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MOST READ

MOST TRUSTED
OCTOBER 2016

50 SECRETS
YOUR PET
WONT TELL YOU PAGE 48

NEW BREAST MEET THREE


CANCER ADULTS LIVING
TREATMENTS WITH ADHD
PAGE 76 PAGE 56

THE HEROIC FIVE-YEAR-OLD


WHO SAVED HER FAMILY
PAGE 68

HOW TO MAKE CHOICES THAT


REFLECT YOUR VALUES
PAGE 62

WHAT I LEARNED DRIVING A BUS


FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
PAGE 104

DIET STRATEGIES FOR DIABETES ..................... 46


PLAN A WASTE-FREE THANKSGIVING ............. 24
POINTS TO PONDER .......................................... 26
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Contents OCTOBER 2016

Cover Story
48 The Truth About Cats and Dogs
50 secrets your pet wont tell you.
MICHELLE CROUCH, WITH ADDITIONAL
R E S E A R C H BY R E B E CC A T U C K E R

Health
56 I Never Felt Like I
Belonged
Three Canadians on what
its like to be an adult with
ADHD. L I SA B E N DA L L
Life Lesson
62 Do the Right Thing
How to make choices that
reflect your values. LU C R I N A L D I
Drama in Real Life
68 The Littlest Hero
The Shymanskis had taught their five-
year-old daughter, Lexi, what to do in case
of emergency, knowing it could save her life.
P. | 68
They didnt know it would save her mother
and baby brother too.
O M A R M O UA L L E M

Health
76 Breast-Cancer Breakthroughs
After a decade-long lull, Canadian women are
seeing promising medical advancements.
SY D N E Y LO N E Y

Society
82 A Sticky Scourge
YUTA ONODA

Meet the man whos determined to rid Torontos


streets of 2,000 tonnes of chewed gum. PHOTOGRAPHY
BY CHANTAL
N AT H A N I E L B A S E N F R O M T H E WA L R U S LEVESQUE

ADDIT I ONAL MEDIA IN OUR TABLET VERSIONS


rd.ca | 10 2016 | 1
Vol. 189 | No. 1,133
OCTOBER 2016

Department of Wit 4 Editors Letter


90 Rental Real Talk 6 Contributors
When apartment hunting, beware 8 Letters
of buzzwords. C A R O L I N E G . M U R P H Y

12
FROM LE JOURNAL DE MONTRAL

Human Interest
P. |
92 Doctors on Demand
Physicians in remote conflict
zones are using telemedicine
to treat patients. C H R I ST I N A FA R R
F R O M FA STCO M PA N Y.CO M

Heart
96 Force of Nature
I thought I wanted to create my
mothers dream garden. But
the plants taught me otherwise.
A L E XA N D R A R I S E N F R O M U N E A RT H E D

Editors Choice
104 The Kids of Bus 3077
Writer Craig Davidson spent a
year driving children with special
needs to school. These are their
stories. F R O M P R E C I O U S C A R G O

READER FAVOURITES

10 Finish This Sentence 119 Thats Outrageous!


16 Lifes Like That 121 Brainteasers
HEATHER OGG

26 Points to Ponder 123 Trivia Quiz


66 As Kids See It 124 Sudoku
81 Laughter, the Best Medicine 125 Word Power
103 @ Work 128 Quotes

2 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Health
ART OF LIVING
40 Joint Attack
Managing rheumatoid arthritis.
12 Survive and Thrive SA M A N T H A R I D E O U T
Turn on the Lights founder
Kate Eastman gives a voice Health
to sexual abuse victims. 42 Case History
ST P H A N I E V E R G E , W I T H A medical mystery resolved.
R E S E A R C H BY M AU R E E N CO U LT E R SY D N E Y LO N E Y

RD Interview Food
18 Wonder Woman 46 Eating Right for Diabetes
Room writer Emma Donoghue Food tips to control your
on claustrophobia, the cruelty condition. L I SA H A N N A M
of child readers and her new
novel. ST P H A N I E V E R G E

Culture GET SMART!


20 RD Recommends
Our top picks in books, movies 117 13 Things You Should
and TV. SA R A H L I S S Know About Car
Maintenance
Travel J I L M c I N TO S H

22 Airport Travel Tips


How to get through a terminal 120 Rd.ca
with minimal fuss. October website highlights.
R O S E M A RY CO U N T E R

Food
P. | 42
24 A Waste-Free
Thanksgiving
Ways to plan a feast without the
excess. A N D R E M AY E R
VICTOR WONG

Health
33 Breathe Easy
Advice on keeping asthma in
check. SA M A N T H A R I D E O U T

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 3
Editors Letter
Pet Fancy
I WAS AROUND FIVE YEARS OLD the day our first pet showed up.
My grandmother had come to visit, a floral shopping bag in tow,
and my sister, brother and I gathered around, expecting her to
have a treat for each of us. But instead of the usual candies, we were
astonished to see a white puppy with black spots. We named her Mimi;
she was a gentle, playful terrier mix. The dog lived with my family until
we kids were in our teens, and her advanced years were marked by the
distinguished grey hairs on her snout.
Since that time, Ive almost always had petsin the
1980s, my household included two dogs, three cats and
a bird. Today we have just one furry creature, a Maine
Coon cat named Luigi.
I love animals, both domesticated and wild. I
spend quite a bit of time studying and photo-
graphing them, so I was surprised when I
read this months cover story and realized
that I still have much to learn. I had no
idea, for instance, that dogs need to be
aligned with the earths magnetic field
before they poop. Thats one of 50 facts
and tips in The Truth About Cats and
Dogs (page 48).
In this issue, youll also find a feature on
new treatments for breast cancer that have
boosted the five-year survival rate for
patients by 10 per cent (page 76). Quite
an advance!
ROGER A ZIZ

Send an email to
robert@rd.ca
Published by the Readers Digest Magazines Canada Limited, Montreal, Canada
Christopher Dornan Chairman of the Board
Robert Goyette Editor-in-Chief
Karin Rossi Publisher

Executive Editor Dominique Ritter Art Director Annelise Dekker


Deputy Editor Stphanie Verge Assistant Art Director Danielle Sayer
Senior Editor Sarah Liss Graphic Designer Pierre Loranger
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Assistant Editor Megan Jones
Circulation Director Edward Birkett
Contributing Editor Samantha Rideout
Web Editor Brett Walther
Proofreader Katie Moore
Contributors: Nathaniel Basen, Graeme Bayliss, Lisa Bendall, Susan
Senior Researcher Rudy Lee Camilleri Konar, Lisa Cecchini, Maureen Coulter, Rosemary Counter,
Michelle Crouch, Marcel Danesi, Craig Davidson, Conan de Vries, Katy
Researchers Caitlin Agnew, Bob Anderson, Dockrill, Aime Van Drimmelen, Christina Farr, Adrian Forrow, Jason
Martha Beach, Andrea Gordon, Lisa Hannam, Anja Javelona, Roderick Kimball, Chantal
Bennett, Vibhu Gairola, Levesque, Sydney Loney, Andre Mayer, Jil McIntosh, Omar Mouallem,
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Darren Rigby, Luc Rinaldi, Alexandra Risen, Julie Saindon, Rmy
Copy Editors Chad Fraser, Amy Harkness Simard, Amarjeet Singh Nagi, Rebecca Tucker, Victor Wong

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TRUSTED MEDIA BRANDS, INC.


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VOL. 189, NO. 1,133 COPYRIGHT 2016 BY READERS DIGEST MAGAZINES CANADA LIMITED. Reproduction in any manner in whole or in
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rd.ca | 10 2016 | 5
Contributors
OMAR MOUALLEM LISA HANNAM
(Writer, The Littlest (Writer, Eating Right
Hero, page 68) for Diabetes,
page 46)
Home base:
Edmonton. Previ- Home base:
ously published in The New Yorker Hamilton, Ont. Previously pub-
and Wired. Interviewing children lished in: Glow and Best Health.
is never easy. Luckily, Angela, Making healthier food choices
Lexis mom, helped me reframe my doesnt have to be complicated or
questions in a way that a five-year- leave you feeling unsatisfied. I try
old could respond to. This story to maintain a healthy diet, but
is proof that if you underestimate sometimes I do indulgethankfully
kids, they will underestimate them- pizza is one of those foods that can
selves. But if you encourage them to provide more nutritional value
be brave, theyll thrive. depending on your toppings.

ADRIAN FORROW CHANTAL


(Illustrator, The LEVESQUE
Kids of Bus 3077, (Photographer,
page 104) The Truth About Cats
and Dogs, page 48)
Home base:
Toronto. Previously published Home base: Montreal. Previously
in The New Yorker and The Walrus. published in Montral Centre-ville
Reading this story reminded me and Qubec Le Mag. I have a cat
that life throws you curveballs. named Shirow. Hes adorable,
Embrace themthe experience easygoing and very low mainten-
you gain might provide a new per- ance (when hes not chewing on the
spective. Im a big fan of graphic TV wires). If I could photograph
novels. Nothing beats curling up any celebrity dog, Id choose Boo
with one on a Sunday afternoon. the Pomeranian. Google him. You
Its a great form of escape. wont be disappointed.

6 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
I CAN
FINALLY ENJOY
THE MOMENT.

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Letters
READERS COMMENT ON OUR RECENT ISSUES

BITS AND PIECES


I just read Grieving for
Jonathan (July/August
2016), and my face is damp
with tears. At 22, Ive grown
up with access to the Inter-
net. I often forget how many
pieces of our relationships
are preserved in text mes-
sages and online. When
someone passes on, were
left with digital memories
that can add new challenges
to the grieving process. This
story was so touching.
Thank you.
MELISSA FULLER, R e g in a COVER ILLUSTRATI ON BY SAM ISLAN D

LESS IS MORE magazine in the summer months


I am delighted to learn that Readers and after Christmas, when life is
Digest is adjusting the number of particularly hectic. Still, I enjoy tak-
issues it publishes annually. I have ing my time with the magazine and
been a subscriber for many years and I cant imagine our home without it.
have always struggled to finish the ARLENE GRAVES, C a l g a r y

8 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
ART THERAPY NOT MY TYPE
Recently, I visited my 96-year-old I have enjoyed the articles in
mother during her unexpected stay Readers Digest for many decades.
in the hospital. She and I spent However, Im disappointed that
many hours wandering around the the Canadian edition isnt available
building, enjoying the paintings that in a larger typeface. Our population
adorned the walls. My father was an of senior readers is growing, and
artist, so these pieces of art (some of many are experiencing visual issues.
them even painted by Dad!) brought I would be willing to pay extra for
us a great deal of comfort during a this option!
stressful time. Your story Visual MADILYNN WADE, O w e n S o u n d , O n t .
Aids (July/August 2016) was very
timely. Im glad to see others are HANDY AND HELPFUL
sharing the gift of art. Kudos! Your story The Greatest Canadian
LORI STODOLA, O s o y o o s , B . C . Neighbours (July/August 2016)
brought to mind my neighbour,
POOR PLANNING Antonio Oliveira, an energetic and
I recently sat down with your Decem- generous 82-year-old. Whenever
ber 2015 issue. The story Survivor you need him, hes at your doorstep,
Dog made me quite angry. All I armed with tools and a broad smile,
could think was, What was this ready to tackle any job, however
owner thinking, putting that dogs strenuous. Thank you for reminding
life in danger? Early in his walk, the me to appreciate the heroes close
man knew that it was going to be a to home!
challenge; he shouldnt have contin- SHEILA MASIH, B ra m p t o n , O n t .
ued on. That story could have had a
very differentand heartbreaking Published letters are edited for length
ending. JILL EARL, Hi g h R i v e r, A l t a . and clarity.

We want to hear from you! Have something to say about an article you read in Readers Digest? Send your
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rd.ca | 10 2016 | 9
FINISH THIS SENTENCE

I will never regret


travelling. playing
It gave me an appreciation hooky
for humanity. to catch some of the best
JAIME CALHOUN NASON, concerts everSantana,
TRACY, N.B. Aerosmith, the Eagles.
TARA WALKER,
THREE HILLS, ALTA.

taking the community fire engine for a joyride


with my friends as a teen. Somehow we never got in trouble!
NANCY A. DARRAGH, MONCTON, N.B.

joining the
Royal Canadian
Air Force! my
RIC SMITHERS,
SHERBROOKE, QUE. mistakes.
Without them,
I wouldnt be the
my first marriage. It wasnt a good one, person I am today.
but I wouldnt have my wonderful children without it. ROSELLA MATUK,
ANN BIRDGENAW, DORVAL, QUE. OSHAWA, ONT.

 Visit the Readers Digest Canada Facebook page for your chance to finish the next sentence.

10 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
ART of LIVING

Turn on the Lights founder Kate Eastman gives


a voice to sexual abuse victims

Survive and Thrive


BY ST P H ANIE VERGE , WI T H R E S E A R C H BY MAUREEN CO ULT ER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEATHER OG G

! KATE EASTMAN WAS 23 years


old when she came forward. First
system. He was sentenced to four
years in federal prison for sexual
she told her mother. Then they went acts that began when Eastman was
to the Charlottetown police together. six and ended when she moved
Less than three years later, in out at 20.
March 2015, Eastmanalong with McEachern left her husband
her mother, Deborah McEachern following Eastmans disclosure,
founded Turn on the Lights. She but the familys difficulties were far
wanted to raise awareness about from over. McEachern wasnt able
the very thing she had kept quiet to float the householdwhich still
for so long: childhood sexual abuse, included Eastmans younger broth-
which, according to a 2014 report ers and sisteron a single income
from the Canadian Medical Associa- while also dealing with the debt
tion Journal, happens to as many as her husband had accumulated.
one in 10 Canadians. A year and a half later, the family
The scariest thing you can do lost its home. That unexpected fall-
to an abuser is to use your voice, out led to discussions about, among
says Eastman. She did just that, other things, the lack of financial
pursuing her stepfather through assistance for those coping with the
the Prince Edward Island judicial effects of sexual abuse.
12 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Coming forward
against an abuser is
terrifying, says Kate
Eastman. If theres
someone around
who can relate, the
process becomes just
a little easier.
READERS DIGEST

Going through the aftermath, gambling and drinking, two of the


we learned that theres nothing out only things that distracted him
there telling you what you should from his pain.
do, says McEachern. Turn on the These days, Muttart copes through
Lights doesnt so much tell survivors communication: with Eastman, with
and their families what to do as help family and friends, with strangers. In
them figure out their next move. addition to his volunteer work with
Eastman has given talks in area Turn on the Lights, where he does
schools, and candlelight walks and outreach and fundraising, Muttart is
teal shirt days (teal has been part of Men Matter, a separate pro-
adopted as the colour of sexual gram aimed at male survivors.
abuse awareness and prevention) Men are taught that theyre sup-
have upped the groups posed to be tough, and
profile. But its social thats one of the main
media thats been reasons I kept things
invaluable. Eastman
I want this to be inside. But I have a son
receives an average of my career, says who is seventhe age
four messages a week Eastman. I want I was when the abuse
from survivors, most to always be the started. I realize now
of them in P.E.I.
Our website and
person who says how much it affected
me growing up, and
Facebook page are Ive also been how much it affects
healing places, says there. I get it. me as a parent,
Eastman. We talk he says. It helps to
about mental health. talk with people who
We talk about victim services. And understand what Im going through.
we talk about how each situation is That feeling of support is what
differentwhat works for one person Eastmanwho recently entered
might not work for someone else. her fourth year at the University of
Andrew Muttart was sexually Prince Edward Island, where shes
abused over the course of three wrapping up a degree in family
years by an older community sciencehopes to replicate.
member in his small P.E.I. town. I want Turn on the Lights to be
He wasnt able to talk about his my lifelong career. I want to always
experience until he was 29, more be the person who says Ive also
than two decades later. At that been there. I get it. Had there been
point, he had lost a lawn-care help like that when I was growing up,
business and a home through I would have spoken up sooner.

14 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
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Lifes Like That
AT A DINNER PARTY, our guests
asked us what kind of vegetables we
THE BEST JOKE would be cooking. Lets see, my
I EVER TOLD fiance began, summer squash
BY SOPHIE KOHN And some arent, I interjected.
reddit.com
I bought a new blender the other
day. The box says it easily pro-
SHATTERED EXPECTATIONS
cesses everything! And its like,
okay, buddy, were not all so lucky. A boy breaks an old vase at his rich
uncles house. Extremely angry,
Sophie Kohn is part of the stand-
his uncle yells, Do you know how
up comedy collective Joke Party.
Catch their old that vase was? It was from the
show every 17th century!
Wednes- Oh good, the boy says, sighing
day at with relief. I thought it was new.
Comedy short-funny.com
Bar in
Toronto.
MY PARENTS HAVE BEEN to Las
Vegas several times and have a real
fondness for the city. A few years
NOT LIKE THE OTHER ago, we all went on a family vacation
My husband and I both drive red to visit relatives in Italy. In Venice,
vehicles. Our youngest daughter we took a gondola ride. We hadnt
also has a red car, as do our eldest been in the boat for more than five
daughter and her spouse. Our son is minutes when my mom turned to
the odd one out. One day he called my dad and exclaimed, Wow! Its
to tell me he was looking at a new just like the Venetian!
vehicleand that it happened to LAURA GOBBO, B u r n a b y , B . C .
be red. Well, I said, It looks like
youve finally seen the light!
Yeah, he replied. Im tired of We know good jokes come from near and
being the black Jeep of the family. far. Send us yours! They could be worth
HEATHER DENNING, Ky l e , S a s k . $50. See page 9 for more details.

16 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Made you look.
And yes, Im wearing them.

The core absorbs


bladder leaks and odours in
seconds. Hugs my curves for
a discreet t under clothes.

Always Discreet for


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THE RD INTERVIEW

Room writer Emma Donoghue on claustrophobia, the


cruelty of child readers and her mysterious new novel

Wonder Woman
BY ST P H A N I E V ER GE
ILLUSTRATION BY AIME VAN DRIMMELEN

Since your early 20s, youve made a


living as a writermainly of novels,
including your big hit, 2010s Room,
which you then turned into a
screenplay. Do you ever fantasize
about less wordy pursuits?
It wouldnt really occur to me to
spend my time on earth on anything
but words. I have no other skills.
This is it, so it better work!

