite a few Canadians. I don't I'm in the Montreal sector, so I don't know who's in Ontario, but I suspect that there'll be some people in your neighborhood that you will be able to find either, if not in Orangeville, then somewhere nearby, and you can join that chapter. And then there's like a forum to discuss things and they've already been sending out prompts, because I haven't decided what book, what I'm going to work on for the month, but so every second day I get this thing thing. Have you decided what you're working on for Nana Rimo yet? And get ready? And so it's like it's very every day in your emails that you get this feeling like is basically on the first of October it was like countdown to Nana Rimo. High Writers. You know, it's so it's really exciting. You really feel like good things to day. I'll look that up. Yeah, that's so good, because you can. I mean, the mine's the writer. That is very, very difficult. I've been a writer since one thousand nine hundred and ninety through full timeriter since nine undred and ninety three, and it changes every single year. That is always the hardest thing and never really improves. I mean you were but it's you always need help at least time. Yeah, I know it's true. It's true, because I'm like, where am I going with this? Like what you know? And then and then with the criticism group, I was like, Oh my God, my God, everyone hates this. But then when I so you have to send in a hard Oh no, you send it to the people a week before and then you all meet and they printed it off with all their comments. So when I look back at them, they were actually more encouraging than I had realized at the time. So I it's funny. Criticism is funny, but it can put you off right, can really put you off. Yeah, well, I'm part of a genealogy writers group and we meet once a month and everybody gives the Monday before the meeting is like the fourth Wednesday of them of the month, and every the Sunday before we extend our stories to each other and then people comment on them. And this story the meeting is basically taken up with comments. But I find it this particular group is so positive, everybody so positive, that it turns out to be just a and now we also have lots of comments and mean we have to almost always redo our stories after all the comments. The reason criticism, but it's it's such a rewarding criticism because everyone loves the story so much. You know. Oh, that's so nice, that's very nice, very supportive. Right. Yeah, yeah, so you may want to encourage your your criticism, your criticism group that you know, maybe they should. You could add a section to say, okay, everything you like about the story first. Oh, yeah, good idea. Yeah, I think so, and I could see like if someone going. You must be, and I must be three things versus you know, if you have a criticism, you have to find two positive things to say for every criticism or something. Yeah, take the to turn the around. Yeah, you're right, like the my daughter Sycosis criticism sandwich, like good than bad in the middle and that good again. Yeah, because just so that you focus on some of the positive things too, because everybody has a talent. And then what's interesting is if you're focusing on the on the positive things, you find out who has the talent in the group. And so then you know, if you have something you're struggling with, who is good at that. You know, like we have one person who's particularly good at description and another person who's really good at dialog and we have a poet in the group and one is fun we have the there's two people who are particularly funny. Oh, so you want to go for if...'re trying to write something fun. I know and and I love humorous books. Right. Yeah, well, and the thing it's hard to be writer. Sometimes it is really hard. It's really hard. So, but TASS, very encouraging. Thanks so much. This is great. Okay, I'm but, oh well, you're welcome. I'm so like I said, I'm so excited and hoping that you're Jeck, will be done soon, because I think it's really, really important. The opiod crisis is something that everybody needs help with, for sure. Okay, think you're right and it's interesting because it gets a lot of tension the states but it doesn't get so much attention in Canada. Right, yeah, you're right. How is it as strong? Is? Is the problem is difficult here as it is in the states, or is because we have healthcare? Are People caught and helped earlier or some? Yeah, like I think I think people are help like when I see the support that people who like there's a couple who have now four children. They're very young and the one of them has just been put into Rehab, which is great, and she's so the husband is looking after the kids with his mother, and I'm looking at them going, how are they coping, you know, but they just they seem very positive and they're getting a lot of help from, you know, everyone, and I thought that's really a good thing, though it's taken quite a long time for it to happen, but I you know, I don't know, like it's difficult. I was speaking to one of the doctors at at Orange, like headwaters healthcare, like the hospital, and she said, well, we haven't had a lot of training on Saysuboxone, which is a new way to treat withdrawal, and so I was going through the rules with her from the Cam h template and she's like well, thanks very much, and we're also having someone coming in to show us. But so I thought that's good, right, but their needs, I think there needs to be more communication really between physicians and pharmacists and nurse practitioners, and so that could be another avenue, even on the local side. I was thinking, you know, just more education, right, because the CAM h course, like shoppers, paid for me to do it and it was expensive. I think it's like twelve hundred for me. They paid for me to go and I was like there are a lot of practitioners who would bulk at playing that, you know, to spend two days in Toronto and it's, you know, like they would really like people have other expenses and other things to do. Right. So even if the will sorry, sorry, I was just going to say if there's is there a public information somewhere, because we can link to that in the show. You notes too. Oh right, yeah, like, I I'm not