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How do you handle stress? page 10

When a kidney transplant goes wrong Can nature help addicts? page 14

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Michelle Bhatti editor

Sandra Thomas sthomas@vancourier.com contributing writers


Burnaby Now, Melissa Shaw, Jeremy Shepherd

For advertising inquiries, contact Michelle Bhatti at mbhatti@vancourier.com



 he story of a donor t Despite devastating outcome, Brandi Chapman has no regrets

volume 4, number 4, fall 2018 Published by glacier media. Copyright Š2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles permitted with credit. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Glacier Media does not endorse products or services. Any errors, omissions or opinions found in this magazine should not be attributed to the publisher. The authors, the publisher and the collaborating organizations will not assume any responsibility for commercial loss due to business decisions made based on the information contained in this magazine. Speak with your doctor before acting on any health information contained in this magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without crediting Glacier Media. Printed in Canada. Please recycle.

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Stressed out! Research shows women tend to dwell on past problems and sleep disturbances when stressed sandra thomas


 ince when did s stop signs become optional? Male drivers in oversized vehicles main source of my road rage sandra thomas

 rug addiction & nature d DTES pharmacy combats addiction with nature trips jeremy shepherd

sandra thomas


New mental health app for sfu students Students can message counsellors melissa shaw

sandra thomas

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 hen a kidney w transplant fails Single mom desperate to find a second kidney

Flu shot poll The numbers may surprise you kids and screen time burnaby now

More MRI equipment added to fraser health authority Two new clinics will begin seeing patients in early 2019 sandra thomas


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SANDRA THOMAS Editor, Healthier You photo: Chung Chow

where can you find healthier you? In doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and other community settings, we will be waiting there, too – keeping you company, and sharing stories and insight into healthrelated issues that matter to you.


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Imagine surviving kidney transplant surgery, only for it to fail hours later Imagine this — you’re a young single mother who has lived with diabetes for most of your life and in your late 20s discover it’s done a number on your kidneys. As a result, you struggle to keep up at work, grocery shopping and household chores, but more importantly feel like you’re letting your young son down because you aren’t as active as the majority of the other moms you know.

worry, money and risk to your health involved in the surgery, but you know it will be worth it in the end. But then it’s not. Hours after the surgery, you’re told by an exhausted surgeon that the kidney has died due to a blood clot and needs to be removed. How do you even go on? In this edition of Healthier You we speak to Drielle Tousignant about that heartbreaking news, as well as the brave young woman, Brandi Chapman, who donated her kidney and time from work with no pay to help someone she had simply met on Facebook.

Then one day you get the devastating news you’ve been dreading — your doctor says it’s time to get on the list for a kidney transplant. That’s when the planning and fundraising begins, because there’s Also in this edition we talk about stress a lot involved with having such serious with Dr. Nancy L. Sin, an assistant surgery in Vancouver when your entire professor in the Department of life, including your son, is in Victoria. Your Psychology at the University of B.C., family puts out a call for a living donor and why women suffer and then a few months more with anxiety than later a miracle happens men. And speaking of when a friend of a friend For more men and stress, I also — someone you barely information on take male Vancouver know — courageously drivers to task for their the Living Donor steps up and says “I’ll aggressive driving. Program, visit give you a kidney.” And have you heard? transplant.bc.ca. And that’s when you Fraser Health has begin planning not only purchased not one, for surgery, but also for but two private magnetic resonance the joy of getting your life back. When imaging (MRI) clinics in hopes of cutting the tests come back as a match, a down wait times. surgery date is set, you begin fundraising, you relocate to Vancouver and you and Check out our table of contents for more everyone in your life holds their collective stories that might interest you. breath for hours as you undergo this vital Sandra Thomas editor, healthier you transplant. There’s a lot of time, stress,


When a kidney transplant fails Single mom is desperate to find a second kidney after heartbreaking turn to her first transplant Sandra Thomas | editor