Your new book, The Wonder,


is about a girl in 19th-century
Ireland whos lived without food
for monthsor so it seems.
Most of the story takes place
in a small bedroom, a simi-
lar setting to the one in
Room. Whats the appeal?
You would think Id had a
very strange upbringing!
Im interested in isolating
certain relationships and

18 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
moving up very close, but it was only things oddly and newly; the less cozy
once I stepped back that I thought, and comfortable you are, the better.
Oh, its another trapped in a room
with a child book! I find motherhood One of your upcoming projects is a
to be very intimate and at times kids book called The Lotterys Plus
claustrophobic, so I think thats One. How cozy was that process?
mostly what sent me off on this riff I feel like a rank amateur. Children
of exploring near-captive conditions. can be very harsh. They arent polite
the way adult readers arethey have
Why set this book in the past? Eating to be gripped on every page.
disorders are very contemporary.
Nowadays, were good at labelling A character in the book has demen-
psychological phenomena. A century tia, which your mother suffers from.
or two ago, these issues were much Was that difficult to write about?
muddier. There were competing Ive never been to therapy and I think
modelssuperstitious, religious, its because anything in my life thats
scientific. So you get diversity, sheer remotely painful I work through in
confusion, which is great for fiction. fictional form. Theres little we can
do about dementia, so writing about
Earlier this year, you snagged an it has felt hugely helpful. Many chil-
Oscar nomination for Best Adapted drens books that touch on the sub-
Screenplay for Room. Screenwriting ject do it in a saccharine and dreary
is working out for you, then. way. I made it my personal mission
Its great to try on a whole new kind to use dementia without having the
of writing in your 40s, because it whole book grind to a miserable halt.
makes you feel like a beginner again.
Were your kids your initial readers?
You dont find that uncomfortable? I bribed my son, now 12, and some of
Its fatal to be comfortable when it his friends to be my first focus group.
comes to writing. Emigration has My nine-year-old daughter is reading
been handy to me in that the proofs and offering last-minute
way. I feel like an outsider in suggestions. Theyve been extremely
France, where my partner is usefuland occasionally Ive been
from, a different outsider at able to distract them from an oncom-
home in Canada, and a differ- ing tantrum by saying Oooh, we
ent outsider back in Ireland, put this bit in the book.
where I was born. That sort
of oblique vision lets you see The Wonder is available Sept. 20.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 19
CULTURE

Our top picks in books, movies and TV

RD Recommends
BY SA RA H L I SS

1
THE BOOK OF JOY
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond
Tutu (with Douglas Carlton Abrams)
If anyone is qualified to provide insights into finding
peace in modern society, its the Dalai Lama and
Desmond Tutu, both of whom weathered persecution and
emerged with a commitment to making the world a better
placeas well as a Nobel Peace Prize. Long-time friends, the
men spent a week together last year at the Dalai Lamas resi-
dence, hanging out and contemplating the nature of happiness.
The result: The Book of Joy, a fly-on-the-wall view of a meeting
between two spiritual titans. Sept. 20.

DID YOU KNOW? They may be known for lofty goals, but the pals can

(T HE B OOK OF JOY) P ENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE;


be practical jokers too. During a group photo session at the Nobel Peace
Laureates Conference in 1998, His Holiness snuck up behind the archbishop (T HE GIR L ON TH E T RAIN ) BARRY WETC HER
and attempted to yank off his hat.

2 THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN


Based on the British bestseller that broke
records on both sides of the Atlantic, this thriller
was a tough act to follow. But with the sublime Emily
Blunt starring as Rachel Watsona thoroughly
unreliable narrator wrapped up in what she thinks
she witnessed on her morning commuteits
unlikely to go off the rails. Oct. 7.
3
THINGS
SMALL
GREAT

Jodi Picoult
Blockbuster author
Jodi Picoult has a feel
for timely subjects,
however thorny. In her
latest, a black labour-
and-delivery nurse is
blamed for the death
of a neo-Nazis new-
born son. As Picoult
sifts through the after-
4 THIS IS US
Fans of the now-defunct Parenthood
and Brothers and Sisters will find a worthy succes-
math, she maps out a sor in this new family dramedy. A collection of
constellation of strong, disparate strangersa hunky TV star, a man look-
precisely detailed ing for the father who abandoned him, a couple
characters, putting expecting tripletshave a serendipitous link: they
a human face on an share the same birthday. Thankfully, the show
urgent social issue quickly moves beyond that superficial connection
that can easily seem to explore the emotional ties and unexpected
abstract. Oct. 11. coincidences that join the group. Sept. 20.

5 TRUDEAUMANIA
Robert Wright
As the first anniversary of the election
of Canadas 23rd prime minister rapidly
(T HIS I S US) PAUL DRIN KWATER/NBC

approaches, we reflect on the last time


a charismatic Trudeau held office. In
his incisive exploration of Pierre Elliott
Trudeaus ascent, historian Robert
Wright overturns the notion that Jus-
tins father was more style than sub-
stance. Dense but deeply engaging,
the book explains why the erstwhile
PMs policy smarts were as formid-
able as his public persona. Sept. 20.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 21
TRAVEL

How to get through a


terminal with minimal fuss

Airport
Travel Tips
BY ROS E M A RY CO UNTE R

Plan Ahead Suffer the Search


Minimize your wait by scheduling Since 2010, Canadian airports have
your departure to avoid peak hours installed full-body scanners that
such as weekend mornings. Some reveal whats under clothing. If
airports have more than one access youre selected for such a scan, you
point for security; do a quick Inter- can choose a manual pat down in-
net search or ask an airline agent for stead. Someone of your gender will
the fastest line. If you often travel do the search, and you can request
outside the country, the $50 fee for a private room with a witness.
a five-year NEXUS card could save
you as much as 90 minutes in a busy Share Your Gadgets
customs queue. If an agent asks for your phone or
computer password, do you have
Pack Smart to give it to them? Its a hot-button
Avoid an unwanted searchor legal issue, but the short answer, for
having to toss your beloved face now, is yes. You could be criminally
creamby packing properly. charged for refusing.
Bottles or containers of liquids
(100-millilitre format max) belong Say Just Enough
ISTOCKP HOTO

in a clear resealable bag (no more Unlike cops, who need reasonable
than one litre), and only one per grounds, customs agents can ask
person. The exceptions are baby you anything. To co-operate, aim for
food and milk. succinct, direct and polite answers.

22 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
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ON EVERY PAGE
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FOOD

Ways to plan a feast without the excess

A Waste-Free Thanksgiving
BY A N D R E M AY E R
ILLUSTRATION BY KAT Y DOCKR I LL

! WHILE THE HOLIDAY is meant


to express gratitude for a bountiful
Celebrations with family and
friends inevitably involve heaping
harvest, Thanksgiving has come to tables of food. More often than not,
reflect our cavalier attitude toward we wind up overeatingand what-
food waste, according to Andrea ever we cant stuff into our already-
DAmbrosio, who runs Dietetic Direc- distended tummies typically ends
tions, a nutritional counselling com- up in the trash.
pany in Kitchener, Ont. Most people According to a 2014 study by Value
dont know how much we are actually Chain Management International, a
throwing away and the amount of food production consultancy, about
resources that go into growing and $31 billion worth of food is wasted in
transporting that food, she says. Canada every year, and 47 per cent of

24 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
thator $14.6 billionoccurs in the potatoes or stuffing, a good rule of
household. DAmbrosio says we often thumb is to aim for three to four
find ourselves chucking items that ounces (or half a cup) per person.
have gone bad or are superfluous DAmbrosio says another effec-
because of poor meal planning and tive way to prevent waste is to
our tendency to head to the grocery present meals buffet-style on a
store without checking the fridge and counter, so guests can serve them-
pantry beforehand. selves and thereby only take as
While its hard to undo a lifetime much as they need.
of habits, you can have a delectable
Thanksgiving feast without being The Joy of Leftovers
unnecessarily wasteful. Even the most conscientious cook
is bound to have surplus food. But
Think Proportionally with a little creativity and foresight,
If youve ever made dinner for a you can ensure the extras are put to
large group of people, youve prob- good use. Its a matter of stretching
ably found yourself thinking, Better meals and making the most of left-
too much than too little. That feeling overs, Perrone says.
is understandable but misguided, She suggests using shredded resid-
says Vanessa Perrone, a Montreal- ual turkey meat and vegetables in
based dietitian and nutritionist. wraps, soups, salads, sandwiches or
We tend to prepare more food something a little heartier, such as
than needed for family gatherings, turkey pot pie. Once youre down to
she says. This is both out of fear of the turkey carcass, it can still provide
not having enough and also because the base for a flavourful broth. Mean-
few of us are aware of how to prop- while, cranberries, sweet potatoes
erly judge portion requirements for and pumpkin can be incorporated
large crowds. into muffins or other baked goods.
If youre trying to plan a less Reducing waste on special occa-
wasteful holiday meal, the best sions (and throughout the year)
place to start is by buying a smaller isnt just about menu planning and
turkey. DAmbrosio says you typi- smart shopping, Perrone says. Stor-
cally need about one pound (or less) ing food properly and ensuring its
of meat per person, so if you multi- safe to eat is also key. She recom-
ply that by the number of expected mends the website Stilltasty.com
guests, you might find you dont (which features a handy app) as
need a 30-pound Butterball. For a resource to see how long refrig-
side dishes such as beans, mashed erated items can last.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 25
Points to Ponder
BY CH RISTINA PALASS I O

P HOTOS: (M ELCHOR) ALA MY. QUOTES: (MELCHOR) JUNE 29, 2014; (SHIE L DS) PE NG U IN RAND OMHOU SE ( APRIL 26, 201 6 ) ;
I used to treat my phone like a Migrant workers pay taxes for the
loverI would go to bed with it and services Canadians enjoy, but we
wake up cradling it in my arms. Now dont get full health care, employ-
I wake up, I do some breathing ment insurance, pensions or social
in bed and then I focus benefits such as subsidized housing
on setting my intention or education.
for the day.
TETA BAYAN, m i g ra n t w o r k e r,

(BAYAN) MAY 24, 2016; (M A C M I LLA N) MA RCH 28, 2016; (NZET-SGUIN) JU NE 2, 201 6.
TRACI MELCHOR, h o s t o f C T V s in The Globe and Mail

Th e S o c i a l , on building healthy habits,


in The Globe and Mail
When I was young, I often used to
think, What a pity that Canada had
A story is about moving from one a rather boring history. I wondered
state to another, a movement that, in why we didnt have revolutions and
more interesting fiction, is psycho- civil wars and invasions like proper
logical, involving a growth of aware- countries did. Now that Im more
ness, a gathering of insight about sensible, I realize how lucky we are to
what it means to be human. have had this very peaceful evolution.

T h e l a t e n o v e l i s t CAROL SHIELDS, in Hi s t o r i a n MARGARET MACMILLAN,


the book Startle and Illuminate: Carol Shields on Writing on CBC Radios Ideas

I want to make people


realize how opera is
important in their lives.
Conductor YANNICK NZET-SGUIN, in The Guardian, upon being
named director of the New York Metropolitan Opera
I really dont like being on television. I
find it intimidating, discomforting. It
makes me uneasy. It is not natural to
be talking to a piece of machinery.
But the money is very good.
R e n o w n e d t e l e v i s i o n j o u r n a l i s t MORLEY SAFER,
w h o p a s s e d a w a y i n Ma y a t t h e a g e o f 8 4

A basic income is a simpler and In theseeconomically narcissistic,


more transparent approach to fight- ideologically polarized and rhetor-
ing poverty than our current patch- ically tempestuous times, in a world
work of social programs. that too often feels like its spinning
out of control, we need a legal pro-
S e n a t o r ART EGGLETON, fession that worries about what that
in the Huffington Post world looks and feels like to those
P HOTOS: (SA FER) U.S. NATI ONAL ARC HI VES; (HA NOM ANSIN G) CBC MED IA CE NTRE .

who are vulnerable.


Id love to live my current age in,
like, 50 years. Id love to see what S u p r e m e C o u r t Ju s t i c e
kind of technology we would have ROSALIE ABELLA, in a convocation
speech delivered at Yale Law School
at our disposal. Ive seen so much
change in my lifetime that I want
to be part of more. I think when someones dying theres
this level of urgency that makes you
P o p s i n g e r LIGHTS, in Toronto Life want to capture everything.

I was standing next to an African- TREY ANTHONY, c o m e d i a n


American woman and I said to her, a n d c r e a t o r o f D a K i n k i n My Ha i r,
discussing family ties and the death of
So what is this neighbourhood her grandmother on CBC Radio q
like? I was thinking I have some
level of connection to her because
my skin is brown. But she looked I knew there were a lot of guys there.
me up and down and Yes, its the military, but it never
said, You wouldnt last crossed my mind that I wouldnt
one minute here. be accepted because Im a woman.

R e p o r t e r IAN HANOMANSING C o l . JENNIE CARIGNAN,


on covering the 1992 L.A. riots, in the new C a n a d as f i r s t f e m a l e c o m b a t g e n e ra l ,
book Thats Why Im a Journalist on enlisting in the army in 1986

QUOTES: (SAFER) BUST LE.COM (MAY 19, 2016); (EGGLETON) FE B. 26, 201 6; (LIGHTS) APRIL 19, 2016;
(HANOMANSING) DOUGLAS & McINTYRE (SEPT. 1, 2015); (ABELL A) THE WALRUS (JUNE 1, 2016);
(ANTHONY) MAY 4, 2016 ; (CAR I GNAN) JUNE 3, 2016.
SPECIAL FEATURE

READERS DIGEST TRUSTED BRAND 2016

WHY TRUST
MATTERS
Readers Digest conducts an annual Trusted BrandTM survey in which
Canadians can vote on the brands they trust the most. We also invited
you to share why trust is so important when making purchase decisions
and how it influences your shopping habits. Heres what you told us.

Like most Canadians, I work hard for my I need to know that when
money. Trust equals my business. It is vital I buy something, the product
for customers to be told the truth. will give me the most value
CASEY, NEW BRUNSWICK for my dollar and the quality
will be consistent.
JENNY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Once my trust is earned, I often find
myself purchasing the same product in the
future. I may not even (actively) think of it. I am willing to pay more for a
I just know, subconsciously, that Ive had product that I know will always
positive experiences with that logo or that meet my expectations.
brand and I automatically reach for it. KAREN, ONTARIO
DEX, ALBERTA

Consumers want to purchase from trustworthy


companies and get the best product for
their family. Trust is definitely essential when
shopping and making a purchase decision.
KIM, NOVA SCOTIA

Seeing that the product is highly rated


and recommended will greatly influence
my decision. I feel that if others believe
that this is a superior product, I will too.
MAGGIE, ONTARIO

Readers Digest Trusted BrandTM Contest submissions, January 8 to April 9, 2015. TMTrusted Brand is a registered trademark of Readers Digest Association Canada ULC
SPECIAL FEATURE

TRUST BY THE NUMBERS


In this years Trusted Brand survey, thousands of Canadians voted for
brands across 40 product categories, from consumer packaged goods to
financial institutions. This years results are in! Here are the standout stats:

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COUNTS TRUST IS


ESSENTIAL

77%
of Canadians are more

89%
likely to trust businesses
that make product recall
announcements.

of you say it is essential to


TRUST IS DEPENDABILITY trust the brands you buy.
THE DECIDING IS WORTH
FACTOR EVERY NICKEL YOURE
DEVOTED

92% 81% 82%


of you will buy the more
trusted brand when quality
of Canadians would pay
more for the products of Canadians admit they
and price are about equal. and services they trust. are very brand loyal.

YOURE
85%
of Canadians are
brand ambassadors,
BRAND praising trusted brands
AMBASSADORS to family and friends.

WHAT MAKES A TRUSTED BRAND?


Key attributes of a Trusted BrandTM include reliability,
an excellent reputation and high customer satisfaction.
Simply put, a Trusted BrandTM provides superior products
and services on which you can depend.

The Trusted BrandTM seal is a sign of consumer confidence.


And these brands consistently deliver on their promises.
Visit TRUSTEDBRANDS.RD.CA for the complete list of winners.

Source: 2016 Readers Digest Trusted BrandTM Study. TMTrusted Brand is a registered trademark of Readers Digest Association Canada ULC
SPECIAL FEATURE

THE 2017 TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID:


EVERYTHING YOU LOVE
ABOUT THE RAV4 AND MORE

ER
HY

R
R
B

ID
C TU
CA
R M A N U FA

Canadians will accept no compromises when they buy a vehicleand


the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid delivers it all, in one amazing compact SUV.

The RAV4 is already a Canadian success story (its Toyotas top-selling vehicle so far
this year!), with gas models of the vehicle being built right here in Canada. The RAV4
Hybrid combines the driving fun, bold styling, generous amenities and impressive
versatility of the RAV4 with the advanced power of Toyotas Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is Canadas most fuel-efficient SUV, at just 7.3L/100km city/
highway combined. Yet it still offers the added all-weather driving confidence of
all-wheel-drive enhanced with Toyotas Active Torque Control System.

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is available in three models the LE+ with available XLE
package, with more standard features than ever before, the all-new sporty Hybrid SE
with a specially-tuned suspension and aggressive exterior style, and the Limited, featuring
numerous technology upgrades, including the Birds Eye View Monitor and more.

With safety always top-of-mind at Toyota, new for 2017, all Toyota RAV4 and RAV4
Hybrid models will feature Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) a comprehensive array
of cutting edge safety technologies, including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian
Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control,
and Automatic High Beams. Toyota Safety Sense, available in two packages (TSS-P
and TSS-C) supports driver awareness, decision-making and vehicle operation, to help
drivers anticipate and avoid accidents and joins an already extensive list of Toyota
safety technologies found in every RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid.

Canadians can learn more about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid named as the
Readers Digest Most Trusted Brand of Hybrid Cars for 2016 and Toyotas
entire lineup of hybrid vehicles at www.toyota.ca. To learn more about
Toyota Safety Sense, visit www.toyota.ca/toyota-safety-sense/en.

Trusted Brand is a registered trademark of Readers Digest Association Canada ULC.


SPECIAL FEATURE

THE 2017 TOYOTA CAMRY:


THE BOLD MID-SIZE SEDAN THAT

R
PA

RE
S
DELIVERS FULL-SIZE VALUE,

SE

TU
N
GE C
FA
NO MATTER HOW YOU MEASURE IT R C
AR MANU

The Toyota Camry is the number one selling intermediate passenger car in
North America for a good reason. In fact, for many of them. By any measure,
Camry sets the standard for mid-size sedans and adds up to tremendous value.