sure. Like it. Well, it's like it's cam he. They do a professional course every year. I think it's in I think it was. Okay, yeah, so it's Cem C Amh and they always have a physician talking to other health professionals about opoid, you know, methods of rehabilitation and I know it's so good a camage. CAMAGE has a website. They have a wepyod addition page. Okay, so I can link to that. Okay, good. That's good because I think because it was such a like a perfect age that says, oh, yeah, like it. It's because it talks about sorry, yeah, no, so go ahead it like it just it's it's very helpful. It was like so helpful for me, like so helpful because you get a lot of situations where the dactoral when you saying, well, he's in withdrawal. What you know? What dose should I give? And I'm like well, so there's a distinct protocol to to help people if they've decided to stop using heroin, for instance, and how much they need to start on method owners of box H. and so they go through very specific case studies. And another another problem too is over the Counter Talon all ones, which contain eight melograms of coding. People abuse them hugely and they're available in the pharmacies and pharmacists give them out like candy. And and that was another thing. So I've changed my practice since then on them where I don't give on on ones I gave out thirty and after I've talked the patient for quite a while. But you know that they're available as pack as two hundred bottles, to pack of two hundred bottles, and so that one six hundred milligrams of coding right there, just a lot of coding and that's just available over the town, no prescription needed. So things like that need to be addressed. Yeah, yeah, people come up from the states and get yeah, they get Kiel with coading because in the states they won't sell it over the camera. And so now the other thing page actually says is that you...

...can get a free net nelexone kit. Now, Oh, yeah, you look so. So no locks zone is so if you yeah, if you overdose, it's an antagonist to any opioids. So it can save their life because basically, if you take if you take an overdose of a nopiit you're breathing stops. It's a very spiratory depressant. So you die because you're you can't, you don't breathe. So it antagonizes that procedure. So you actually it's very, very it's a lifesaving, easily accessible medication. But so they can come in, anyone can come in and get it free. The government will pay for it, and so we get a lot of people comes this page though. Yeah, so, because it says that basically, if if you or someone you know uses oipoids, it's good to have one on exactly exactly. So that's good. No, I mean it's got it, you know, because somebody knows, somebody can just get it all these kids and at least they can say them, yeah, exactly, some sort of overdose and yeah, and they've made it now a nasal spray, so you just instead of using a needle, which you might be uncomfortable with doing, you just stick it up the nose and deploy the spray and there. It's very clever. It's good. Wow, yeah, that's fun. You know. I, like I said, if I hadn't been into a know anything at all about that I've never heard of her, all right, other than the news stories on the Internet that you know, sort of fly by facebook every now. Well, that's good, so so. But yeah, so you know that this is unapologetically Canadian. And my last question is you. So, do you consider you so Canadian and what does that mean to you? Well, yes, I do, because I, like my parents, moved over for because my father is South African and he's actually non white and was sort of a really had a pretty nasty time in Cape Town in s right. So went to England and because he wasn't he always wanted to be an engineer and wanted it, wasn't allowed to be an engineer as he wasn't white. So he went to England. Of his mother saved up and saved up to send him and he ended up studying medicine. He works and his Pretty Smart Guy went to University of Liverpool, met my mom, who's also study medicine, and then in the s I guess, the Canadian government was advertising for British doctors to go because they needed doctors here. So they moved over in one thousand nine hundred and sixty seven, I think, to Hamilton. And then we're put out in Walkerton where they were the only doctors in a large area, and but then eventually moved to Waterloo. So they've been in practice in water other for like forty years. But so, yes, we all consider so. Well, my mom just stopped and actually what stopped her was covid. She got covid in the middle of her practice. So yeah, so we had to be had to shut it all down. It was pretty bad. But yeah, so we all enjoy a Canada very much and it's been a great place for Dad because he was able to sponsor all his brothers and sisters because he was one of nine from South Africa, and so considers Canada a great country where, you know, equal rights, everyone's seen for who they are, not the color of their skin. So it you know, it's it was a good move on his part. You know, oh, that's fine. Yeah, yeah, woa. And so you were born in Britain. I was wander written his mom like they came over to Hamilton and it's funny because my husband's from Hamilton but mom's like Oh, it was just like I was so homesick for England because she's from like Hereford, where the hereford cows are from, like it's all farmland. It's beautiful, right. So she would work for a bit and go over to visit her mom, have a baby, get pregnant in Canada, go and have a baby in English, like she was. She's gone it hard. He felt it hard, like she's quite homesick. But now she's fine. Right, but it the first few years were hard because they didn't know anyone. They were, you know, I think it was difficult, but now you know, obviously with time everything changes. But they had seven children. So where did you grow up? So we grew up. Where did you grow up? Yeah, so I was born in Hereford in England. Then up they bought a house in Waterloo because they were like mom's like a Walkerton. It was just like because mom quite likes a busier city. So when and Waterloo then was not busy, but they so they established a practice in in Waterloo and bought a house and they're still in that house. Yeah, and Waterloo. Wow. So and so I grew up with farmland, you know.