Victoria resident Drielle Tousignant is a pretty, young woman with dark hair, bright eyes and a killer smile. And while the 31-year-old has a heart of gold, be aware that if Drielle even thinks you’ve slighted a family member or friend, she’s been known to go all mamma bear faster than, well, a mother bear. I know this because for the sake of full disclosure, I’ve known Drielle most of her life and while we haven’t seen each other in person for several years, we use Facebook to stay in touch. It’s on Facebook where I can see photos of Drielle’s handsome 11-year-old son Logan — and it was on Facebook where I discovered her long-awaited kidney transplant had gone heartbreakingly wrong. It was May 14 when Drielle underwent the complicated transplant surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital, months after “friend of a friend” Brandi Chapman saw her plea to find a living donor willing to donate a kidney. Unaware the surgery was anything but a success, Drielle was devastated to get the news hours later that the kidney had developed a blood clot and needed to be removed. Dr. David Landsberg, medical director of kidney transplantation with B.C. Transplant and physician leader and division head of the Renal Program at St. Paul's Hospital, couldn’t comment on Drielle’s case due to privacy policies, but did say these types of failures are rare. Landsberg is also head and 6

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clinical professor of the Division of Nephrology for the University of B.C. and Providence Health Care. “We do about 200 of these surgeries a year and there are some years this never happens,” says Landsberg. “But on average it would be one or two failures a year so about two per cent.” He adds at this early stage of a transplant losing the kidney is not considered a “rejection.” “We use the word rejection if a patient has been on anti-rejection drugs for months after surgery and then their body rejects the kidney,” says Landsberg. “At this early stage it’s considered a failure.” He notes an invasive surgery such as a kidney transplant can affect blood flow, so a blood clot is something the transplant team is very mindful of. Landsberg adds that a blood clot typically only happens when there’s a pre-existing condition with a patient and in those cases the team takes measures before the surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. That makes a case like Drielle’s even more rare because she had — and still has — no preexisting condition. What’s not so rare, says Landsberg, is the guilt felt by everyone involved when a kidney fails. “The patient feels guilt, the donor feels guilt, the team feels guilt and the surgeon feels guilt,” says Landsberg. “Everyone feels guilt. It’s devastating.” Drielle agrees those feelings of guilt were shared by everyone.


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“Very much so, especially the surgeon, he really didn't know what to say and you could see it all over his face and body language and even the tone in his voice,” she says. Drielle held onto those feelings of guilt for six weeks until she met with her hematologist and was told the failure had nothing to do with her. “It was just the odds,” says Drielle, who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 11. Drielle says she had no idea how sick she was until Dec. 30, 2013 after going to the doctor because she was feeling so ill and weak she couldn’t perform her duties as a home care aid at Gorge Road Hospital in Victoria. At the time, Drielle’s kidney function was at about 45 per cent so her doctor sent her for blood work, after which she just carried on with her move from her apartment to her mom’s home, despite her extreme fatigue. “My mom noticed that my work had been calling, but I ignored it because I thought they were just calling for a shift, but after a few calls my mom said to answer the phone as it was persistent,” says Drielle. “I answered and it was Dr. Horgan [a nephrologist] telling me my kidneys had shut down and my potassium was at seven and I urgently needed to get to the hospital and there was a bed waiting for me.” continued on page 8

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Dr. Horgan insisted Drielle immediately take an ambulance to the hospital and during the ensuing panic, she says Logan, who was six at the time, put his hands on her knees and said, "Will I ever see you again mommy?" “That tore my heart out. I still think about that and break down,” says Drielle. “Just the look on his face, you could see the worry and fear. To this day I wonder how my six-year old son understood how serious it was but I didn't.” It was about four years later when Drielle’s kidney function dropped to about 20 per cent and her specialist told her to start looking for potential donors and, with the help of family members, she started spreading the word. When Drielle heard from Brandi, a friend of a friend, she took it with a grain of salt because while others had offered to see if they were compatible, none had gone through with the testing. “I don't remember the exact day I found out Brandi was a match because she kept me in the loop the whole time, but I remember I was at Wal-Mart and I had to sit down because the room was spinning,” says Drielle. “I couldn't believe it. At this point the planning began and I started to think about how I would afford my rent back home and rent in Vancouver because after surgery I had to live in Vancouver for a minimum of three months.” With the help of friends and family, the fundraising began, which 8