The difference is apparent at first sight. Camrys bold styling and wide, athletic stance
promise an engaging drive, and contribute to handling stability and efficiency. Inside,
the cabin is expansive and comfortable, with space for five and plenty of versatile
storage for cargo. Soft-touch materials and advanced instrumentation with intuitive
controls create a premium interior, while engineers have further reduced wind and
road noise to create the quietest-ever Camry. On the outside, its all about style and
stance. On the inside, its your own personal oasis.

But looks arent everything, right? What the style promises, the performance delivers.
All models are engineered for dynamic handling, with the chassis and body structure
engineered to deliver a superior, comfortable ride, while suspension and steering
systems take its handling to a new level of responsiveness. Choose between a 2.5L
four-cylinder or 3.5L V6 engine, each delivering an ideal combination of power and
efficiency that will never steer you in the wrong direction.

Now available as a 2017 model, the Toyota Camry is available in six configurations,
including the sporty SE and XSE editions and impressively appointed XLE
models. Hybrid powered models are also available. Canadians can learn
more about the Toyota Camry named as the Readers Digest Most
Trusted Brand of Passenger Cars for 2016 and Toyotas entire
lineup of passenger vehicles at www.toyota.ca.

Trusted Brand is a registered trademark of Readers Digest Association Canada ULC.


HEALTH

Advice on keeping
asthma in check

Breathe
Easy
BY SA M A N T H A R ID E O UT

! WHEEZING, COUGHING, chest


tightnessasthma is breathtaking,
If exercise continues to trigger
symptoms despite these steps, its
and not in a good way. Though there a sign your asthma isnt properly
is currently no cure for the condition, controlled, says Dr. Guy Brusselle,
the majority of sufferers can live full the science council chair of the
lives with the help of medication and European Respiratory Society.
trigger management. Adjustments to your medication
There are a number of ways to routine, made by a GP or a special-
take control. Inhalers and pills are ist, may be in order.
the first choice, but regular aerobic When winter arrives, many peo-
exercise helps strengthen the lungs ple find that the cold air sets off
and control weight, which, in turn, their symptoms and can worsen
minimizes symptoms. Asthma existing complaints. If youre
should not be getting in the way among those sufferers, drape a
of an active lifestyle; if it does, try scarf over your nose and mouth
ISTOCKP HOTO

using a reliever inhaler (which when youre outdoors on sub-zero


relaxes the airways quickly) about days. Ideally, asthma patients
15 minutes before working out and should also get the annual flu
take time to thoroughly warm up. shot and the one-time pneumonia

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 33
READERS DIGEST

vaccine to help avoid illnesses Whatever you do, dont skip the
known to bring on attacks. annual visit, even if the coughing
What works one year might be and wheezing have mostly sub-
less effective the sided. You may be

60%
next, as asthma able to cut back
tends to change on your controller
over time. At least medication (pills or
every 12 months, inhalers designed
check in with a to continually

3 million
doctor who will of Canadas prevent inflamma-
track changes and tion), since you
administer a peak should be taking
expiratory flow test asthma sufferers dont have the lowest amount
to measure the their condition under control, necessary. Still,
amount of air you raising the risk of lung damage sufferers should
and life-threatening attacks.
can move through carry a reliever
your airways. You inhaler at all times.
and the physician can then ensure No matter how mild the asthma,
your regimen is still appropriate being prepared is always the
for your asthmas severity. smartest plan.

News From the


World of Medicine
Individual Migraine Triggers
Pinpointed
For 90 days in 2016, more than 320 migraine
sufferers kept diaries of their food, drink,
habits and headaches for a study by the
ISTOCKP HOTO

Autonomous University of Barcelona and


the Medical University of Vienna. By ana-
lyzing the diaries, researchers zeroed in on
triggers for 87 per cent of the subjects. Few

34 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Confidence comes
from within.

#1 Pharmacist-recommended Replens is a clinically


tested moisturizer that helps replenish dry vaginal
cells for comfort and relief that lasts up to 3 days.
READERS DIGEST
ST
READERS DIGE
SUBSCRIBE TO
NCE TO WIN A
FOR YOUR CHA

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patients were affected by the same
set of factors, suggesting that look-
ing into ones own case is more

LEXUS
helpful than avoiding components
linked to migraines in others.

CT 200h!
Low-Salt Diets Not
Necessarily Beneficial
Too much salt promotes cardio-
vascular disease, but too little salt
may have an equally detrimental
effect, suggests an analysis pub-
lished in The Lancet that looked
at more than 130,000 people in 49
countries. A diet with less than three
grams of sodium (roughly 1.3 tea-
spoons of salt) per day reduces
blood pressure but may also affect
hormone balance in a negative way.
The report concluded that while
people with high blood pressure
and a high-sodium diet (more than
six grams a day) should reduce their
salt intake, the rest of the population
need not be encouraged to cut back.

Exercise Worthwhile, Even


in City Air

65 %
UP TO Does exposure to urban air con-
taminants outweigh the health
OFF benefits of walking or cycling out-
THE NEWSSTAND
PRICE doors? Not usually, according to a
study led by researchers from the
University of Cambridge. On aver-
age, a city dweller would have to
walk 16 hours a day or bike for
RD.CA/LEXUS seven before inhaling enough pol-
lutants to trump the boost provided

-4 65 -0780)
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1. Odourless, natural formula 2. Natural capsaicin blocks 3. Inflammation is reduced,
quickly absorbs into the skin. pain at the source and draws increasing joint mobility
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Weed out arthritis pain and get back to your roots.


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NEW READERS DIGEST

by regular physical activity. Says the lead author:


Even in Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in
the world, people would need to cycle over five
hours per week before the pollution risks out-
weigh the health benefits.

Fast acting, Hands-Free Phones Pose


Driving Risks
long lasting A simulated driving experiment published in
pain relief for Transportation Research found that while
hands-free phones are less distracting than
up to 12 hours hand-held ones, they can still pose a safety risk.
Conversations can lead drivers to imagine what
Targets arthritis theyre talking about, and when subjects pic-
pain at the site tured topics in their minds eye, they focused
on a smaller area of the road and did a worse
of inflammation job of avoiding hazards, compared to controls.
Passengers can be distracting too, but are more
Easy open cap* likely to let the driver concentrate.

TEST YOUR MEDICAL IQ

The recovery position is the recommended


posture for
A. placing someone who is unconscious
but breathing.
B. healing from surgery.
C. slowing ones heart rate after exercise.
D. sitting with an injured ankle.
Answer: A. In first aid, the recovery position is
for people who are unconscious but breathing
and free from spinal injuries. By rolling the
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10 the
2016 | rd.ca
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HEALTH

How to manage
rheumatoid arthritis

Joint Attack
BY SA MA N T H A R ID E O UT

! ALTHOUGH NOBODY HAS


figured out exactly why the immune
the University of British Columbia
and a senior scientist at Arthritis
system sometimes targets the Research Canada (ARC).
healthy lining inside elbows, knees, In rare cases, DMARDs can pose
wrists and other articulations, about serious risks. For example, metho-
one in 100 Canadian adults knows trexate, a widely used treatment, can
how it feels. Rheumatoid arthritis cause organ damage; patients taking
(RA) can lead to severe inflamma- it should be closely monitored.
tion and stiff, swollen joints, along If your doctor suggests methotrex-
with fatigue and a low fever. ate, an online tool called Answer
The condition can cause perma- (answer.arccanada.org) can walk you
nent damage if proper treatment through the factors you should con-
isnt administered, and because the sider. Developed by several Canadian
bodys defences are busy attacking universities with ARC, Answer can
its own tissues, RA also increases make patients more likely to follow
the risk of other health problems, through with treatment decisions. A
such as cardiovascular disease. similar tool for biologicsa newer
The customary first-line treat- class of medication made from liv-
ment is disease-modifying anti- ing cells, commonly prescribed for
rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which severe RAis currently being tested.
regulate immune systems and pre- Overall, Li says, the key is learning
ISTOCKP HOTO

vent them from attacking joint lin- about the disease and its treatment
ings. The earlier these medications options. The knowledge you gain
are started, the more effective they will allow you to make the best
are, says Dr. Linda Li, a professor at decisions for your unique case.

40 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
RA can leave you feeling like
youre out of options.
You may feel youve tried everything for your rheumatoid
arthritis (RA). But if stiff, swollen, and painful joints are
still getting in your way, talk to your doctor. There are oral
prescription medications you may not know about.
Take the next step. Ask your doctor about oral
prescription medications for your RA.
Visit myRAoptions.ca for a guide to help you start the
conversation with your doctor.
Brought to you by one of Canadas leading
CA0116TOF012E research-based pharmaceutical companies.
HEALTH

Case History
BY SY D N E Y LO N E Y
ILLUSTRATION BY VIC TOR WONG

THE PATIENT: Brett, a 52-year-old But then Brett began losing weight,
factory worker and his back pain got worse. A differ-
THE SYMPTOMS: Debilitating back ent GP referred him to an orthopae-
pain and unexplained weight loss dic surgeon. X-rays revealed nothing
THE DOCTOR: Dr. Herbert Ho Ping amiss, so Brett was sent home with
Kong, Osler professor of expert med- more meds. By now it had been three
ical practice at the University Health months, and the pain was so intense
Network in Toronto he could no longer work. He tried a
third GP, who discovered blood in
! IT ALL STARTED WITH a bad
back in the fall of 2014. At first, Brett
Bretts urine and referred him to a
nephrologist. Concerned he might
dismissed it as a side effect of his have a tumour, the doctor called for
physically demanding job in an auto a cystoscopy (in which a camera is
plant. But two weeks later, when the inserted through the urethra to the
pain got worse, he went to his family bladder to look for signs of cancer),
doctor in Brampton, Ont., who sent but the results were negative.
him to a physician at the Workplace Brett did, however, test positive for
Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). IgA, a relatively benign disease that
The MD there confirmed Bretts sus- occurs when the antibody immuno-
picionshe was getting older and globulin A lodges in the kidneys,
doing too much heavy lifting. He causing inflammation and, in some
was told to rest and take painkillers. cases, resulting in blood in the urine.

42 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
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Joint Care Formula every such as White Willow Bark, reduce inflammation, while
morning with breakfast. target and relieve tough Lumanite rebuilds joints, in-
joint pain. creasing comfort and mobility.

Pain relief for moving mountains.


Based on traditional medicine and made with natural ingredients,
Lakota Joint Care Formula is natural pain relief that works.
For reviews and testimonials visit Lakotaherbs.com.
READERS DIGEST

The doctor told Brett to manage his travel to the heart and attach them-
blood pressure and cut back on chol- selves to the damaged area, causing
esterol, which would help protect his symptoms that include severe mus-
kidneys and slow the progression of cle pain, sweating, weight loss and
the disease, which cant be cured. blood in the urine.
But IgA didnt explain the back Given the patients history and
pain. At this point, six months into symptoms, Ho Ping Kong knew as
his ordeal, Brett could hardly walk. soon as he heard a heart murmur
Hed also begun sweating profusely that it was endocarditisand that
and had lost 30 pounds. Then one they had to move fast. The blackened
of his fingers turned black. He con- finger was a sign of a septic embol-
sulted a fourth GP, who sent him to ism: infected tissue had broken off
Toronto Western Hos- the heart valve and
pital to see Dr. Herbert lodged in the artery in
Ho Ping Kong, whos his finger. It was an
renowned in the city Once he heard a emergency, says Ho
for his skill in sorting heart murmur, Ping Kong. More
out difficult diagnoses. the doctor knew it pieces could break off
If only someone was endocarditis and travel to his legs,
had listened to his his kidneys or his brain
heart, says Ho Ping
and that they and cause a stroke.
Kong. Within two min- had to move fast. Over the next week,
utes, the doctor was the patient was given
able to diagnose Brett antibiotics and had
with subacute endocarditis. He cardiac surgery to replace the valve
wouldve been dead within three and prevent heart failure. Because
weeks, says Ho Ping Kong, who sees the damage was extensive, he also
a case like this every couple of years; needed a pacemaker. Although he
its estimated that between two and couldnt lift as much as he used to,
six of every 100,000 people suffer Brett was back at work within two
from the condition. Endocarditis is months, pain-free. There are some
an infection of the inner lining of the cases where the clinical diagnosis is
heart that affects individuals who as good as any kind of CT scan or
have diseased or damaged cardiac MRI, Ho Ping Kong says. Its that
valves, such as those born with a con- combination of taking a complete
genital defect. (The doctor suspects medical history and a thorough
Brett may have had rheumatic heart physical examand you always
disease.) Bacteria in the bloodstream have to listen to the heart.

44 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
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FOOD

Tips to control
your condition

Eating Right
for Diabetes
BY L I SA H A N N A M

! EXERCISE. Keep your weight


in check. Limit simple sugars. These
2. HAVE A JAVA. Harvard Univer-
sity found that moderate coffee
are all doctor-approved ways to drinkers live longer and may be at
manage type 2 diabetes and lower lower risk for diabetes, suggesting
your risk of developing the condition. that certain compounds in coffee
It is an epidemic, says Dr. Hertzel reduce insulin resistance and
Gerstein, professor of medicine at inflammation. But limit yourself
McMaster University in Hamilton, to two cups a day.
Ont. There is a lot of research being
done to find better ways of treating 3. EAT HEALTHY. Seems obvious,
diabetes and identifying ways to right? But a new study published in
prevent it. Here are a few. Nutrition Interventions in Diabetes
Care and Education found that stick-
1. FATTEN UP YOUR MEALS (but ing with a diabetes-friendly diet
drop that piece of fried chicken). Its maintained blood sugar levels in
the good fats that help, according to type 2 sufferers almost as well as
a study by the National University of medication does. Diabetes Canada
Singapore presented at the Ameri- recommends that half of each meal-
can Diabetes Association 2016 Sci- time plate be made up of at least
ISTOCKP HOTO

entific Sessions. The randomized two kinds of veggies; the other half
trial found that a high-fat diet (like should be evenly comprised of whole
the Mediterranean one) improved grains and meat or meat alternatives
insulin resistance. (such as pulses, eggs or tofu).

46 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Binge Eating Disorder:
Its a real medical
condition

Youre not alone.


In a multinational survey, almost 2% of
people experienced Binge Eating Disorder.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) isnt just overeating. Its a real
medical condition, and one thats quite common. In fact, in a
multinational survey of over 24,000 people, the prevalence Reach out. Ask for help.
was higher for BED than bulimia in all countries surveyed.
Characterized by repeated episodes of binging (eating a Start the conversation.
large amount of food in a short period of time), BED may be
accompanied by feelings of distress, disgust and a sense of
a lack of control.

There is help.
BED can be managed, but it can also be a very sensitive
topic. You might not be comfortable discussing it, or maybe
youve hidden it from your loved ones. But now, theres
more information and understanding about BED than ever A survey to assess BED was performed using the DSM-IV diagnostic
before. criteria across 14 countries including the United States, Belgium,
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland,
Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Romania.
Getting the support you need starts with a simple
This does not represent the full diagnostic criteria as per the DSM-5.
conversation. If you think you might have BED, reach out to DSM-IV is a registered trade-mark of the American Psychiatric Association.
family, friends or your doctor for the help you deserve. DSM-5 is a trade-mark of the American Psychiatric Association.

CDA/BU/15/0126
64614-04-2017-E
The
Truth
50 secrets your pet
wont tell you

About Cats
& Dogs
BY M I C H E LLE CRO UC H ,
W ITH AD D I TI O N A L R E S E A R C H
BY R EBECC A TU C KE R
PHOTOGRAPH Y BY CHANTAL LEVESQUE
COVER STORY

Mistakes Even the Most attention. Check the guidelines on


Loving Owners Make my food packaging to find out how

1 You think my wagging tail is


always an invitation for you to pet
me. Wrong! Italian researchers found
much I should be eating and avoid
spoiling me with needless snacks.

that dogs wag their tails slightly to the


right when they experience some-
thing they like and to the left when
5 On grooming day, you bring out
the blow-dryer. Dontit might
scare me, and the heat can hurt my
theyre confronted with something skin. If Im brave, you can try the
they wish to avoid. dryer on a cool setting. Otherwise,
stick with a towel-dry.

2 You might be tempted to buy any


old dog-grooming brush, but you
should pick the right one for the job. A 6 Please dont rush me when Im
going to the bathroom. Theres a
rubber brush promotes good circula- reason why dogs circle around before
tion and loosens dirt, while a bristled getting down to business: our instincts
one removes dead hair. Talk to your tell us we have to be aligned with the
vet or groomer to find the best option. earths magnetic field before we poop.
In fact, European researchers watched

3 Your favourite cat game to play


with me involves a laser pointer.
I live for the hunt, so I get frustrated
70 of us engage in 1,893 defecations
over a two-year period just to figure
this outalthough theyre not sure
because I cant catch a darting light. what motivates this behaviour.
If youre going to use a pointer, please
sub in an actual toy at the end, giv-
ing me something to catch and kill.
It makes the game worth it.
7 You may think its nice to let me
sleep all day, but too much nap
time can affect my personality. I need
mental stimulation as well as phys-

4 Youre overfeeding me. How can


you tell? I dont seem motivated
by food treats when youre trying to
ical activity, and when Im bored, I
might bark or damage furniture to
keep myself occupied or get your at-
train me. Cut back and Ill start to pay tention. Twenty minutes of playtime

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 49
READERS DIGEST

for cats or several good walks per day clumps in the litter box than usual;
for dogs can make all the difference. or if I seem to be drinking more
water, call the vet right away. It could

8 Since Im an old dog, I get to eat


whatever I want, yes? No! If I
have arthritis, Ill be much happier if
just be a stomach bug, but I might
also be dealing with a serious illness,
such as a bowel obstruction, urinary
you give me a daily supplement that tract infection or kidney disease. Its
contains glucosamine and chondroi- best to let the pros decide.
tin sulphate, which protect joint car-
tilage. And switch me to a food thats
formulated for an animal my age. 12 Theres no question that Ill
have a better chance of living
a longer life if you keep me inside
Ways I Wish Youd and dont let me roam free, whether
Keep Me Safe Im a dog or a cat. Its far less likely

9 If you lose me, dont just alert


local animal shelters, rescues and
control agencies. Let friends, neigh-
that Ill get ill, hit by a car, stolen or
just plain lost. But once Ive been
allowed to roam free, itll be hard to
bours and area businesses know that change me.
Im missing, toothat way, youll
have hundreds of eyes looking out for How to Really Make Me
me. (For good measure, be sure to get Your Best Friend
me microchipped when Im young.)
13 Please introduce me around
when Im young so Im not

10 If youre having me spayed,


ask your vet if she can remove
just my ovaries, not my uterus. This
afraid of strangers. Some experts
say I should meet 100 new people of
different sizes, ages, genders and
is a much less invasive procedure ethnicities in my first 100 days at
and is how cats and dogs are spayed home, even if its just a quick greeting.
in Europe. Some Canadian veterinar- Make sure you include people wear-
ians have already made the switch. ing hats and sunglasses, since some
accessories can look scary to me.