And and and they sent us to school in Toronto and people in trying to be like where do you live again? What? Where is Waterloo? Like? I was like the Hick and now, of course it's famous for the university is, but it's like they thought I was a real hickster. So it's quite funny. This was the universive room. I like, no, this is at which school, because they sent us to the tort of French school because they wanted us to learn French. Because, get this, they were like, we like to go to France and eat lovely food and have the wine, but we can't speak French. So when one year my dad took over his big Ford Band with his seven kids and we spent the summer just driving your France with all of us like under ten going. That's because she's feel like like like asking, asking dons, like can you get out and ask them how I put pump this gas? Can you ask us where? Can you ask them where we're staying for the night? And no one wanted to have like two people, two adults and seven children, like so far. Yeah, that's it, that's that's all. I'm very heard like they would have to have your hotel room, you know, sort of with a door. I know that would be very difficult. And now that I've had three children, like my parents were crazy, they were, and seven children under ten. Yeah, like it's but yeah, so seven in ten years. And they were all like, oh well, well, just take the car over because it we won't be able to fit any like the European cars will never fit us all. And and dad on that trip got so many offers from people. People come up and go like say to us in French, we ask your father how much he would sell this van for. It's like, I can't sell this fan. We let me this fan. So, yeah, my parents are very interesting, right. Everyone I know is like you have to write a book about your parents, right, like they're their first dates, like their first date in the ripple of my mom's like, Oh, we were at this ice drink and this small band was playing and it turned it they turned out to be quite famous. I was like what band was that? She's like the beat rules. I'm like, your first date was on an ice drink with the Beatles, like unknown beetles, right, funny. Yeah, Oh my God son. Yeah, so and so do you have? Do you have Canadian citizenship? Yees, yeah, so we all have canade the word you. Yeah, so we're dual citizens because we I guess that's how it happened and yeah, so we we have British passports and Canadian passports. So it's been really we've been very lucky. Like we're very lucky that my parents were able to do, yeah, like finance us to like travel, and even that was a bit Harry at times. They were all about, you know, education, travel and opening your eyes and acceptance of people, which is great, right. Yeah, so it's so what about your you're also your children are also dual sys. Yeah. So, so I studied pharmacy in England and because I love it. They're right. So I was like and my grandma lived there and she wasn't doing so well, so I thought well, I could study it, going keep an eye on her, and then I so I had gone to Queens and met my my then boyfriend at Queens and he came over with me and got a job at Berkeley s bank, and so we lived there for twelve years and then came back. So I've kind of spent our really sent most of my life in Canada and then had a twelve year gap in England and then came back. But so, so my eldest started some madeline actually is studying in England right now because I I think that it's good to travel on Experience Different Cultures, right that? I've always taught them that, that if you can do it, it's a good thing. So she shit and I think part of her struggle to that's why I felt guilty, I guess, because she was far away from home and, you know, a little bit homesick and struggling with eating and exercise, and so I was like, Oh, she was too young to go away, and so that was part of it. But now she's so happy and is fine. So, but where's my son? He's a homeboy and he's at he's at Gwelth, which is only twenty minutes from here, Gwelfh University, and he loves being home and doesn't really look traveling. So it's so funny, right, yeah, it children me all their own people. Okay, because, so, and how would you describe your feeling about Canada? Do you consider yourself a Canadia? Yes, I do very much. Yeah, like I do love England, but the last time I was there I was really homesick for Canada and and when I lived there I was so homesick at in the winter just for...

...the snow and and you know, thanksgiving like this time of year, I love with the trees turning and just and how everyone is so like, you know, you feel really proud to be Canadian, like in the Olympics, if it's so nice when they do well. You know what I mean, like it's just you feel. And and then the reputation abroad, like if you go to Canada, like Oh, canadies are so nice. It's just so nice. And you know, I always had to say I'm not American, I'm not Americans, like just Tara. Sounds terrible. You know, people's attitudes do change right when they hear your Canadians. So it's funny. But yeah, yeah, so I'm really happy living here. I'm really lucky where I live right. It's a nice area. And and I'm lucky in my job. You know that I'm needed and I have a job. So it's gazing and and, yeah, and, and it's been busy. And Yeah, well, thank you very much. I really appreciate your conversation today. It's a really interesting to hear because your experience is a so wide ranging and thank you very much. Thanks a lot, chasing very much. Thank you for listening to an apologetically Canadian. Please consider supporting our podcast Fort UN hundred and ninety nine a month. Joint select listeners and get additional episodes every month.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (58)