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Drielle and family at a fundraiser.

included a bottle drive, burger and beer pub night, a jam night her uncle organized in Ladysmith and a GoFundMe page. That money was used at the time for the expenses leading up to and following surgery, but now Drielle is back at square one, desperately looking for a kidney so she’ll not only have the energy to keep up with her growing son, but to also ensure she’ll live long enough to raise him. Drielle has been back to see the blood specialist who determined she doesn’t have a blood clotting disorder, and the transplant team, so has been cleared for surgery again. She was due to begin dialysis in October for the first time and is optimistic that will help her regain some strength. All Drielle needs now is a kidney and she’s hoping that will happen through the Living Donor Program via B.C. Transplant. “I couldn't even express my gratitude towards Brandi for what she did, she was selfless and fought through all her fears to do this for me and Logan,” says Drielle. “To donate a kidney, you’re giving someone the gift of life. Despite what happened to me, the living donor program is vital for anyone needing a transplant.” For more information on the Living Donor Program, visit transplant.bc.ca.

The story of a donor Despite devastating outcome, Brandi Chapman has no regrets Sandra Thomas | editor

When Esquimalt resident Brandi Chapman decided to donate a kidney to a young woman she barely knew, she never guessed the outcome would end in such devastation. On May 14, Chapman underwent surgery which entailed removing one of her healthy kidneys and transplanting it into 31-year old Drielle Tousignant. Following the surgery, initially everything seemed to be fine, but then Chapman received word the kidney she had so generously donated had died due to a blood clot just hours after the transplant was completed. Healthier You had some questions for Chapman, a home care aid, about what it was like to receive the devastating news and why she decided to help someone she had no real connection.

What made you decide to become a living donor? Honestly, I still can’t answer that in a way that would make sense to anyone else. I am a helper and thought it was the right thing to do. After finding out I was a blood-type match, in my heart I knew there was no turning back. How did you hear about Drielle? We were Facebook friends before — since 2014. So, you two weren’t close friends before that? No, and technically/unfortunately we still aren’t. What did you have to do to prepare for the surgery, both mentally and physically? Not much. I wanted to lose 10 pounds even though I wasn’t told to. I really did nothing, not even research. All of my efforts went into fundraising for time off work. Were you nervous/scared on the day of surgery? A little, but not as much as I thought — or as much as others might assume. I cried three days beforehand, but after nearly a year between application and surgery, by that point I was eager to get it over with instead of just talking about it. When did you find out the kidney had to be removed? Ugh, that day. That was early the following morning. When I was awake — which was only a few minutes at a time — I would ask about Drielle and

Judy Fenner hugs Brandi Chapman to thank her for donating a kidney to her daughter.

kept being told she was still downstairs. I was moved to a room within hours, so I guess I knew something was not right. But I never said anything. I would assume the timeline was around 16 hours after Drielle’s operation. What were you feeling at that time? No words. Can’t remember exactly — just shock and confusion. The surgeon had started that conversation off with, “Things aren’t looking good for Drielle,” and that made it sound as if she was dying. So to be honest, I suppose initially I was relieved in a way that it could be fixed [by taking the kidney out, and that everyone involved would be OK] but after a few minutes I cried again and thought, “Why me? Was it my fault? Was it my kidney? Did I really just go through all of this for nothing?” It definitely took some time to process, but it’s never made sense. How long was your recovery? One month — back to work fulltime, but on restricted duties the first day of week five. Partially out of boredom, but I also ran out of money pretty quickly.