11 Because Im a creature of habit,


even a subtle change in my
behaviour is a red flag that I might 14 You may think its weird (and
kind of icky) when I rub my
be sick. So if it takes me an hour to butt on the carpet, but its usually a
eat my food instead of my usual 60 sign that something is wrong. I might
seconds; if Im tiring out faster when be a bit dirty, or I could be itchy,
we play; if there are more urine in pain or struggling to go to the

50 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
bathroom. Check to see if
I need some help cleaning
myself and, if not, make an
appointment to see the vet.

15 When youre choos-


ing a new furry friend,
ask a vet or trainer for simple
tests you can do to gauge
temperament. For example,
you can try rolling me over
on my back to see how I han-
dle it. If I really struggle, Im
probably going to be tougher
to train than an animal that
lies there placidly.

Surprising Things
Dogs Love
16 Forget the boxed treats!
If you want me to really
pay attention when youre
training me, use a snack thats
moist, like a piece of greasy chicken.
19 Please, please can I choose
my own bed? The way I sleep

17 While some of us gulp down


grass only if weve eaten some-
thing that doesnt agree with us and
will determine which one is the most
comfortable. Let me try out a few
in a pet store. If I usually sleep with
are trying to regurgitate it, others just my legs sprawled out, Ill be more
love to munch the lawn. So let me comfortable on a flat bed with-
grazejust make sure the grass Im out sides. But if I like to curl up, Ill
sampling is free of pesticides. probably love a bumper bed.

18 Beware: I may eat your under-


wear, especially if its been
And What They
Secretly Hate
worn. Last summer, a Pennsylvania
vet reported surgically removing
eight pairs from one Labs belly.
20 You say Im great with kids,
but if Im licking, drawing my
ears back, turning my head away or

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 51
READERS DIGEST

yawning (all signs of anxiety) while


they play with me, Im probably just
barely tolerating them. If you keep
24 I may love to fetch and would
like to learn how to catch a fly-
ing disc, but those hard plastic Frisbees
letting them pull my tail, one of these can hurt my teeth and gums. Instead,
days I might react badly. look for a soft one at a pet store.

21 If Im not used to strangers,


please dont let them reach
Cats: Our Biggest
Mysteries Solved!
out toward me when we first meet
their hand may as well be a vacuum
cleaner. Instead, ask them to crouch
25 Lets get one thing straight:
declawing is not the same as
cutting our nails. Its a painful surgery
down on one leg and look slightly thats similar to amputating the last
away. Then let me approach them two knuckles of your fingers. If my
and give them a sniff. scratching is destructive, try glue-on
nail caps.

22 Hold those clippers! Most


dogs dont need to be shaved,
even in the summertime. My under- 26 The dead mice and birds
arent gifts: I just want to
coat actually insulates me from heat, return my prey to my den. And if I
so it helps me stay cool. Just make continue to play with an injured
sure you keep my fur brushed and critter, its not out of malice. Even
tangle-free to promote good air cir- if Im not hungry, this behaviour
culation. However, if my coat is very engages my hunting instinct and
thick or getting matted, you can give helps me practise some motor skills
me a haircutjust make sure to leave (although it seems kind of mean).
at least an inch of fur to protect my
skin from sunburns.
27 Before you buy a fancy cabinet
to enclose my litter box, keep

23 If you leave me in the backyard


when youre not home, dont
fool yourself that Im going to run
in mind that most of us dont like to
feel cornered. I prefer an uncovered
box thats out of the way but where
around and have fun. The truth is, Im I have a view of the room and can
probably going to sit in one spot and escape if I see anything threatening.
wait for you to return. Being kept out-
doors can make me anxious and leave
me exposed to the elements. Dogs are
den animals, and many of us prefer to
28 You may think Im untrainable,
but I can actually learn just
as much as a dog if you start lessons
be inside, ideally with you. when Im young. The key is positive

52 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
reinforcement: reward me with cud- you for years, consider whether Ill
dles or a treat when I do something benefit from having a new friend. I
good, like sitting or coming on com- may already be too set in my ways.
mand. Avoid negative reinforcement.
Just show me what you want me to do
and reward me when I do it. 33 Excuse me for putting my
bottom in your face, but you
should consider it an incredibly high

29 If I stiffen every time you run


a hand down my back, take
the hint. A 2013 study published in
compliment. When I was a kitten, I did
the same thing to my mother so she
could clean me. It means I perceive
Physiology and Behavior found that you as a maternal figure.
cats who didnt like the sensation but
allowed their owners to stroke them
anyway were more stressed out than
those who avoided touch.
34 I love fancy cat gadgets and
toys, but I can have just as
much fun with a paper bag with the
handles cut off, an aluminum-foil

30 Remember, I see the world


as vertical, not horizontal. So
instead of getting mad when I knock
ball or a plain box. Its actually quite
easy to create a homemade toy that
Ill love. Anything that is shiny or that
things off the mantel, build me a I can scratch is going to make my day.
cat superhighway around the room.
Install a shelf that leads up to a book- Training Tricks That
case, then to a mantel, then to a chair Help Us Learn
I can use to get down.
35 Dont wait until Im six
months old to start correcting

31 The sound of purring doesnt


always mean Im happy. I also
purr when Im in pain or afraid, be-
bad behaviour. By then, Ill be used to
drinking out of the toilet and chewing
shoes. Experts say its easier to instill
cause its a self-soothing mechanism. good habits from the beginning
starting at about eight weeksthan

32 Thinking about getting me a


buddy? Ill get along best with
to undo bad habits.

a cat whos of the opposite sex and


slightly younger than I am, but dont
just throw us in a room together. Talk
36 If you let me jump on your lap,
Ill likely climb up on anyone
with whom I feel comfortableeven
to your vet or a trainer about how people who are scared of me or have
to introduce us gradually. If Im an pet allergies. Its best to prevent this
older cat and Ive lived alone with behaviour by encouraging me to keep

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 53
will think its always okay, no
matter how big I get.

39 What do you mean


you cant teach an
old dog new tricks? My owner
taught me to fetch the news-
paper from the driveway and
take it to him when I was 10
years old. It just takes time,
patience and repetition.

40 If I pee inside the


house or out of the
litter box, dont reprimand
me: I didnt do it out of spite!
Its because something is
wrongI could be stressed,
frightened or ill, or it could
have simply been too long
since my last walkand
I couldnt help it. Instead
of rubbing my nose in it,
my distance, in a nice way. If I try to show me where I should be doing
climb onto you, try standing up or my business.
putting a pillow on your lap to block
my access.
41 Want me to learn to walk by
your side on a leash? Give me

37 To stop me from scratching a


piece of furniture, cover the
entire area with an old bedsheet,
some incentive. As soon as I start to
pull ahead, stop walking. Wait for the
leash to go slack, then start walking
aluminum foil or strips of double- again. Ill quickly figure out that I
sided tape, because those dont feel need to stay next to you in order to
good under my paws. Then put a tall keep doing what I love most: moving
scratching post right in front of it. and exploring.

38 If you let me on the furniture


when Im young and cute, I 42 Sometimes I might seem frus-
trated or anxious when Im

54 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
looking out the window at something plenty of essential fatty acids. Most
particularly interesting, like a bird, high-quality commercial pet foods
dog or other cat. If you try to pet me, have enough, but pets on low-quality
I might redirect that feeling at you. foods or homemade meals that arent
Dont get offended: its just that you balanced may develop a dull coat.
entered my space when my hunting
instincts were on high alert. Try not
to bother me if you notice that Im
focused on something.
47 The type of food I need (and
like!) may depend on a lot of
individual factors, including health
problems. Ask your vet if I need

43 When I bark, jump or grab


items off the countertop, I
dont mean to be bad. Im just bored!
prescription foods that are specially
formulated for my concerns.

I want your attention! Please get off


your smartphone and play with me. 48 Consult a specialist before you
decide to cook my meals your-
self. According to the Canadian Veter-

44 If Im a dog who is scared of


thunderstorms or loud noises,
get me a snug-fitting ThunderShirt. Or
inary Medical Association, its possible
for homemade food to deliver balan-
ced, total nutritionbut this usually
make your own. Wrap an ACE bandage means sticking to a strict recipe, which
across my chest, cross it over the top many pet owners fail to do.
of my body and then under, repeating
over and under until its midway down
my back, then secure it. The constant
pressure against the middle of my
49 Did you hear the hype about
grain-free cat and dog food?
Thats what it is: hype. Theres noth-
body will help ease my anxiety. ing wrong with feeding me grains
they are an important part of a
The Best (and Worst) well-rounded diet. Before you make
Foods for Us any change, talk to your vet.

45 Remember, my digestive
system is very different from
yours. Raisins and grapes can shut 50 If you switch me to a raw diet,
I may end up with cracked
down a dogs kidneys. Other danger- teeth, a bacterial infection or a nutri-
ous foods include chocolate, coffee, tional deficiency. Also, exposure to my
macadamia nuts and avocado. feces could put anyone with a weak-
ened immune system at risk. Thats

46 Want my coat to be thick and


shiny? Make sure my diet has
why the Canadian Veterinary Medical
Association discourages raw diets.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 55
HEALTH

Three Canadians on
what its like to be an
adult with ADHD

I Never
Felt Like I
Belonged
BY L I SA B E N DALL

WITHIN 30 SECONDS of walking in People with ADHD, like Lawrie,


the door, Doug Lawrie, 48, can cause experience extreme levels of impul-
chaos in his household. I offer an sivity, distractibility or forgetfulness
opinion or suggestion without think- that can interfere with relationships,
ing before I speak, says the father of work and finances. They may have
two, who was diagnosed with atten- subtle differences that cause ineffi-
tion deficit hyperactivity disorder ciency in areas of the brain that are
(ADHD) in adulthood. That condi- involved in cognitive tasks like paying
ISTOCKP HOTO

tion affects his parenting choices: his attention and planning. This makes it
snap decisions cause conflict with difficult to focus and complete tasks.
his kids; invariably, his wife, Susan, Its widely accepted that the disorder
is left playing peacemaker. affects at least one in 22 adults.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 57
READERS DIGEST

ADHD runs in families, but it may youre an entrepreneur, inventor or


have non-genetic causes, as well. entertainer. The list of high-profile
Most adults with the condition today folks with the condition includes
have never been diagnosed, though Canadian comedian Russell Peters,
theyve likely had it since child- Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps
hood. Keith Gelhorn, who teaches and Kinkos founder Paul Orfalea.
at ADDvocacy ADHD and Life Skills The biggest challenge may be the
Coaching in Dartmouth, N.S., says stigma that people with ADHD often
they typically blame themselves for face. Their symptoms are blamed on
a string of failures: financial prob- laziness or immaturity rather than a
lems, lost jobs, rocky marriages. proven brain disorder. But with the
They come in saying, My lifes a right tools, adults across Canada with
mess. Whats wrong with me? says ADHD are living happy, successful
Harpreet Aulakh, a Halifax psychol- lives. Here are three of their stories.
ogist who treats adults with the con-
dition. Patients often approach her Pete Quily
for help with depression or anxiety Almost 20 years ago, a display at the
(about 85 per cent of adults with library caught Pete Quilys eye. A local
ADHD have another mental-health group had assembled a collection of
issue). They arent always aware books on ADHD and listed common
they have the disorder, since symp- adult symptoms, such as forgetting
toms can be significantly different appointments, difficulty organizing
from those present in childhood: tasks and making careless mistakes.
an impulsive kid may have trouble Quily, who lives in Vancouver, recalls
waiting his turn; an older person thinking, My God, thats me.
might take risks speeding. Although hed done well in school,
As Aulakh points out, the condition hed struggled to complete assign-
can be an asset for those who have ments on time. University work
it. When others cant pro- was stressful. As an adult, he
cess information quickly, continued to have difficulty
they excel. Theyre fast staying focused. He per-
and they can multi-task. formed well enough at a
COURTESY P ETE QUILY

Theyre very good as job selling Apple comput-


emergency responders. ers, but because he was
People with ADHD are easily distracted, tasks took
often creative, inquisitive, longer or were forgotten.
high-energy risk-takers,
all enviable attributes if Pete Quily

58 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
He didnt understand why he had Its a challenging condition but
trouble doing things everyone else very treatable, says Quily, who tries
seemed to find simpleuntil he saw to take his own advice every day. Hes
that book display. It was an explan- learned ADHD brings with it a great
ation, and it was such a relief, he many rewards, and believes increased
says. A doctor confirmed the diag- awareness of this would help many
nosis, and Quily began researching adults live better lives. Many people
ways to manage his condition. Still, refuse to seek a diagnosis because its
he wondered why someone hadnt viewed as solely negative.
figure this out for him earlier. I was
angry that no one had spotted it. Jenna Vandal
Now in his early 50s, Quily has dedi- In the program she coordinated for
cated himself to learning everything indigenous girls in Winnipeg, Jenna
he can about his condition. One of Vandal taught life skills such as cook-
the advantages of ADHD is curiosity, ing, self-defence and using public
he says. If were interested, we can transit. I was patient when they didnt
focus for hours, better than anyone listen, says the 30-year-old, who is
in the room. As his understanding Mtis and Anishinaabe. I didnt yell
deepened, Quily began training to at them the way I was yelled at.
become an ADHD coach, a process As a girl, Vandal couldnt sit still,
that included a course with Coaches concentrate on homework or make
Training Institute. (The profession is friends easily. She was diagnosed with
not regulated, and only a few Canadi- ADHD at age eight, but nobody knew
ans specialize in it.) how to support her in school. She
Quily now runs a support group tried meds, but stopped taking them
and offers telephone coaching. To when she developed tics and head-
date, hes worked with lawyers, doc- aches. Shed dance on her desk to
tors, professors and engineers, release energy. I never felt like
whom hes taught to break I belonged, she recalls. She
down their to-do lists into nearly failed her classes.
steps with clear instruc- In front of other students,
COURTESY JENNA VAN DA L

tions and an estimate of a middle-school teacher


exactly how much time and p ro c l a i m e d , Je n na,
energy each item requires. youre never going to suc-
He also recommends that ceed. Youll never make
clients outsource the tasks something with your life.
they keep putting off, such
as paperwork. Jenna Vandal
READERS DIGEST

In her early 20s, Vandal started environmental studies; she wants


devouring documentaries about the to become an urban planner with
earth. Every question led to 10 more, a focus on green building. People
and the amount of learning I was with ADHD are blessed with intense
doing was snowballing. Her interest passion, she says. I would tell oth-
piqued, she went on to take univer- ers, Strive to explore as much as you
sity courses in environmental studies can about life, because you will find
and native studies at the University your calling somewhere, and you can
of Manitoba, getting stellar grades make your own change in that way.
that helped her earn scholarships
and bursaries. If I had believed the Doug Lawrie
teachers who told me Id fail, I prob- Like many adults, Doug Lawrie of
ably wouldve failed, she says. But it Burlington, Ont., found out he had
made me want to prove them wrong. ADHD only after his son, Alex, now
Today, Vandals biggest challenges 13, was diagnosed at the age of five.
are time management and impul- (Daughter Abbie, 18, was diagnosed
sive decisions. Like other adults with several years later.) Alexs psychiatrist
ADHD, her thoughts skip around gave Lawrie a screening checklist
quickly, making it tricky to complete for adults, and almost every symp-
a task or consider the long-term tom rang true. As a child, hed been
consequences of her actions. But picked on for his impulsive outbursts
as she gets older, she experiments and switched schools in Grade 7.
with new strategies. Ive found that Around the same age, he discov-
natural movement helps. A nice long ered sports had a calming effect. I
walk focuses my mind, and I can plan would go outside in March and shoot
more. Vandal also embraced camp- baskets for three hours in the freezing
ing a few years ago and has devel- cold, Lawrie says. It was my coping
oped a keen interest in nature. She strategy. My brain craved an outlet.
fantasizes about an educational Lawrie eventually spun his
system that fully incorpo- love of sports into a success-
rates the outdoors, with ful career as a golf pro and
COURTESY DOUG LAWRI E

students taking classes in instructor. For the past


the bush, learning from several years hes focused
elders, climbing trees on teaching children
and getting dirty. and has been named
Vandal has gone back one of North Americas
to university to finish up
her bachelor of Doug Lawrie

60 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
top 50 teachers by the U.S. Kids
Golf Foundation for three consecu-
tive years. Helping kids love a sport
they can play for their whole lives is GET SUPPORT
so rewarding, he says.
Creativity is one of Lawries pro- According to Harpreet Aulakh,
fessional strengths. Hes constantly cognitive behavioural therapy
coming up with new lesson ideas can help people with ADHD put
and especially enjoys devising ways procedures in place tailored to
their day-to-day lives. One indi-
to engage students who likely have
vidual might need strategies to
ADHD themselves. He attributes limit impulse buying, while a dif-
that quality, as well as his ability to ferent person could require help
connect with kids, to his condition, to keep track of her keys.
which he thinks of as a gift. Drugs such as Adderall and
Ritalin can settle racing thoughts
For the most part, Lawrie has devel-
by stimulating the part of the
oped his own coping skills, though he brain that isnt working effi-
does take a daily medication, Adderall, ciently. A calmer state often
to help his symptoms, and has read makes it easier to learn how to
books on ADHD and relationships. He manage the condition. Medica-
uses time management software and tion doesnt treat all the other
things that come with ADHD,
keeps written lists and reminders in Aulakh says. But in combination
notebooks, and often listens to high- with other therapy, it can help.
energy dance music while he works. Pete Quily recommends medi-
It tunes out everything else so I can tation, regular breaks and plan-
start thinking, he says. ning around obstacles in advance.
He finds support groups invalu-
Although its been rocky at times,
able. Its nice to meet humans
Lawrie doesnt regret the road thats with ADHD, he says, if for no
brought him here, to a loving family other reason than to say, Its not
and fulfilling job. I know that Im just me; Im not a bad person.
exactly where Im meant to be at this There are other people with this.
precise moment, he says.

BIOLOGY LESSON

Whoever named it necking is a poor judge of anatomy.


GROUCHO MARX

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 61
LIFE LESSON

Do the
How to make choices
that reflect your values

RIGHT
Thing
ASTRID BAUMGARDNER HAD grown
BY LUC R I N A L DI
ILLUSTRATION BY ANJA JAVELONA

as a life coach in 2008 and promptly


accustomed to her morning routine. started her own business.
Her husband, a securities lawyer, Today, as a lecturer and coordinator
woke up each day excited to head to of career strategies at the Yale Univer-
the office; Baumgardner, meanwhile, sity School of Music (a position shes
felt more inclined to stay in bed. She held since 2011and loves), Baum-
should have loved her job: she was gardner helps students make deci-
a partner at a law firm in New York sions as tough as her own. Through
and brought in a hefty salary. But she her story and theirs, shes discovered
couldnt muster the enthusiasm she that people feel most fulfilled when
saw in her husbandthe position they choose options that align with
didnt fulfill her need to help people their most deeply held values. Heres
or give her a sense of purpose. So, in how to stay true to yours.
2000, after 24 years in law, she left the
profession, sacrificing prestige for pas- KNOW YOUR VALUES
sion. After a series of positions in dif- If you hope to shape your life accord-
ferent fields, she earned her certificate ing to your ideals, you have to know

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 63
READERS DIGEST

what those ideals are. Baumgardner Researchers theorize that such activ-
begins her sessions by having partici- ities enhance our mood, which boosts
pants identify the concepts that are dopamine levels in certain areas of the
most important to them from a list: brain, improving our cognitive abilities
honesty, structure, family and so on. and helping us weigh different options.
Those qualities are influenced by
your parents, your culture and society
as a whole, she says, but you have to
take ownership of your own decisions. A SINGLE DECISION
Heres the tricky part: almost all of CAN SEEM LIKE A
these qualities are things most of us TUG-OF-WAR, BUT
aspire to hold dear. There are a lot LIFE CHOICES DONT
of shoulds, Baumgardner says. For NEED TO BE AN
instance, we feel like we should covet EITHER/OR QUESTION.
adventure, even when, in reality, we
spend our free time bingeing on Net-
flix series. To determine which prin- In one 2013 study, Ohio State Uni-
ciples are more than just aspirational, versity psychology professor Ellen
she asks her clients to reflect on situa- Peters followed two groups: one that
tions that resonate with them. received small bags of candy and one
For one of Baumgardners students, that didnt. The mild positive feel-
creativity and lifelong learning was ings inspired by the gift influenced
key. He felt that being in an orchestra subjects to make better choices and
would stifle that desirehe wouldnt improved their working memory. If
have autonomy over what and how you can make someone just a little
he played, she says. After graduating, happier, they may become a better
he launched a career as a soloist and decision maker, says Peters, who is
lecturer, and became the director of a also the director of OSUs Decision
new-music ensemble that premieres Sciences Collaborative.
works by contemporary composers. Trouble is, the toughest decisions
often arrive at the most inconvenient
FIND THE BEST TIME times. When youre under duress, Pe-
Identifying your values will steer you in ters recommends consulting a family
the right direction, but a few strategies member, a friend or, in certain cases,
can help you follow through. Before a professional. They can provide
you make a big decision, do something advice thats not tinged by the work
that will put you in a good mood: exer- deadline, spousal drama or leaky roof
cise, socialize with friends, volunteer. sapping your mental energy.

64 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
BALANCE ALL OPTIONS STAY THE COURSE
Of course, people make decisions At Yale, students often stumble into
that contradict their ideals all the Baumgardners office when theyre
time, no matter how single-minded grappling with major decisions or life
or happy they may be. There are changes. Though each case is unique,
lots of values we hold dear, and they Baumgardner typically starts by exam-
frequently come into conflict with ining what led her client down a path,
one another, says Peters. Its not so then brainstorming ways for them
much that people dont know what to reclaim that inspiration. A pianist
they want; its that there are many might benefit from listening to the
things we desire, and we dont always composer who sparked her interest
know how to make the trade-off. A in the instrument or from watching a
retired couple, for example, might be heartfelt live performance. Following
torn between yearning to be actively that, surrounding yourself with people
involved in their grandchildrens lives who share your passion can also pre-
and using their free time to travel. vent you from faltering. A group can
While a single decision can seem remind you, Hey, were doing this
like a tug-of-war between compet- because we love it, she says.
ing impulses, broader life choices If youre still struggling, even after
dont need to be a definitive either/ revisiting your inspirations or seeking
or. That aspiring-globetrotter pair out community support, theres no
might temporarily put off an epic shame in revising your core values.
trip to explore locations closer to If youre determined to pitch in at
home, or commit to setting aside an out-of-the-cold meal program but
time for vacation with their family spend the evening with pals instead, it
every summer, no matter what else may be time to accept that camarad-
comes up. An omnivore yearning to erie is more important to you than
cut out animal products may find it volunteerism. Better yet, find oppor-
easiest to make small-scale adjust- tunities to give back with your friends.
ments that support the principles You may also learn that what you
that prompted his dietary shift. If he believed was a core priority actually
opposes factory farming, he could has much more to do with living up
consider eating ethically raised to the expectations of your parents,
meat; if hes after health benefits, co-workers or culture. If your val-
he can opt for what food guru Mark ues align with who you really are, no
Bittman refers to as a vegan before one will have to ask you to make
6 p.m. diet and complement that those choices, Baumgardner says.
with a more active lifestyle. Itll just feel right.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 65
As Kids See It

Dont rush me. Im texting for two.

BRIGHT IDEAS AFTER MY WIFE PASSED away in


A while back, our family decided to 2003, I decided to pursue a univer-
move into a larger house. Though sity degreesomething Id been
we started our real-estate search unable to do when I was younger.
around November, it was very clear At the age of 79, I achieved my goal
that our six-year-old son, Thomas, and acquired a bachelor of arts. Not
already had Christmas on the brain. long after I graduated, a friend came
SUSAN CAM ILLERI KONAR

As we drove away after touring for a visit and brought along her
a potential new home, Thomas 12-year-old nephew, Tomas. Learn-
pointed at the building next door. ing of my accomplishment, he took
Why dont we buy that one? he in my grey hair and wrinkles and
asked. It has two chimneys. That commented, Wow, did they ever
means we can have two Santas! hold you back.
COS VAN WERMESKERKEN, L a n g l e y , B . C . JAMES FEATHERSTONE, Ha m i l t o n , O n t .

66 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
STEADY STREAM
While waiting for my teenage son,
AND ONE FOR THE KIDS
Seth, to come home one Saturday
night, I switched on the television. Q: Whats made of leather and
They were playing The Breakfast sounds like a sneeze?
Club, an old favourite of mine. At A: A shoe. reddit.com

curfew, Seth arrived home and


began watching with me. When the
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
movie went to commercials, he was
One day, when my daughter, Trinity,
startledhed become so accus-
was about nine, we were watching
tomed to watching Netflix that hed
a program about extreme sports. At
forgotten ads existed. What hap-
one point, they showed a person
pened? he asked. Theres some-
flying in a wing suit onscreen, and
thing wrong with the TV!
Trinity informed me shed like to try
STACY BLOIS, Q u i s p a m s i s , N. B .
one some day.
Over my dead body! I said.
MY FAMILY AND I were enjoying
Shrugging, Trinity replied, Okay,
dinner the other day when the sub-
I can wait.
ject of mice came up. I mentioned
NICOLE BARNES, D a r t m o u t h , N. S .
that I trap them humanely and set
them free near our local airport.
MY FOUR-YEAR-OLD niece, Kiley,
Our son, Ryan, looked at me for a
was observing as her mother
moment, then asked, Do they ever
scrubbed the walls of their house
send you postcards?
one afternoon. Although my sister
BRIAN PRICE, We l l i n g t o n , O n t .
was standing on a chair, she could
not reach the ceiling. Noticing this,
MY FOUR-YEAR-OLD son, Kasen,
Kiley advised, Mommy, you need
was counting the four segments of
a shorter wall.
orange he had on his plate.
RUTH THIESSEN, Wa l d h e i m , S a s k .
If you eat two, how many are
left? I asked.
Two.
Thats right! And if you eat two Do your children make you chuckle?
Share the laughter with us! A funny kid
more, then whats left? story could earn you $50. For details on
He replied, The peel! how to submit an anecdote, see page 9
JAN BROERSMA, S u r r e y , B . C . or visit rd.ca/joke.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 67
DRAMA IN REAL LIFE

The Shymanskis had taught their five-year-old


daughter, Lexi, what to do in case of emergency,
knowing it could save her life. They didnt know it
would save her mother and baby brother too.

The Littlest
Hero
BY O MA R M O UA LLE M
ILLUSTRATION BY YUTA ONODA

68 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
READERS DIGEST

ANGELA SHYMANSKI WAS making missed her first turnoff and, rather
great time. It was 8:30 a.m. and the kids than loop back, decided to continue
were fed. The eight-seat Honda Pilot west on a slightly longer but more
SUV was fuelled and packed with all scenic route through the Rockies. The
the necessities for a road trip: a pop- lost time would have been negligible
up tent, toys and snacks for five-year- were it not for a 30-minute stretch
old Lexi and, for 10-week-old Peter, a of road construction. The constant
pink blanket and seven days worth of stops and starts had begun to bother
clothesall of which had been worn. Peter, who was now shrieking in the
No matter, thought Angela. It was 26 C back-facing car seat next to Lexis.
in central Albertathe hottest June 8 This called for a nursery rhyme,
on recordso her infant would better Angela thought. She inserted a CD
endure the eight hours home to Prince and hoped for the best.
George, B.C., in diapers only. Zoom, zoom, zoom. Were going
The 28-year-old had driven these to the moon. Zoom, zoom, zoom.
nearly 800 kilometres alone before. Were going to the moon.
She had college friends scattered In no time, both children were
across Alberta, an older sister in Cal- slumped in their car seats.
gary and a sister-in-law in Sylvan Once she was out of the construc-
Lake. Her husband of eight years, tion zone, Angela accelerated to just
Travis, an instrumentation mechanic below the 100-kilometre-an-hour
at an oil refinery, couldnt come on speed limit. The hum of the road
the week-long holiday, but Angela, a and the warmth of the sun, combined
swimming and first aid instructor, was with the lulling music, soon began
eager to show off Peter to her friends. to have a relaxing effect, so Angela
opened the window, hoping the blast
IT WAS AN important trip for Lexi, of wind would keep her alert. She
too. The morning they had left Prince began searching for a rest stop.
GeorgeJune 1, 2015marked the Zoom, zoom, zoom.
beginning of the 100-day countdown Angelas eyes closed for just a
to kindergarten. Angela was keen to fill few seconds.
the vacation with fun; by weeks end,
Lexi had seen gorillas at the Calgary EXACTLY ONE YEAR earlier, Lexi was
Zoo, picnicked with cousins, gotten receiving the most important lesson
dizzy on amusement park rides and of her young life.
made sandcastles at the beach. The Shymanskis, like many Jeho-
As she was driving along the Ice- vahs Witnesses, observe family wor-
fields Parkway, Angela accidentally ship night. One evening a week, they

70 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
set everything else aside to bond over it, Lexi was running to the driveway.
bible readings and life lessons. On She never looked back.
this particular night, the Shymanskis
were preparing Lexi for a future emer- THE FIRST THOUGHT that crossed
gencya cousin of Traviss had lost Lexis mind: Who turned off the power?
his home in a flood, and they wanted Seconds ago, it was a sunny day. Now
to be ready for such a scenario. it was dark out, her neck hurt, the car
Together, the young family filled a horn was blaring and Peter was wail-
duffel bag with water bottles, canned ing. Lexi reached in his direction but
food, a first aid kit, some cash, CPR hit a force fieldher tent had flopped
masks, spare clothes and toys, and forward and popped open. The girl
tucked it in a closet by the front door. fished around the thin canvas and felt
her baby brothers hand.
Lexi stretched for the door handle,
but it was out of reach, hiding under
LEXI SPOTTED a big white pillowone of the side
HER MOTHER IN THE airbags that now obscured all the win-
FRONT SEAT. dows. She pushed on the pins of her
WAKE UP, MOM! SHE five-point harness, something Mommy
SCREAMED. PLEASE and Daddy always did for her. Once
WAKE UP! they were unclipped, Lexi managed to
wriggle out of the straps to exit the car,
but when she pulled the handle, the
Then they showed Lexi the smoke door was stuck. Turning on her side,
alarms: if they start beeping, said her Lexi kicked at the door until it flopped
parents, hurry to the driveway. Dont open and the car filled with sunlight.
go searching for anything or anyone Thats when Lexi spotted her
just get help and dont look back. To mother in the front seat, sleeping
demonstrate, the three walked bare- on an even bigger pillow. Wake up,
foot to the nearest neighbours place, Mom! she screamed. Please wake
half a kilometre away, as Travis and up! Angela didnt respond.
Angela felt that calling 911 wouldnt Though it hurt to turn her head,
be practical for a child with limited Lexi looked over the side of the SUV
vocabulary and geographical sense. and stared down a steep hillit was
Lexi absorbed every instruction. just like the indoor rock-climbing gym
This became apparent months later, she liked to visit, but with boulders
when a smoke alarm went off during the size of beanbag chairs, trees and
dinner prep. Before Angela could reset no ropes. The only thing keeping her

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 71
READERS DIGEST

family from rolling down the incline No sooner had Jeremiah steered
was the large evergreen with which onto the highway when Loni yelled
the vehicle had collided. Stop! She pointed some 15 metres
That would be the only time Lexi ahead, to a tiny blond child in shorts
looked down, or back. and a tank top climbing out of the
Her flip-flops had flown off in ditch. Jumping up and down and
the accident, but Lexi felt no pain waving her arms at traffic, the bare-
as she crawled over glass, rocks, foot girl seemed to have materialized
branches and pine needles and up out of nowhere. Jeremiah flicked on
the embankment to the highway her his four-way flashers and pulled over.
mother had driven off. It was just as Help! Lexi cried out as she ran
shed practised. toward them. My mom needs help!
Jeremiah panned the tree-line
road. There was no one around.
Wheres your mama? he asked Lexi.
THE CHILD POINTED The child pointed into the ditch, to
INTO THE DITCH, TO a crushed SUV. Without hesitating,
A CRUSHED SUV. Jeremiahan avid hiker who makes
WITHOUT HESITATING, his living installing power lines at
JEREMIAH TORE high altitudestore down the incline
DOWN THE INCLINE. in his sandals.
Lexi tried to follow, but Loni con-
vinced her to stay back. The girls
THE JIRIKS WERE about halfway neck was red and bruised, and she
through their journey when they complained that she couldnt move
pulled over for a roadside picnic. it. The woman summoned Isaak, her
They werent in any rush, having oldest child, to assist, but told her
decided to take the scenic route daughters KayDea and Analiseah to
through Jasper National Park, tacking stay behindshe didnt want them
two more hours onto their drive from witnessing a potential tragedy.
Wasilla, Alaska, where they lived, to
Minnesota, where Loni and Jeremiah ANGELA SHYMANSKI WAS begin-
had met and started their family. ning to regain consciousness when
When their bellies were full and their Jeremiah came hurtling down the
bodies were rested, the couple, their hill. She looked over at the stranger,
three children, aged seven to 18, and her face scraped and swollen. Im
their two dogs climbed back into the so stupid, she told him. I shouldve
silver minivan for the final stretch. pulled over sooner. He could barely

72 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
hear her words over the blaring of the
car horn; the sound of the baby cry-
ing didnt even register until Angela
mentioned Peter.
The seat the infant was attached
to had become unhinged and had
flipped forward, leaving Peter upside
down in his harness, with little room
between the back of the steel-framed
seat and the floor. Jeremiah unlatched
the half-naked baby, wrapped him in
his blanket and climbed up to Loni,
grabbing at the evergreens branches
with his free hand.
His wife had been trying to reach
911 but couldnt get clear reception at
the foot of the Rocky Mountains. She
gave up and started flagging down
passing cars; five zipped past before a
Jeep Cherokee finally pulled over.
The driver, Lise Lord, was en route
to Calgary with her business partner,
Rick Nowicki, for a meeting. Long
before Nowicki had turned to finan-
cial coaching, the 50-year-old had Lexi Shymanski (top) being airlifted
been a firefighter/emergency medi- from Jasper; her brother, Peter, after his
cal technician. Although more than life-saving brain surgery in Edmonton.
a decade had passed since hed been
involved in a wreck like this one, he Thats my brother! corrected
COURTESY THE S HY M AN SKI FAM I LY

knew that whoever was still inside Lexi, who, following a once-over from
that SUV had to be stabilized. Nowicki, was lying on Isaaks sweater
Nowicki was preparing to make while the teen held an icy bottle of
his way into the ditch when Jeremiah water to her neck. Loni rocked the
reappeared with something wrapped baby in her arms. About twice a min-
in pinka baby girl, he said to Loni, ute, Peter would stop wailing, stare
passing off the child before returning into the sky with a frozen expression,
to Angela with the former firefighter then shriek again. Loni, a special
in tow. education teacher for 16 years, had