It was such a kind thing you did, but do you have any regrets? I don’t necessarily regret doing it, but obviously I wish it had had a better outcome. Drielle and I barely talk, but I guess that’s not all that strange as we didn’t before, so perhaps in another life I would have saved my kidney for someone I knew better/ more intimately. But, you can’t live your life always wondering “what if?” Somebody had to step up and there was nothing stopping me. I also regret maybe not being in an ideal financial position, because had it not been for the tremendous outpouring of support from the community, there is no way I’d have survived being unemployed for an entire month. All in all, it's improved my outlook and perspective, so I really can’t harbour true regret. Any advice for anyone considering becoming a living donor? Do it. Please do it. I can only speak to kidney donation, but my life hasn’t changed at all. I don’t need two kidneys — no one does. Who am I to deny a functioning one to someone who only wants to avoid a lifetime of dialysis? My outcome has a statistic of two in a thousand in all of North America annually. The odds of a transplant lasting 10-plus years are nearly 90 per cent so how many other ways can you be directly responsible for someone’s quality of life? When someone includes organ donation in their story, no one is ever going to tell them they’re anything other than a legend. I promise you. That is how it changes your life. fall 2018


Stressed out! Research shows women tend to dwell on past problems and suffer sleep disturbances when stressed Sandra Thomas | editor

Get the kids ready for school, feed the dog, wipe up cat puke, get ready for work, wait for a bus in the pouring rain, grocery shop, make dinner, plan a birthday party, fight traffic, look for a new place to live, clean the house, make plans for your aging parents care, find help for your brother who is addicted to opioids — on some days the list of duties many of us juggle can seem endless and daunting. Throw in a holiday such as Christmas or Channukah and you’ve got the perfect stress storm barrelling down on you with no shelter in sight. Life is busy and with that can come stress — lots and lots of stress. To gain some insight into stress, Healthier You spoke with Dr. Nancy Sin, assistant professor with the department of psychology at the University of B.C. Sin says her research shows that how often you encounter stressful events is less important than how you react to these events. She adds people who are more emotionally reactive in the face of stress and experience more pronounced spikes in negative emotions and greater loss of positive emotions tend to exhibit more symptoms, including elevated inflammation and lower 10

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heart rate variability, compared to people who are less reactive to stressful events. “Poor health behaviours and physiological dysregulation, in turn, may explain why stressreactive people have relatively greater risks for developing future depression and anxiety disorders, chronic medical conditions and premature death,” says Sin.

Stress is a common feature of our daily lives. dr. nancy l. Lin Is it normal for everyone to suffer some stress? Stress is a common feature of our daily lives. Just about every person knows what it feels like to be stressed. Yet, people differ from one another in how easily they get stressed and in their ways of coping with stress. Do women tend to feel more stress than men? Men and women appear to experience the same frequency of stressful events, but there are gender differences in the types of stress that people encounter and in stress responses. In particular, men are more likely to report

stressful experiences that occur at work, whereas women are more likely to report “network stressors,” which are stressful events that happen to their close friends and family that feel stressful to the respondent. There is some research suggesting that women may experience relatively greater increases in negative emotions when faced with stressful events, and are more likely to dwell on past problems and to have sleep disturbances when stressed. When is it time to seek professional help? You should watch out for symptoms of depression — feeling hopeless, losing interest in daily activities that you used to care about, unintentional weight loss or weight gain, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances. You should also be aware of ways that your stress might be impacting family and friends and your work performance. Any tips for dealing with daily stress? Although it is not possible to completely avoid stressful events, our research shows that how people respond to these stressful situations is important. My advice is to try to cultivate resources or activities that you can draw upon when life gets


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to be part of our next edition, please contact Michelle Bhatti, Publisher at 604-630-3503 or mbhatti@vancourier.com extending your reach with


Since when did stop signs become Male drivers in oversized vehicles main source of my road rage Sandra Thomas | editor