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 73
READERS DIGEST

Instead, he asked Angela for her


husbands phone numberhe would
give it to the first responders Loni
had called using a satellite radio from
a passing forestry worker. While he
wrote the digits on the dusty, cracked
windshield with his finger, Jeremiah,
worried the smoking vehicle would
catch fire, was fishing under the
bumper for the battery cords. He
wrapped his hand around the hot
The Shymanski family at home in Prince wires and tore at them until the horn
George, B.C., shortly after the accident.
finally cut out. The three of them
seen this happen with her students then waited quietly for 20 minutes,
and recognized it as seizures. with only the sound of birds chirp-
Down the embankment, Angela ing, until ambulance sirens broke the
was now sitting sideways, trying to silence. The rescuersparamedics
open the drivers side door. She kept and RCMPneeded ropes to get up
referring to herself as a bad mother. and down the embankment that Lexi
Lets not talk like that, said Nowicki. had climbed alone in her bare feet.
This could happen to anyone. Anx-
ious to comfort her, he opened the TRAVIS SHYMANSKI HAD just fin-
door, pushed aside the airbag and ished lunch at his desk in Prince
showed Angela her children. There, George when Angela called, mum-
at the edge of the road, was Peter in bling something about an accident
Lonis arms and Lexi safely in the and about the kids being okay. In less
care of Isaak and Lise. than an hour, the 29-year-old was on
Once Angela had calmed down a plane to Edmontons University of
somewhat, Nowicki began going over Alberta Hospital, where his wife had
COURTESY THE S HY M AN SKI FAM I LY

the injury-assessment checklist. The been flown by helicopter. After going


seat belt had bruised her chest; more into shock at Seton General Hospital
alarmingly, the woman was complain- in Jasper, Angela had been resuscitated
ing of severe pain in her lower back. by doctors. She was now conscious,
Can you move your hands? Can you but shed suffered a dozen injuries to
squeeze your fingers? Wiggle your her head, lungs, liver and back.
toes, said Nowicki. Everything seemed Twenty-four hours after the acci-
to be working, but he still wouldnt dent, on June 9, the situation looked
allow her to leave without a stretcher. slightly better for Angela. She had

74 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
permanent nerve damage in her left and was in the city for an appoint-
leg, seemed to be suffering some ment. He was calling to see how the
amnesia and was told shed likely family was doingand to ask if he
never again swim vigorously, do gym- could bring flowers for Angela and
nastics or run competitivelybut she a teddy bear for the child who had
might be able to walk. Peter, on the saved her mother and baby brother.
other hand, was struggling to keep his Lexis role in her familys survival
formula down after being discharged. was news to Travis. His sister and
Doctors readmitted him and did a CT Angela had told him what theyd
scan to check for brain damage. (The heard from Lexithat his daughter
baby had intracranial swelling and had escaped from the car and gotten
bleeding, but after a few days of worry, helpbut he didnt know the details
it was determined he would be fine.) of her courage. Shes a remarkable
Lexi, who refused to leave her little girl, Nowicki told him.
fathers side, had little more than
a few scratches and bumps on her IN NOVEMBER 2015while Angela,
hands and feet. However, Travis was who could move with a walker, was
worried about psychological strain awaiting disc-replacement surgery
and didnt want his daughter spend- in Germanythe Royal Canadian
ing more time in the trauma ward Humane Association invited the
than necessary, so he sent her away Shymanski family back to Edmonton.
with his sister, then left to pick up The charity wanted to award Lexi a
lunch for Angela and himself. Bronze Medal for Bravery.
His phone rang as he crossed the At the awards ceremony, a reporter
street outside the hospital. Is this asked the child about her plans for
Travis? asked a gravelly voiced man. the medal. She replied that she
It was Rick Nowicki, who had mem- wanted to take it to school for show
orized the number Angela had called and tell. However, once she arrived
out to him. home in Prince George, Lexi changed
Nowicki lived in the town of Hinton, her mind. She decided to bring baby
300 kilometres outside of Edmonton, Peter to show and tell instead.

HIDDEN TRUTHS

Very few of us are what we seem.


AGATHA CHRISTIE

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 75
Esther Vetter
was diagnosed
with stage-3
breast cancer
in 2007.
HEALTH

After a decade-long lull, Canadian women are


seeing promising medical advancements

BREAST-
CANCER
BREAKTHROUGHS
BY SYD NEY LO NEY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON GORD ON

ESTHER VETTER NEVER noticed Within a month, Vetter had a


a lump. The then 70-year-old from mastectomy, followed by six months of
Markham, Ont., was busy, active chemotherapy. She has the aggressive
and felt pretty good. At least until triple-negative form of the disease,
one morning in 2007 when she woke meaning that the three most common
up with blood on her nightgown. I types of receptors arent present in the
just thought, Well, thats strange. tumour, giving doctors little to target
I figured it was probably irritation in terms of treatment. In the past, a
from the chlorine at the pool where I patients only option was chemother-
go for exercise classes. But it wasnt apyand the prognosis wasnt good.
the chlorine; it was breast cancer. Now, thanks to committed researchers

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 77
READERS DIGEST

and a host of new treatments on the therapies in the United States, the
horizon for women with even the timeline here is slower. Once Health
direst of diagnoses, all that may be Canada approves a new drug or pro-
about to change. cedure, it must then be okayed by a
separate funding bodyand that can
WHEN IT COMES to treating breast take years. The Oncotype DX test is a
cancer, there is both good news and good example.
not-so-good news. On the plus side, The tool analyzes the activity of 21
the five-year survival rate for Cana- genes to predict the likelihood that
dian women diagnosed with the dis- a patients breast cancer will come
ease is now 88 per cent. In 1986, that back, while also identifying which
number was 79 per cent, says Karen women will benefit from chemother-
Malone, vice president of research apy and which wont. Six years ago,
and programs at the Canadian Breast Canadians were travelling south of the
Cancer Foundation. Those results border because they couldnt get the
are due to improvements in screening test at home. Even now, its available
and early detection as well as more in only seven provinces. Rethink will
effective treatments, she says. be lobbying to get the test funded in
The evolution of personalized Manitoba next. I just want the system
therapies is what excites MJ DeCo- to catch up, DeCoteau says. A lot of
teau the most. Its been pretty quiet women dont have time to wait.
with respect to truly life-changing
new breast cancer treatments in the
past decade, but now there are some
promising developments in precision THE ONLY WAY WE
medicine, says the founder and exec- CAN CONTINUE TO
utive director of the patient advocacy IMPROVE CANADAS
group Rethink Breast Cancer, based in SURVIVAL RATE IS
Toronto. Breast cancer is a compli- TO PARTICIPATE
cated disease with many forms, and IN RESEARCH.
these new treatments allow doctors
to give the right one to the right per-
son at the right time. Unfortunately, ONE HOPEFUL DEVELOPMENT
DeCoteau says (and this is where the currently moving through Canadas
less sunny news comes in), Canada is approval process is palbociclib, a
particularly slow at rolling them out. drug that improves survival rates
While the FDA will speed up access in women with hormone-receptor-
and grant approval for breakthrough positive metastatic breast cancer.

78 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Health Canada authorized the drug SOMETIMES SUCCESS ISNT about
in May 2016 (its been available in the a brand new drug, but the reapplica-
U.S. since February 2015), but it will be tion of an existing one. In June 2016, a
a while before palbociclib is accessible study published in The New England
to everyone who needs it here. And Journal of Medicine led by research-
yet while the approval process may ers from Harvard Medical School and
be on the slow side, the fact that Can- Queens University in Kingston, Ont.,
adian researchers are at the forefront found extending letrozole therapy (an
of many of these new developments inhibitor that lowers estrogen levels)
means breast cancer patients can still from five to 10 years in post-meno-
get access to them in other ways. pausal women with early breast can-
Theres lots of active research go- cer reduced the risk of recurrence by
ing on in Canada, and weve par- 34 per cent. Despite some good early
ticipated in almost all of the major treatment, too many patients are re-
developments that have come out lapsing, Gelmon says. Many patients
recently, including palbociclib, says are already starting to get more than
Dr. Karen Gelmon, professor of medi- the conventional five years of treat-
cine at the University of British Co- ment in order to decrease their risk of
lumbia and medical oncologist for the late recurrence. The drug is available
British Columbia Cancer Agency in by prescription at most pharmacies.
Vancouver. While we wait for funding,
theres some availability of the drug THE ONLY WAY we can continue
through compassionate means, but to improve Canadas survival rate
also through clinical trials. Gelmon for breast cancer is by continuing to
is on the steering committee for one participate in research, Gelmon says,
such trial thats about to be published. including the hardest-to-treat forms,
It found that adding palbociclib to such as triple-negative breast cancer,
metastatic estrogen-receptor-positive which accounts for 15 per cent of
patients treatment protocol doubled cases. Theres still so much we need
the length of time they responded to know about the disease so we can
positively, extending whats called treat it effectively.
progression-free survival. The In many cases, a patients best
results are really exciting, and there bet is to suss out a clinical trial.
are at least two other drugs in this Thats what Vetter, now 80, did af-
same class (known as CDK-4/6 inhib- ter her breast cancer metastasized
itors) that are being developed to help in her spine in 2012. My doctor
women with advanced breast cancer told me, Mrs. Vetter, you may wake
have better outcomes. up one morning and not be able

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 79
READERS DIGEST

to get out of bed. Vetter began


radiation treatment, and she and her TRIALS AND
husband, Al, started looking for con-
dosif Vetter was going to be in a
TREATMENTS
wheelchair, their two-storey home
MJ DeCoteau, founder and executive
would present a problem. We were director of Rethink Breast Cancer,
resigned to the fact that her health wants patients to know that even
was going to go downhill, Al says. if one treatment fails, there will be
But then they heard from her doc- another they can try. One woman
tor about an ongoing clinical trial said to me recently, I like to have as
many tools in my toolbox as I can,
studying whether enzalutamidea
DeCoteau says. One way to add to
drug used successfully to slow the that toolbox may be by finding a clini-
progression of prostate cancer in cal trial that fits your type of cancer.
menmight help androgen-recep- The Canadian Cancer Society offers
tor-positive breast cancer patients. information on current trials, as well as
links to help you locate recruiting trials
Vetter started taking the medication
across the country. In addition, there
in June 2014 as part of the trial at are two promising new areas of treat-
Torontos Sunnybrook Health Sci- ment currently being tested in other
ences Centreand shes still taking it. parts of the world that are worth
Its keeping things at a standstill watching: Radio Frequency Ablation
and suppressing the growth of the (RFA) and immunotherapy.
cancer, she says. When people say to RADIO FREQUENCY ABLATION
me, You look so good! I tell them, In March 2016, 15 studies were included
Well, I have a good prostate! In in a Nanjing Medical University meta-
June, Vetter was able to join her analysis of RFAs (a minimally invasive
thermal ablation technique used as an
family for a trip to Cape Cod and over
alternative to surgery for early-stage
the summer discovered that she still breast cancer) that showed the tech-
had the strength to swing a golf club. nique may be a good alternative to sur-
She and Al even went on a three-day gery with fewer complications, although
trip to Algonquin Provincial Park to more research is needed.
celebrate their 54th honeymoon. I IMMUNOTHERAPY In June 2016,
felt well enough that I said to myself, researchers at the University of Colo-
I think I can handle it, she says. rado Cancer Center presented the
results of three clinical trials using
Were doing things we thought wed
targeted immunotherapy drugs against
never do again. Now we have hope. triple-negative breast cancer. One of
And we want the trial to be successful them, IMMU-132, has been granted
so other people will benefit from it, breakthrough status by the FDA.
just like we have.

80 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Laughter
THE BEST MEDICINE

Is anybody sitting here?

A COLOURFUL RESPONSE A MAN CALLS 9-1-1. When the


Yesterday I accidentally swallowed dispatcher picks up, the man yells,
some food colouring. The doctor You have to send the firefighters
says Im okay, but I feel like Ive dyed immediately. Theres a fire!
a little inside. KIM NOWAK, C a l g a r y Okay, sir, the dispatcher says.
But please, tell us how to get to you.
A WOMAN WALKS INTO a store Puzzled, the man asks, What,
and asks the clerk, Can I try on the you dont have those big red trucks
dress in the shop window, please? anymore? short-funny.com

Im sorry, but you cant, says the


employee. We have change rooms BASIC INSTINCTS
for that. short-funny.com Two clairvoyants meet. One says
to the other, You are fine, and how
HAUTE CUISINE am I? short-funny.com
VRI ES

How many eggs are there in a


French omelette?
DE

Send us your original jokes! You could


CONA N

Just one, because one egg is earn $50 and be featured in the magazine.
un oeuf. reddit.com See page 9 or rd.ca/joke for details.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 81
GETTY I MAGES
SOCIETY

Meet the man whos determined to rid Torontos


streets of 2,000 tonnes of chewed gum

A STICKY
SCOURGE BY NATH ANIEL BAS E N FR O M TH E WA L RU S

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 83
READERS DIGEST

A
NDREW MEADES HAS A recurring daydream. In it,
the 29-year-old is walking along Yonge Street in
downtown Toronto. Neon-pink receptacles, marked
with clear how-to instructions and never more than
nine metres apart, hang at waist level from poles
lining the sidewalk. Banners fly overhead, but instead of telling
passersby to shop or eat or see a play, they say something like Bin
It Your Way. Beneath his feetand this is the important partis
pristine pavement. And its bliss.

Meades cleans chewing gum off Back in 2014, when the city of
city sidewalks for a living. Hes the Toronto completed a litter audit,
founder of a company called GTA gum was by far the largest source
Gum Removal, though these days of small trash. A third of the waste
only a small percentage of the busi- documented was of the already-
ness actually involves removing gum. been-chewed variety, beating out
The rest is everyday commercial cigarette butts, candy wrappers and
cleaning: graffiti removal, pressure food waste. In Vancouver theres
washing, and so on. Gum is import- enough sticky garbage that the city
ant to Meades for two reasons. First is developing a pilot project for gum
off, the guys a born problem solver: collection and recycling, which is
hes never more animated than when expected to launch sometime in
hes in his garage, surrounded by 2017. Environmental-documentary
heavy machinery, steam filmmaker Andrew Nisker, in part-
rising from the cleaners nership with a Toronto digital map-
in his workshop. Its ping company called Esri, calculated
a thrill to find some- how much gum coats the streets of
thing other people Toronto today. The estimate? More
cant fix, and then than 719 million wads, weighing
to go ahead and almost 2,000 tonnes.
fix it. Scraping that much waste off the
Which leads ground is a worthy challenge, and
ISTOCKP HOTO

us to the second Meades is working on it. But hes only


reason: for urban dealing with one side of the equation.
centres, little sticks of As every strategic thinker like Meades
gum are a big problem. knows, there are two ways to fight an

84 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
epidemic: you can battle the symp- polymer weve come to know, but
toms or you can kill the disease. would also biodegrade.
Since the late 1990s, there have
MODERN CHEWING GUM is sticky been dozens of patents filed, some
enough that, after mixing with saliva, from Wrigley and Cadbury, oth-
it can grip a telephone pole on its ers from independent scientists. By
own strength. Its hydrophobic so it 2007, Wrigley had reportedly spent
doesnt dissolve in your mouth, which more than US$10 million looking for
means it also wont decompose in the an environmentally friendly solu-
ground. Whether in its minty, fruity or tion. All for a good reason: the first
spicy incarnations, its a petroleum- company to introduce a tasty and
based polymer glazed affordable biodegrad-
with oil and coated in able gum could be set
molten confectionary for a windfall in public
candy-coated plastic. Figuratively relations and profit.
That chemical com- speaking, candy In 2006, Wrigley
position has proven to manufacturers hired Wilhelm Risse, a
be spectacularly suc- are happiness world leader in poly-
cessful for Big Gum, factories; Big mer science at Univer-
an industry estimated
Gum companies sity College Dublin, to
to be worth US$19 bil- develop the future of
lion and dominated
have long gum polymers: that is,
a l m o s t e n t i re l y b y
enjoyed the a less permanent plas-
Wrigley and Mondelez, benefit of built- tic. (Polymers form the
the corporate entity in positive PR. basis of products from
that owns Cadbur y. car bumpers to fishing
Still, gum manufac- line to disposable cups.
turers arent deaf to environment al The molecules that make up modern
realities, thanks to movements gum, though, are almost entirely pet-
around the world, from a gum ban roleum-based.) The goal for Risses
in Singapore to persistent cage team was to create a new gum base.
rattling in the United Kingdom, This base had to remain hydrophobic
where citizens and town councils but also had to be hydrophilic so it
have demanded that gum com- could break down in the grounda
panies pay for cleanup costs. As candy-coated conundrum.
such, more than 20 years ago, com- Risses team wasnt alone. In 2007,
panies began the race for a formula chemist and polymer expert Marc
that would chew just as well as the Hillmyer and a group of researchers

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 85
READERS DIGEST

at the University of Minnesota began positive PR. Mondelez didnt return


working on creating a more environ- repeated requests for comment on
mentally friendly gum. At the time, this story. Wrigley did. After months
they had a contract with Wrigley. of back-and-forth messages about
The specifications he was working an interview, I received an email
to are proprietary information, but saying that the launch of a biodeg-
Hillmyer, himself a gum chewer, radable gum was off the table. I
says, Whatever it is you like about asked if that was a condition for our
gum, our material had to be the conversation or a statement on the
same. It has a springiness, a literal status of the project.
mouth feel. Both was the reply.
The research push
began shortly after gov- GUM HASNT ALWAYS
ernments and citizens, b e e n g a r b a g e. T h e
particularly in the U.K., By the 1920s worlds oldest known
started to ask why Big and 30s, gum piece of chewing gum
Gum wasnt footing the was a staple of originates in Finland,
bill for million-dollar American life. where neolithic people
street cleanup costs. During the chewed melted birch-
Newspapers ran sto- bark tar around the
Second World
ries and city councils
held meetings. Gum
War, 150 billion fire more than 5,000
years ago. In Central
manufacturers were
sticks were America, the Aztecs
experiencing ser ious sent overseas and Mayans harvested
pressure, Hillmyer to soldiers. chicle from the rainfor-
says. The team in Min- ests sapodilla trees
nesota developed a natural, organic and
polymer that Hillmyer describes as biodegradable. In the early 20th cen-
high performing. After six years tury, Mexican chicle became a valu-
of work, they completed the able commodity as Americans
projectand then the gum developed their own affin-
company went quiet. ity for the sweet stuff.
Figuratively speaking, Chiclerosworkers
candy manufacturers who harvest
are happiness facto- chicle
ries; Big Gum con- would
glomerates have
the benefit of built-in

86 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
drain the tree of sap and process it. more honourable past are reani-
By the 1920s and 30s, chicle had mated, mint or fruit odours rising
become a staple of American life. from the sidewalk. You can almost
During the Second World War, 150 taste it, says Andrew.
billion sticks of gum were sent over- Off the streets, the two talk busi-
seas to satiate soldiers. ness. Making money in gum is hard,
Demand soon outpaced supply, and the Meades company has
and sapodilla trees needed rest shifted toward conventional com-
between harvests. After the war, mercial cleaning, sacrificing the
American chewing gum companies dream for a dollar. Its painful to
quietly pulled resources out of Mex- talk about because Ive gotten away
ico and poured them from it, Andrew says.
into petrochemicals But this is my pas-
instead. Gum waste sion. Im going to solve
quickly became a prob- Gum pollution this problem.
lem. In 1966, John Lind- is such a quick In 2008, Andrew
say, mayor of New York crime, says read about two men
City, hiked litter fines Andrew Meades. in Montreal who were
to combat the scourge. In all my years, trying to rid the city of
The move was largely its own gum epidemic,
Ive only
ineffective. Gum pol- and he glommed on
lution is such a quick
managed to to the idea. By 2010,
crime, says Andrew
catch one or he got serious. GTA
Meades. In all my two people, and Gum Removals first
years, Ive only caught Im watching. job was in June of that
maybe one or two peo- year, and interest grew
ple, and Im watching. quicklytwo guys
blowing steam onto the sidewalk
JUICY FRUIT, MEADES calls out as will do that. They were even featured
he steam-cleans sections of Toronto on a local TV news station.
sidewalk. Ostensibly, hes talking to The Harbourfront Centre was
his 26-year-old brother, Peter, just their first big job, but steam-blasting
a few metres away, but its a habit. gum is expensive and labour-
The pair shuffles along, dragging intensive. All told, it costs Andrew
machines that look like knock-offs and Peter almost 30 cents per wad,
of Star Wars R2-D2 behind them. and the only way to clean it is the
When they hit a caked-on stain with same way we chew itone stick at
170 C steam, traces of the gums a time. The cost is prohibitive for

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 87
READERS DIGEST

most businesses, which consider the happen when the streets are clean.
substance to be more bother than Its the broken-windows approach
burden. At one point, the Meades to gum policing. These days, litter
brothers serviced the Hudsons Bay is a bygone issue to some, displaced
Centre at Yonge and Bloor Streets. by conversations about greenhouse
On that stretch of pavement alone gas emissions and sustainability.
there were, on average, 52 new gum The Meades brothers are waging
stains each day. a battle with faulty tools against a
When a client wants its sidewalks well-funded enemy everyone loves
cleaned during business hours, in a war no one knows exists. It
Andrew and Peter use steam carts helps to stay positive.
to navigate busy walk-
ways. The detergent- AT THE VERY least, a
infused water blasts mass-produced biode-
the gum, and a vacuum Gum clean-up is g radable gum should
sucks it up. For most not cheap: in meet three require-
jobs, though, they use England alone, ments. The first is taste:
pressure washers that its estimated spearmint has to taste
pump out hot water. that $100 like spearmint. The sec-
The smaller carts often
million is spent ond is chew: it has to be
break, and they take too indistinguishable from
long, while the pressure
annually to its plastic alternatives.
washers are consider-
clean chewed The third, and perhaps
ably worse for water gum off the the hardest to over-
use, powering through ground. come, is price: it has to
30 litres a minute. cost the same to manu-
The solution, then, facture and to buy.
is not steam-poweredits alter- It seems companies have taken
ing human behaviour. People dont the path of least resistance: its
think about their discarded wad of possi ble that, since launching a
saliva-infused plastic once it leaves biodegradable gum wont be profit-
their fingertips, but Andrew knows able for Big Gum, it has abandoned
how to fix that : educate through the project. Youd like to think its
signs and advertisements. Garbage top priority, Dublin chemist Susan
bins, he says, have to be regular and Kelleher says. But until they tax it,
predictable, clean and well-marked. or people stop buying chewing gum,
Critically, people need to believe at the end of the day, its business.
in the cause, and that can only Peter Meades sees it the same way.

88 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Theyd be solving a problem they currently
dont have. This issue isnt affect- have a strat-
ing their bottom line. In the U.K., egy for dealing
gum-litter task forces have formed with gum waste.
with industry partners, but theres His plan focuses on
no clear indication that manufactur- awareness, that ephem-
ers have been forced to pay the hefty eral good-cause catch-all.
cleaning costs from years past. Its If the customers care, he
estimated that about $100 million is thinks, then so will the money-
spent annually in England cleaning makers. Hes not ruling anything
gum off the ground. out, from more aggressive signage
Andrew Meadess vision is more to Peter running around Yonge-
holistic. He needs everyone on Dundas Square in a pink-blob suit.
board: government, industry and Without a biodegradable solution,
chewers all over the world. Meades shifting peoples attitudes is the
wants to work with Wrigley, as well future of the gum problemand
as Canadian cities, none of which Meades cant wait to solve it.

2016 BY NATHANIEL BASEN. FROM THE WALRUS, THEWALRUS.CA

IN GOOD HEALTH

Please stop arguing with me about my choice to be vegan.


It takes a lot of energy and I get winded easily.
@THEWOODENSLURPY

Ive stopped going to the gym now that Ive realized I can
just watch CNN on mute at home.
@LIZHACKETT

How long are you supposed to rest in between


weight-lifting sets? Like six months?
@PHILYUCK

Do people who run know that were not food anymore?


@IAMENIDCOLESLAW

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 89
DEPARTMENT OF WIT

When apartment hunting, beware of buzzwords

RENTAL
REAL TALKBY C A R OLINE G. M URP H Y FR O M L E JO U RN A L DE MON TRA L
ILLUSTRATIONS BY RMY SIMA RD

SO YOURE LOOKING for a place to always someone trying to pawn off a


live! Navigating rental listings is a lot $1,400-a-month studio sans balcony
like scanning online dating profiles: as a hidden treasure in an up-and-
similar to the five-foot fellow who coming neighbourhood. Staying
gamely describes himself as a pro- alert is of the utmost importance.
fessional basketball player, theres Herewith, a guide to help you out.

90 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
1. If you see the words charming or 10. Quiet, respectful neighbours:
cozy, know that they are euphem- youll hear them snore and brush
isms for tiny. their teeth.

2. Loads of character means never 11. Fully renovated: floors have


renovated. The floors creak, the ceil- been washed; walls have been
ings are crooked and the original win- painted white.
dows let in the cold. But the antique
mouldings and stained glass are likely 12. Perfect for a couple: there is
very nice. only one viable bedroom.

3. Recently renovated and/or 13. Ideal for students: the apart-


condo-style are less-than-subtle ment hasnt been upgraded since the
attempts at justifying the rental price, landlord purchased it in 1972.
which happens to be $500 above the
market value. 14. Apartment is available for
exchange only: the perfect place
4. Near everything: congratulations, youll never get. Sorry.
youve found an apartment in the city.
15. Awesome apartment for some
5. In a quiet building: youll have lucky tenant!!!: dont do it. No one
to shut everything down at 8 p.m. should ever say that.
because the landlord lives below.
Happy hunting! Keep all this in mind
6. Bright: theres a window. and you may snag the impeccably
renovated, ideally located and afford-
7. Well-lit: there are two windows. able apartment of your dreams.

8. Very well-lit: there could be a


window in each of the rooms. Or
maybe a patio door.

9. Steps from the subway: get-


ting to public transportation could
involve anywhere between two and
2,500 steps. Allow enough time for a
15-minute walk.
FROM LE JOURNAL DE MONTRAL (APRIL 9, 2016), BY CAROLINE G. MURPHY. 2016, QMI AGENCY. JOURNALDEMONTREAL.COM

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 91
ISTOCKP HOTO
HUMAN INTEREST

Physicians in remote conflict zones are


using telemedicine to treat patients who might

Doctors
not otherwise stand a chance

ON DEMAND
BY CH R ISTINA FARR FR O M FASTCO MPA N Y.COM

DR. ROGY MASRI IS a physician sta- Masri, who divides his practice
tioned at a settlement in northern between emergency medicine and
Lebanon. His team primarily treats hospitalist specialties back home in
Syrian refugees, who have flooded Ontario, is a volunteer with Doctors
into the area and other countries, Without Borders. Here, he must make
such as Jordan and Iraq, to escape do with limited tools and equip-
escalating violence. Its a job that ment. When a patient arrives with
requires fortitude and ingenuity: a common ailment, he can often
medications are expensive, and treat the condition and send them
while they can be accessed through on their way. But thats not always
Doctors Without Borders for free, the the case. Several months earlier,
organization is sometimes unable to he recalled, a refugee had walked
meet the regions needs. Power fail- into the clinic with a furiously red
ures are frequent, and patients are skin lesion about the size of a quar-
suffering from all manner of unpleas- ter on his hand. This patient hadnt
ant ailments, from lice and rat bites responded to previous courses of
to respiratory infections. antibiotics, and the wound had been

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 93
READERS DIGEST

exacerbated by a different doctors treat the infection while awaiting the


efforts to surgically debride it. Masri, biopsy results. He later learned that
who isnt a dermatologist and has his hunch was correct.
little experience with exotic diseases, That two physicians in different
found himself stumped. parts of the world were able to col-
He used his smartphone to snap laborate in such a seamless manner
a photo of the lesion, then uploaded is a direct result of the growing field
the image to an app called Figure 1. He of telemedicinea term that broadly
noted in the caption that the patient refers to the practice of doctors
was a 52-year-old male Syrian refugee evaluating, treating and diagnosing
with an infection that had been treated patients in remote locations using
for more than a year; that he hadnt technology. With their ability to
experienced pain or itchiness; and access specialized, targeted know-
that the results of a biopsy conducted ledge regardless of geographical
two weeks earlier were still pending. proximity, telemedicine apps such as
(In Lebanon, it can take four weeks to Figure 1 are radically transforming
find out information after a biopsy.) how patients are treated in the most
On that particular day, Dr. Dimas under-resourced parts of the world.
Yusuf, an internal-medicine resi-
dent at St. Pauls Hospital in Van- C O L L O Q U I A L LY D E S C R I BE D A S
couver, happened to come across Instagram for doctors, Figure 1
the photo. He had a bit of free time has become a go-to option for health
between shifts and decided to play workers in underserved areas. The
medical detective. After ruling out a app, which launched in 2013, was cre-
bacterial infection and assessing the ated by Toronto-based physician Dr.
patients current condition and the Joshua Landy and two co-founders.
length of time hed been living with Figure 1 has more than a million users,
the lesion, Yusuf concluded that the including doctors, nurses and other
man was likely suffering from leish- medical professionals.
maniasis, a parasitic disease spread According to Morgan Reed, the
by the bite of sandflies, which is executive director of the App Asso-
fairly prevalent in refugee camps ciation, a trade group that represents
with unsanitary conditions. IT firms and app creators, more
Even from across the globe, I was than 1.3 billion people lack access
able to say with a high degree of cer- to affordable health care, and these
tainty that it was that condition, says individuals represent the majority of
Yusuf, who suggested that the patient the worlds population suffering from
get a course of antifungal drugs to serious medical conditions. Tools

94 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
that could improve this situation are
available today at increasingly com-
petitive prices around the world, he
notes. Reed insists that telemedicine
will become mainstream once regu-
lators remove stumbling blocks, such
as confusion around requirements
for apps and devices, and insurance
companies are able to figure out new
models for reimbursement.
The number of patients using tele-
health services worldwide is expected
to rise to seven million by 2018 (from From a refugee camp in Lebanon, Dr.
less than 350,000 in 2013). By some Rogy Masri consults peers using an app.
estimates, revenue from devices and
services will reach $4.5 billion within an online system developed by Doc-
the next two years (from $440.6 mil- tors Without Borders connect him
lion in 2013). Right now, these apps with medical professionals across
are commonly used in rural areas the world on a real-time basis. The
that lack medical services and clinics. downside is that Internet service and
We see a lot of doctors post pho- electricity arent always reliable. Masri
tos from areas with no comprehensive occasionally finds that Wi-Fi cuts out
medical care, said Landy by phone. before a photo is finished uploading.
We have users in the military, in the But in spite of the technical frustra-
jungle and in refugee camps. Landy tions and logistical headaches, Masri
stressed that patients can rest assured maintains that telemedicine is a huge
that their privacy is protected. After a advantage for treating Syrian refugees
user uploads an image to Figure 1, it who dont have access to specialist
is wiped of any identifying details, and care, let alone quality, regular follow-
the servers keep no record of the loca- ups. He typically uses telemedicine
tion metadata contained in photos. apps to rule in or rule out diagnoses,
particularly when confronted with a
MASRIS SMARTPHONE HAS now rare disease hes never encountered
become an essential tool for practis- before. Its like having a colleague in
ing medicine. When he needs a sec- every part of the world to bounce
ROGY MAS RI

ond opinion, apps like Figure 1 and ideas off of.

USED WITH PERMISSION OF FASTCOMPANY.COM, COPYRIGHT 2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 95
I thought I wanted to create
my mothers dream garden.
But the plants taught me a
different, important lesson.

Force
of
Nature
BY ALE XAND RA R I S EN FRO M
U NE ART H E D: LOV E, ACC EPTA N CE,
AND OT H E R L E SSON S FRO M A N
AB AN DO N E D G AR DEN
HEART

WE ARE NOT actively looking for a runs between and behind two neigh-
new house. A bigger garden, though, bouring houses. The driveway opens
is often on our minds. Are we finally to an asphalt courtyard in front of a
becoming our parents? It seems our rectangular one-storey ranch-style
agent, Wesley, knows us better than building with a flat roof. Wait until
we know ourselves. you see the back, Wesley says. An
The property is in our midtown acre of garden.
Toronto neighbourhoodr ight Impossible, I think.
across the street, in fact, tucked just I stare at the three-and-a-half-
out of view. Im curious: I love hidden metre-high brick facade. It is like a
places, like the secret buildings that I shoebox house.
constructed out of shoeboxes Theres a gaping hole at the base of
as a child, and this the front door. Its perimeter sprouts
one fits the bill. jagged dandelion leaves.
Wesley walks Sorry about the weeds, Wesley
us down the says. Uh, the place might need a
long, narrow little work.
lane that Fairy clocks. Not weeds, I say.
Excuse me? Wesley asks.
She loves dandelions, my hus-
band, Cam, says. Believe it or not,
those are working in your favour.
Dandelion flowers close at dusk
and open in the morning light,
I explain.

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Mom introduced me to the flower what the entire house could be. An
when I was a toddler. Look for the ode to my mother.
longest stems, shed say. And I did, Wesley hurries us through a large
because the garden was the only living area to glass doors that open
place I got her attention. My mother to a cantilevered balcony. This land
braided yellow chains into crowns was part of a prominent family estate
and bracelets that I would wear for about 100 years ago, he says. And
days. She stored them in the refriger- suddenly, we have our first view of
ator at night to keep them fresh. They the garden. The forest. The jungle.
made me feel important. This property is my parents dream,
Inside the house, we enter a room the next generations betterment of
thats bordered by windows on three their lot, literally. Now we stand in
sides. I catch my breath. Its the out- front of it, struggling between the
doors magically brought inside. The guilt of our opportunity and our fear
remaining wall is a painted canvas. of not knowing what to do with it.
A single tree starts on the right, and
its branches spread up, down and to
the left. Translucent white flowers
cover the branches, each with five
WE HAVE TO CLEAR
petals and a blush of pink. THE GARDEN BEFORE
Sour cherry, I whisper. Moms MOM GETS TOO
tree. The smell of fermenting fruit FRAIL TO TRAVEL.
fills my memory. At 77, Mom still I WANT HER TO SEE IT
spends much of her time in her gar- IN ALL ITS GLORY.
den, which is not so much a hobby

(P REVIOUS PAGES ) I STOCKP HOTO, MASTERFI LE


as it is a source of bountygoose-
berries, peas, cornthat can be put ON OUR FIRST day of tackling the
up for sustenance throughout the Amazon, I inhale the verdant heat
winter. Though shes lived in this that wafts off the leaves. The sun
country since 1952, my mother still glistens on the spiderwebs that criss-
has the homegrown-is-best sensibil- cross the path ahead. Well have to
ity of the new Ukrainian immigrant cut through those, the police tape
she once was. Back home in Edmon- the spiders have laid to keep us out of
ton, shes busy with the usual late- their territory. Im sorry, I whisper
summer harvest, gathering bowls of to the gangly arachnids. I quash my
cherries that she pits and preserves guilt for wrecking natures course of
in a heady liqueur, their juice leav- the past decade. Were returning the
ing bright red stains. This room is garden to its splendour.

98 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Mom still cant believe we bought Prozac because some soil bacteria
the house. I hope you crazy kids produce serotonin. It infuriates me.
know what youre doing, she said But Never give up is our family
on the telephone not long after we motto, and Im determined to convert
moved in. So tell me about the land. him, and especially our five-year-old
Its been let go for years, I said. son, Max, to a deeper understanding
Its an overgrown forest down a cliff, of the natural world.
once owned by a famous family. This project is bigger than I
Really? She didnt believe me. thought, says Cam, surveying a
When we talked, I noticed that growing pile of bills as he contem-
Moms voice was slurring a bit. And plates the work still to be done:
her dizzy spells have become more were already a year in, and theres
frequent. It turns out theyre actu- landscaping, a pond to rehabilitate,
ally a series of mini-strokes, caused weeds to be tacklednot to mention
by a blood clot in her carotid artery. the interior of the house itself, which
Though the surgery to remove it goes needs to be renovated.
well, Moms failing memory leaves her I guess we save what we can, I say.
with no choice but to sell her house, Well, winter is cominglets start
the one I grew up in and where she again next spring.
spent so many hours tending to her That night, I sleep and wake fit-
garden. Cam and I offer to move her fully, dejected that weve gone as far
to Toronto, but neither she nor my sis- as we can with the garden, which
ter, Sonia, agrees. She opts instead for seems to be nowhere. Waiting until
an assisted-care facility with plants. next spring will feel like an eternity.
We have to clear the garden, I tell
myself, before Mom gets too frail to IM DISCOURAGED AND determined.
travel. I want her to see it in all its Too much time has passed: Max is
glory, and to go home and tell Sonia, almost eight years old now, and were
I didnt know she had it in her. stuck on garden cleanup. Cam won
the battle: the house came first, and
MY GARDENING BOOKS take up a we postponed a year of outdoor work.
wall of shelves, categorized by type Now another spring has arrived.
of plant or cultivation advice. I also The outdoor paths are roughly clear,
have several books about the human but Im still tackling the weed cover.
relationship with nature. Cam rolls I walk up and down the garden stairs,
his eyes when I talk about biophilia up and down, shoulders hunched as
(love of living things); he laughed I carry at least 15 kilograms of plant
when I told him dirt is the new detritus per trip. Ive amassed almost

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READERS DIGEST

two dozen biodegradable waste bags She needs a change of scenery, I


at the top of the driveway; theyre say, starting to panic. Can we fly her
spilling onto the front of the property here for a visit? Ill come get her, and
next door. These steps are so embed- well hire a nurse to come, too.
ded in my muscle memory that their She cant fly, Alex, Sonia says.
form pulses through my nightmares. With her heart, its impossible.
My physical body has unexpect- My anger comes from deep within,
edly meshed into this project as rising quickly like a new spring, sur-
much as my emotions have. The gru- prising both of us. How do you
elling work brings our family closer know its impossible? Have you
to the garden. It makes us feel we asked her doctor? Youre not the one
deserve its beauty. who decides.
Shell have a stroke. Her arter-
ies are blocked. She cant fly, Sonia
says firmly.
MOTHER NATURE Let her doctor decide, I demand.
DECLARED WAR WITH She agrees, annoyed that I dont
A BRUTAL STORM, trust her. Im offended that she
LEAVING UTTER has become the gateway to my
DEVASTATION ACROSS mother. We hang up, both want-
THE GARDENS BASE. ing to say more. My sister has
lost hope.
Sonias not giving up, Cam
IN AUTUMN, I stare at my counter of explains when I tell him. Shes pre-
pine conesnatural mulch, the same paring for the inevitable.
stuff Im about to blow across the
garden with a giant pumper truck. MY PULSE POUNDS in my ears as I
Maybe I shouldve left them under examine the aftermath of the brutal
the trees, like Cam should have left summer storm that swept through
the grasses. As much as we think last night. Mother Nature declared
were working with nature in the all-out war, leaving utter devastation
garden, were also working against it. across the gardens base. The demol-
We celebrate it, and then we manipu- ished 150-year-old oak is lying across
late the hell out of it. I hope Mother our path where it fell, crushing all
Nature forgives us. the trees and shrubs in its way.
Sonia calls with an update. Moms Whats left of the trunk, the bottom
not eating well. I sense the resigna- four and a half metres, is cracked,
tion in her voice. splintered and stripped.