I was driving to work recently when a man driving a red van shot out from a side street without stopping and crossed a lane of traffic forcing a white panel truck in its way to swerve into the, thankfully, empty lane beside it. But the large white truck didn’t just move out of the way, it also tilted precariously before righting itself while I held my breath watching the scene unfold from behind. But then just seconds later the driver of that same red van swerved out of the lane he was in and into the lane I was in. The problem was I was already in that lane in the same space he was trying to take over, so I had to slam on my brakes — hard — to avoid a collision. Now keep in mind I was just in a pretty serious car accident in June that was not my fault, so we can call it PTSD, we can call it road rage or we can call it “I’m not putting up with it anymore,” but when I ended up side-by-side with the driver of the van seconds later at a red light, I rolled down my window and unleashed the wrath of holy hell onto this guy. As I was screaming and waving my arm at him like some kind of deranged lunatic, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sorry.” And that set me off even more and I screamed at him, “No, you don’t 12

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get to drive like that and think sorry is going to cut it. You’re going to kill someone driving like that and sorry is not good enough…” Thankfully, the light turned green and I continued my drive to work wondering where that inner rage came from. And the conclusion I came to was that it was the culmination of all of the bad drivers I deal with every day on my commute back and forth to work. There isn’t a day I drive in this city, when I don’t have a close call. During my commute to work from Southeast Van to Mount Pleasant, for some reason drivers have decided that the stop signs on streets feeding onto Main and Fraser streets don’t pertain to them, even if I’m right there in that lane. And I’m going to lay the blame right where I see it, based on my numerous close calls, and say 90 per cent of the time it’s a man driving a much bigger and more expensive vehicle than my tiny, older car. These guys are actual bullies who use their, large, typically black or silver, SUV, van or pickup truck to intimidate anyone who gets in their way. (Compensating for something?) And the fact the van drivers often have adorable stick figure stickers of their family and cat pasted

optional? on the rear windshield of their oversized vehicle, makes it even worse. As a survival tactic, I’ve taken to beeping my horn at them before they hit me — despite the fact it sounds like a child’s toy. But often when I do honk my horn as a way to avoid a collision, these guys will give me total attitude for not passively moving out of the way. I recently had a guy in Gastown — driving a black SUV — tailgate me while flashing his lights and honking his horn because I was driving 30 km/h in a 30 km/h zone on very crowded, dark, rain-soaked Water Street. You should have seen his face when we ended up at a red light and I beeped my horn at him. As he turned his angry face towards me, I gave him a big smile and flipped him the bird. I honestly thought his head was going to explode, so that made me feel slightly better. My husband keeps warning me that one day I’m going to beep at the wrong person and end up in an actual road rage scenario. But my thought is I’m going to end up dead or seriously hurt if I don’t continue to honk my horn to warn these bullies that “Hello, I’m actually right here so don’t run into me.” So aggressive male drivers of expensive SUVs, be forewarned, I have a horn and I’m not afraid to use it.

New mental health app for SFU students Students can message counsellors for confidential help with stress and emotional issues Melissa Shaw | contributing writer

Simon Fraser University and the Simon Fraser Student Society have launched a new 24/7 free mental health app for students in partnership with Guard.me, the world's largest insurance provider dedicated to international individuals studying and working abroad. The two-year pilot project provides students with confidential 24-hour access to counsellors through the mobile app My Student Support Program, through which students can send instant messages to counsellors for help with emotional issues such as managing relationships, adjusting to living away from home and to receive crisis support. SFU students can book an appointment with a counsellor through the app and request one who speaks a specific language, identifies as a specific gender, is a certain religion or is Indigenous. Students will have immediate, confidential access to a counsellor from anywhere in the world. “It was imperative that SFU provide support to the entire SFU student population, including graduate students, undergraduate students, diverse international perspectives; LGTBQ+ students, indigenous students, student athletes, students with disabilities and more,” says Guard.me president and CEO Keith Segal. “We are honoured to be able to reach more students every day and to be a part of their journey toward a successful educational experience.” The app connects students with resources including videos and articles that support positive well-being, including achieving a healthy life balance, better sleep and how to practice mindfulness. “My SPP will be situated amidst a strategy that addresses timely, accessible, supports for those in need, settings that promote wellbeing and a caring community, and health education as well as addressing mental health stigma,” says Martin Mroz, SFU’s health and counselling director. According to SFU, there is a growing demand for mental health services at post-secondary institutions across Canada. The app is funded by SFU’s University’s Student Experience Initiative in partnership with Guard.me and human resources technology firm Morneau Shepell. fall 2018


Drug addiction DTES pharmacy combats addiction with nature trips Jeremy Shepherd | contributing writer

They haven’t reeled in any fish yet — but that was never the point.

But as terrifying as the overdoses were, Gibb remained stuck in addiction’s cycle.

“Fishing’s just an excuse for a walk,” Alex Gibb explains from the banks of the Capilano River. “If you get a fish, then that’s bonus.”

“I got up and went out and got more drugs,” he says. “I have a great deal of shame around that.”

Pier pharmacy founder Bobby Milroy joins Pier employee and recovering addict Alex Gibb in one of life’s great pleasures: fishing and not caring if you catch anything.

Gibb is a patient and employee at the Pier Health Resource Centre pharmacy in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He was also one of the first patients in the pharmacy’s injectable hydromorphone program. The program — which is only available at Pier — was designed to treat patients at the highest risk of overdose.

Gibb said he’d tried methadone and other treatments but struggled. Speaking slowly and Photo Cindy Goodman, deliberately, Gibb describes the North Shore News feeling of “impending doom, impending sickness” that accompanied addiction. “You’re constantly struggling to avoid going into crippling withdrawal,” he says. The way he avoided withdrawal was the way most addicts avoided withdrawal, he explains: getting more drugs. Living that way wears you down, Gibb says. “You lose perspective, you lose hope, and all of a sudden you’re living a life without any future,” he says. In his last week of using Gibb says he overdosed four times. “The strength of the dope out there, it’s terrifying,” he says, reflecting on the fentanyl crisis. 14

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But the hydromorphone program changed his life. Following his first treatments, Gibb says he was anxious. “I felt like something bad was going to happen.” But he quickly realized his anxiety was caused by being suddenly relieved of the stresses he’d grown accustomed to. “What was going on was nothing was wrong,” he says. “[It had] been so long and so foreign that it was unnerving.” Gibb credits the program for his new life. “I don’t get high, I don’t have any withdrawal and I have my life back,” he says. He’s working at the pharmacy now, helping other patients in the hydromorphone program. Besides giving him a livelihood and helping him get off the streets, the job reaffirms his recovery, Gibb explains. “I stay connected with my community,” he says. “And I’m able to help acquaintances.” One of the ways he wanted to help was to get patients and pharmacists alike out of the Downtown Eastside’s towering grey and into the softer colours of nature. The idea resonated with pharmacist Nicole Chiang, who brought the idea to Pier pharmacy founder Bobby Milroy. Now once a week, pharmacists and drug users embark on nature hikes, picnics and fishing trips. “It actually changed my life a little bit, too,” Milroy says. “I could kind of relate; just without the heroin part.”


The Perfect Balance

Many of the Pier patients have been more or less discarded by society, Milroy notes. But on their expeditions it was those patients leading the tour and showing the pharmacists how to fish. The trips help create a sense of community, Gibb says. Being together in the outdoors can dramatically change the dynamics of relationships, Milroy says. In the pharmacy there’s an ongoing struggle to keep up with the numbers. Pharmacists are hard-pressed to find time to listen to patient’s stories and patients are hard-pressed to find time to tell them. But on the banks of a river or on a forest trail, “they open up in a way that they may not in a clinical space,” Milroy says. Many patients live with emotional pain and physical trauma, he notes. “They self-medicate for pain,” he says. “They’re not having fun, that’s for sure.” On one recent trip a patient talked about that pain, telling the pharmacists about the abuse they’d suffered. “It was quite a powerful moment,” Milroy says. It was only a moment, but as Gibb points out, those moments are important. “When you look at them in perspective,” Gibb says, “the little things are massive.”

– est.1976 –


Poll finds some people still think you'll get the flu from a flu shot Most people think it’s important to get a flu shot — they just don’t necessarily plan on getting one. A new poll of Metro Vancouver residents said 78 per cent of us believe the flu shot is important in order to help protect those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. But only 54 per cent of those polled plan on getting one. The poll, conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs, found that among those who are unlikely to get a flu shot, the most common reason is a belief that it’s unnecessary because they’re healthy (34 per cent). “There is a common misconception that if you are a healthy person then you don’t need a flu shot,” says Gianni Del Negro, a London Drugs pharmacist. “But even if you are in good health, it’s important to get immunized to help prevent the spread of illness to high-risk individuals such as newborns, young children, pregnant women and adults with chronic medical conditions.” Those who don’t plan on being immunized also cited concerns about negative side effects (24 per cent) and worries that the vaccine might make them sick with the flu (14 per cent). 16

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“It is impossible to contract the illness from the vaccine itself because they are made with viruses that have been inactivated and are therefore not infectious,” says Del Negro. “Most people don’t have reactions to the flu vaccine — those who do may have soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site.” This year’s seasonal flu vaccine has been updated to protect against the viruses that health experts believe will be circulating during the upcoming season — both influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B. The flu shot was made available in B.C. beginning at the end of September.

Other poll highlights include:  Nearly all British Columbians (97 per cent) who got a flu shot last year plan to get one this season.  Older British Columbians, age 55 and older, are more likely to get a flu shot this season (65 per cent), compared to those between the ages of 18 and 54 (52 per cent).  Eight in 10 Metro Vancouver residents (84 per cent) are aware that the flu vaccine helps prevent hospitalizations and saves lives.  Awareness among British Columbians about accessibility of flu shots is high. Nine in 10 (88 per cent) are aware that flu vaccinations are available free

of charge for many Canadians (including children, seniors, pregnant women, aboriginal peoples, caregivers, and a number of other employment types). Nine in 10 (89 per cent) are aware that Health Canada recommends Canadians protect themselves from the flu by being vaccinated (getting a flu shot) each year in the fall.  A strong majority of Metro Vancouver residents (85 per cent) are aware that flu vaccinations are available at most pharmacies and can be administered by a pharmacist.  One third of Metro Vancouver residents (35 per cent) believe that healthy people don’t really need the flu vaccination and one-quarter (26 per cent) believe you can catch the flu from the vaccine.  British Columbians who are unlikely to get a flu shot this year are significantly more likely to agree that the flu vaccination can have negative side effects (73 per cent). Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from Sept. 14 to 18, 2018 among a representative sample of 551 Metro Vancouver adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is plus or minus 4.17 percentage points. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.

Your kids are having too much screen time, says top doc Burnaby Now

Too much screen time may be having a negative impact on children’s learning, memory and problemsolving ability, according to Fraser Health. Dr. Ingrid Tyler, Fraser Health medical health officer, reminds parents what the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends when it comes to children excessively watching television and using electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. “For children two to five-years-old, screen time should be limited to less than one hour per day,” Tyler said in a news release. “For children under two years old, we recommend refraining from any screen time.” According to the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, three to fouryear-olds in Canada spend 1.9 hours in screen time. “For children over six, there should be established and consistent limits on the time spent using media, with parents ensuring that digital media doesn’t take the place of sleep, physical activity or real-life personal interactions,” said Tyler. “In general, we recommend no more than two hours of screen time in a typical day.”

There is a higher risk of depression when screen time exceeds two hours per day Using electronic devices near bedtime is associated with inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness in children Families can minimize screen time through a variety of ways. “Regular physical activity helps to minimize screen time and promote overall well-being. Schedule outdoor time each day,” said Tyler. “Also, keep board games, books and puzzles around as an alternative. Parents may consider keeping a media diary to help track screen time. This is also an opportunity for parents to role model healthy screen time use, too.” To learn more about healthy back to school information for children and youth, Fraser Health has released a Healthy Back to School Guide with resources to support health questions of parents, teachers and administrators.

Other recent research about screen time shows:  Excessive exposure is associated with cognitive and social delay  Children with higher levels of screen time are at an increased risk for emotional problems and poorer family functioning  Screen time in youth may influence symptom severity of depression and anxiety

fall 2018


More MRI equipment added to Fraser Health Authority Two new clinics will begin seeing patients in early 2019 Sandra Thomas | editor

Fraser Health is purchasing two private magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) clinics to provide medically necessary exams to patients throughout the Fraser Valley. These purchases are part of the government's Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy. An MRI scan is a tool used to diagnose a number of medical conditions, including abnormalities of the brain, organs in the chest and abdomen, and soft tissue injuries. MRIs are also used to monitor treatment for and the condition of tumours, liver disease and heart problems. "People have been waiting too long for publicly funded diagnostic services," Minister of Health Adrian Dix said in a press release. "That's why we are adding these clinics to the public health-care system, so we can to cut waitlists and deliver services for people closer to home." Effective October 2018, Fraser Health is taking ownership of two privately owned MRI clinics — Surrey MRI in Surrey and Fraser Valley MRI Clinic in Abbotsford. Clinic staff will become health authority employees, with Fraser Health assuming assets and infrastructure. Both clinics will start providing publicly funded exams within a month. Under the new B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic strategy, the province is on track to increase the number of MRIs by more than 37,000, for a total of 225,000, by March 31, 2019. In addition to this total, these newly acquired clinics will


fall 2018

provide 2,000 more exams. They’re expected to deliver 10,000 exams annually, starting April 1, 2019. "A year ago, there was just one public MRI operating 24/7, and this year there are eight. Overall, we have added 800 MRI operating hours throughout the province, helping more patients get on the path to recovery faster," said Dix. The expansion of the public system with these two additional MRI clinics will increase the number of MRIs operating in Fraser Health to nine. In 2019, new MRIs also are coming for Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge, Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, and Langley Memorial Hospital. "MRI scans play an essential and, at times, lifesaving role in patient care. Purchasing these MRI clinics will significantly increase our ability to provide publicly funded MRI scans," said Michael Marchbank, Fraser Health president and CEO. "These two MRIs will give our patients faster access to this important diagnostic tool and improve wait times for people in our growing health-care region." Each clinic will add capacity for approximately 5,000 additional MRI scans per year resulting in lower wait times and improved services for Fraser Health patients. To support each clinic, additional staff will be hired and operating hours will be expanded to include evenings and weekends to improve patient access to services.

overnight oatmeal With this new recipe from the Food Gays, you won’t have to argue with the kids to get them to eat breakfast Sandra Thomas | editor

The Food Gays have taken overnight oatmeal to a whole new level with this recipe, featured in their newly released cookbook Cooking in Color.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal

Vancouver bloggers, photographers and foodies Jeremy Inglett and Adrian Harris launched the Food Gays blog back in 2012 and since then they’ve been creating a growing collection of healthy and sometimes indulgent recipes that can be found either on their blog or in Cooking in Color.


And while the pair has been contributing to many publications since 2012, including Martha Stewart, Food & Wine, Gusto TV and the Province and Vancouver Courier newspapers, this is their first cookbook — and it’s a beauty.

2 tbsp chopped walnuts

When it comes to this carrot cake overnight oatmeal recipe, Inglett and Harris ask the eternal question, “Who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast?” Luckily, in the case of this recipe, you can enjoy the indulgent taste without the guilt. The only problem is, it’s so good you might have to share with the kids.

Serves one

1/4 cup shredded carrot 1/3 cup large-flake rolled oats 1 tbsp chia seeds 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tbsp raisins 1/3 to 1/2 cup whole milk or almond milk Method Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight before eating. Enjoy warm or cold. tip:

If you prefer this dish warm, simply add a splash of milk and heat in a small pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes, until warmed through. fall 2018


Profile for Vancouver Courier

Healthier You Fall 2018  

Healthier You Fall 2018