100 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


The author, in the meticulously reconstructed pagoda at the centre of her garden.

The new redbud, the serviceberry, Do you know how much work has
the old peonies, the mulberry tree, been destroyed? How much time and
all the flowers near the bog, macer- money lost? This is all I have been
ated. Ive never seen a lightning doing for the past few years.
strikes fury. The heart of the gar- I know it feels that way, but the
denmy beloved white oaks, with garden will emerge stronger, he says.
their sweet kernels that feed the And we can fix it.
neighbourhood rodents and birds
is broken. To make matters worse, ONE EVENING A few weeks later,
mud covers the slope, and the mulch Sonia calls. I assume its for our usual
has been pushed to the propertys Sunday night chat. Its not. Moms
tableland in soggy piles. health has worsened. When my sis-
In the evening Cam tells me a story ter visited that afternoon, the nurse
about a wagon builder who always explained that its become impos-
left a few exposed oaks in the middle sible to feed her. Even the thickened
of cleared farmland. He claimed liquids choke her, and shes refusing
that exposure to the elements made to open her mouth when the nurses
these trees stronger, and wagon try to slip a straw between her lips.
wheels made from them were able to Sonia pauses and I stare out
MdP

withstand the heaviest loads. the kitchen window, clutching the

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READERS DIGEST

phone. A few maple keys float down The wind blows against the chimes
like helicopters, as squirrels on the hanging on a nearby tree branch,
ground munch on the interior ber- ones my father created out of copper
ries. I remember when I convinced pipesthe only thing I brought home
Max to eat one, telling him it tasted after his funeral more than 10 years
like a green pea. ago. And suddenly, the tears flow.
I fly home to Edmonton immedi- Tears for my parents. Tears for
ately. Within a week, Mom is unre- years of scrapes, an injured back
sponsive. I sit in the chair by her bed, and the realization that Mom didnt
curl into a ball, and close my eyes. I really need to see the garden; I just
dream of my mother. Shes smiling. needed to finish it. As the seasons
She descends a hilly dirt path to a passed and the plants lived, died
still lake under a cloudless violet and disintegrated into the earth over
sky. I watch the back of her favourite a decade, their seeds taught me that
flowered dress flutter in the wind as its never too late to start again.
she gets smaller. She is chi, the Taoist I didnt know when we bought the
life force, soon to be shui of flowing house that blossoms are symbolic of
water and plants. our brief journey in this world. I see
it now, because I, like every living
ONE YEAR LATER, Sonia arrives with thing, am transient too. Yet Im never
gifts: a gardeners apron she had alone in the energy of nature.
sewn for Mom and a cutting from a Max will walk into his future con-
peony that was grown from a piece of nected with the earth, the oceans and
one of our mothers plants. Im over- the life within. Ill watch him, and all
come with relief, joy and sadness. who follow, from the vantage point of
I watch her dig a small hole in the my garden, grateful that my parents
cold November soil, put in the root, gave me an unspoken connection to
and gently cover it as if shes swaddling the land, and an understanding that
a baby. Legacy is a responsibility. life is fleeting, and that life is now.
FROM UNEARTHED: LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND OTHER LESSONS FROM AN ABANDONED GARDEN BY ALEXANDRA RISEN.
COPYRIGHT 2016 ALEXANDRA RISEN. PUBLISHED BY VIKING CANADA, A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA LIMITED.
REPRODUCED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PUBLISHER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

FACT OR FICTION

A perfect life makes horrible art.


CHRIS ROCK

102 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


@ Work
AT LEAST HES CONSISTENT YOURE SUSPENDED!
I supervised an employee who had
a negative view of everything I did.
If I took a vacation day, I was never
there. If I praised someones work,
it was too little, too late. He even-
tually took another job but was fired
six months later. Shortly thereafter,
he contacted me, hoping to return
to his old job.
Have you learned from this
experience? I asked.
Yes, I should have stayed here, he
admitted. Youre too indecisive to
have ever fired me. TERRY OCONNOR

CANT BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT


Next time you fumble during a job
interview, take comfort in the fact
that it couldnt have gone this badly.
I was so nervous that when the
interviewer asked me what position
I wanted to hold in five years, I said
race car driver.
COMPLICATED SITUATION
The guy asked me to tell him a
Its difficult to say what my wife
little about myself, and I literally
does: she sells seashells by the
forgot who I was.
seashore. C o m e d i a n MILTON JONES
I was asked about punctuality.
HUBSP OT.COM

I went on about how it was good


Are you in need of some professional
to speak clearly and politely, and motivation? Send us a work anecdote,
it was nice to use proper grammar and you could receive $50. To submit
in speech and writing. dailymail.co.uk your stories, see rd.ca/joke.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 103


EDITORS CHOICE

Writer Craig Davidson spent a year


driving children with special needs to
school. These are their stories.

THE KIDS
OF BUS
3077 FR O M P R E C I O U S C ARG O
I LLUSTRATIONS BY ADRIAN FORROW

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READERS DIGEST

I TRUDGED ACROSS THE FIELD, the late-September wind


flattening my jacket against my chest. The moon was still visible
in the early-morning Calgary sky. When I reached the bus, my key
slid crisply into the lock. I took the flashlight from the cup holder
and popped the hood release. Outside, I swept a beam through
the engine compartment. Everything looked tickety-boo.

I shut the hood and stepped inside and blown the interview. I was 32
the vehicle, then keyed the ignition years old. My background: a variety
and waited for the glow plugs to warm. of odd jobs, from tree planter and
I flicked on the CB radio. Checked my whale watcher to ESL teacher, house
gauges. Got the heaters pumping. painter and librarianand writer.
Pulled the security pin from the rear After publishing my first collection
emergency door and slapped the seat- of short stories in 2005 (a success!),
backs to make sure they were secure. I released my first novel (a flop). A
After grabbing the broom from fleeting rise followed by a swift fall.
up front, I walked a circuit around I parted ways with my agent ; the
the bus, taking a good swing at each money, never significant, dried up. I
tire to check the inflation. I gave the really needed a job.
muffler a stiff crack, too. Crouching Upon returning home from the
down, I couldnt see any hoses or interview, I noticed a sheet of paper
wires dangling from the undercar- poking out of my mailbox. Openings
riage. I popped the side door, low- for school bus drivers! it read. No
ered the wheelchair lift and raised experience necessary! Will provide
it again. Checked the hazard lights, quality training! Must pass back-
headlights, high beams, signal indi- ground check and drug screening.
cators, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, It was one of your textbook cases
thermal blankets and traffic triangles. of mutual desperation: a company
Eyeballed the seven-way mirror sys- eager enough to solicit applicants
tem. Tested the windshield wipers, through leaflet bombing meets a
horn, fan, emergency brake and the man in dire enough straits to make
squelch button on the CB radio. life-altering decisions based on ran-
Rock and roll. I pulled onto the road. dom flyers left at his front door.

TWO MONTHS EARLIER, in July BEFORE THE START of the school


2008, Id applied for the position of year, the bus company called me
lunch supervisor at a local school in to discuss my route assignment.

106 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


The coordinator began to thumb Others read PLP: Present Level of
through her call sheets and fire Performance. Two students were
off possibilities. designated ALP, for Adapted Learn-
Grimhavens near me, I said. ing Program. Appended to one stu-
She pulled up the information. dents profile was a note: No sense
Route 412. Special needs. A hand- of direction; cannot be left alone. Will
ful of students. One is in a wheel- get lost.
chair. A beat. My ignorance shamed me. I had
Ill take it. You sure? Another long since realized that many people,
beat. Yeah. Lets give it a shot. Like myself included, were uncomfortable
many decisions in my life, this one around individuals with disabilities.
was seemingly made on a whim. Such encounters felt like a door open-
Fate throws down its gauntlet: Will ing onto a vast realm where I had no
you accept? But I craved a change. foothold, no understanding. This is

AS WE WARMED UP TO ONE ANOTHER,


THE KIDS REALLY DID TALK. THEIR TALES
WERE WINDOWS INTO THEIR DREAMS.

I headed over to the yard to pick what made me hesitate before agree-
up my school bus. Unit 3077. A yel- ing to the special needs route. Its also
low minibus. Mine was a split route. what made me say yes.
Some were high-school students,
others in middle school. Their con- SOME DRIVERS RAN their buses
ditions: cerebral palsy, autism, fra- the way feudal lords ruled their
gile X syndrome. fiefdoms, with an iron fist. The rules
I had little familiarity with these on 3077 were more lax. My objec-
terms; Id never even heard of fragile tive was to treat those under my
X, which, due to an anomaly in the X wing with respect; Id allow min or
chromosome, could lead to delayed infractions, hoping my charges
physical, intellectual and emotional would self-correct with encourage-
growth. I scanned the assignment ment. Sometimes this backfired, but
sheet for each students program of I wanted them to feel free to engage
study. One read Regular Grade 11. with each other and with me.

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READERS DIGEST

As we began to warm up to one to Nadja, those same relatives had


another, the kids really did talk disaster-plagued existences.
about movies, sports, friendship, My auntie? She had a nephew
family and a million other topics. and he got sick. By the way, he died.
Mainly, though, they told stories. Over the course of the year, Nadja
Their imaginations were unbridled. would tell 40-plus stories that ended
Their tales were a window into their in the same grisly manner. Medical
worlds and dreams. Every so often, mishaps, in-flight calamities or natural
the gangJake, 16; Oliver, 13; Vin- disasters. Her uncles, aunties, neph-
cent, 17; Gavin, 13; and Nadja, 17 ews and nieces were dying at a stag-
broke my heart. gering clip. I began to suspect that by
the way, so-and-so died was Nadjas
NADJA WAS THE groups social but- way of concluding a story for which
terfly. Every day she would climb on she could find no satisfactory end. Or

NADJAS STORIES ALL ENDED WITH


MEDICAL MISHAPS, NATURAL DISASTERS
OR IN-FLIGHT CALAMITIES.

board the bus and say to me, Good perhaps she craved the outpouring of
morning, Craig. sympathy. But as the death toll shot
By the way, she usually asked, up, I became less sympathetic.
how was your evening? By the My uncle had two daughters,
way was one of her two pet expres- Craig? And they were flying in a plane
sions. All right. How was yours? over the mountains? And it was very
Actually, I had a dinner party. nice...by the way, they died.
Actually was the second of those All of them died? Yes. When
pet expressions. And actually, it was did this happen? Actually, it was
very nice. Nadja was forever attend- last week. Isnt it sad? Funny, I
ing dinner parties hosted by various never heard about a plane crash.
aunts and unclesor so she said. Youd think it would have made the
Most of the kids presented me with papers. Its so sad, isnt it?
a picture of their lives that was more, Nadjas stories often took off on
well, lively than the reality. According fantastical orbits that defied the

108 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


laws of naturelike the one about a OH, OLIVER. HIS stories also often
lass of Nadjas acquaintance. took the shape of reality-defying
Shes a little fat, Nadja told me. falsehoods. They werent so much
But thats because, actually, shes lies as M.C. Escheresque master-
pregnant? She has a lot of children. pieces in which helixes of untruths
Ten of them. spiralled toward half-sketched van-
I said, Ten kids? That is a lot. Nadja ishing points. At first I wondered
amended this number. Ten thou- whether it was wise to indulge these
sand. Ten thousand children? Yes. outrageous deceits, but Oliver was
Holy s**t! Oliver cried from the such a good-humoured liar that it
back of the bus. Hey, I warned was hard to call him one.
him. Language, buster. She has One morning Oliver showed me
10,000 kids, Nadja went on primly. a photo on his cellphone. In it, he
All girls. Holy schizz! Oliver and lounged on the hood of a yellow
I had recently settled on schizz as Porsche. Hed probably snapped the
a substitute for s**t. I was already shot in a mall parking lot.
regretting it. And do you know how Nice, I said. Is that your car?
many husbands, Craig? I couldnt I could see the gears winding in
even guess. Nine thousand. Holy his head. Id intimated that I didnt
hells ass! Oliver cried. find the notion of a penniless

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READERS DIGEST

13-year-old owning a luxury road- Nobody better mess with me or


ster inconceivable. You could see Ill tell Joey, hed say. And when he
him thinking: Why not? finds out hes gonna say, If theyre
Yeah, he said with a casual sniff, messing with Oliver, they will have
I bought it this weekend. Oh. How to talk to my two friends. With stagy
much? Oliver narrowed his eyes, showmanship, Oliver kissed his right
judging the depths of my credulity. bicep. Thunder. Then he kissed his
A hundred bucks. Thats a good left bicep. And Gus.
deal. Well, I haggled him down. Nothing sums up the nature of
Usually Oliver didnt kick off the Olivers comic genius better than
ride with such a whopper. He pre- this: it wasnt that Joey might name
ferred to wade in, starting the morn- his arms. Nor was it that hed call one
ing with a white lie, such as, I drank of them Thunder. It was the fact
a mug of java to get my day going. that hed call the other one Gus.

OLIVERS MOST VIVID CREATION WAS HIS


BEST FRIEND. WHENEVER OLIVER FELT
MARGINALIZED, JOEY WOULD APPEAR.

If this fib squeaked past, hed forge THEN THERE WAS Gavin. Our initial
into bolder territory. Im going to join hurdle was eye contact: Gavin wasnt
a gym today, even though Ive already a fan of it. But as autumn deepened,
got a well-developed upper body. he got more comfortable and our
Oliver wasnt going to join a gym. eyes would meet fleetingly.
His upper body was underdevel- Gavin rarely spoke, and when he
opedpartly as a result of fragile X, did, it was just the odd word. On
but more because boys his age werent November 13I wrote down the
renowned for their rippling torsos. datethe sky went grey over the
But Olivers most vivid creation Rockies, and snow began to fall. It
was his best friend. Joey appeared came down in airy balls that looked
the way Batman does: whenever like fertilizer pellets.
Oliver felt marginalized, he would Snowstorm, Gavin said.
flash the signal into the sky and Gavin liked his routines, the peo-
summon his buddy. ple who knew him best told me. So

110 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


when I realized Id done something Okay, got it. Whats her story? Shes
he enjoyed, I made sure to do it immoooortal. Shes been in every war
again, every day at the same time. from the Cruuusades to Iraq. What
For example, in the mornings, when are her powers? I would ask him,
we were at the high school and I was because Vincents characters always
lowering the wheelchair lift for Jake, had superpowers. Claires got super
Id crouch under Gavins window, strength, super inteeeelligence. She
then pop back up like a jack-in-the- owns a machine that can make an
box and yell, Gavver! Usually Gavin infinite amount of money. And shes
would smile bemusedly and cover his a lesbian. Claire and her girlfriend
eyes as if to say, Oh, brother. Other vowed to be with oooone another
times he would stare right past until the end of tiiiime. They fight
me. But I sensed he enjoyed these crime together. Do you want to know
moments, and I kept them up all year. what her costume is?

FOUR MONTHS BEFORE I MET JAKE,


HIS MOTHER WAS KILLED BY A DRUNK
DRIVER DURING A FAMILY WALK.

THE OLDEST STUDENT on the bus, Of course.


Vincent, sat directly behind me. He Claire wears a goalie mask thats
spun tales populated by warriors, autographed by Terry Saaawchuk,
sorcerers, rogue cops and cyborgs. and her old Naaazi uniform. But
When he said he was working on a shes not a Nazi. She was just con-
story, I came to understand it was in fused during that time of her life.
much the same way Oliver worked Many writers could learn a lesson
on his liesi.e., he was hammering in conciseness from Vincent. Im no
it out on the fly. good at emooootions, Vincent freely
The main characters name is admitted, but his tales held a sweet-
Beeeeell...Biiiiiillaaaa... he would say, ness similar to that of their teller. Take
stretching his vowels as he searched The Immortal, which ended with
for a name to settle on. Bill. Claire by her girlfriends deathbed.
So his name is Bill? Id ask. Yes. Shes saaaaaaad but shes not
No, Huuuugo. No, Claire. A girl. sad, too, Vincent said of Claire,

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 111


because she knows her girlfriend chair; the family friend sustained
lived a good life and died haaaappy. serious injuries; Jakes sister was
I said, You dont give yourself largely unhurt; and his mother was
enough credit, Vincent. You can be hurt very badly. Jake was put into a
very good at emotions. medical coma and remained in that
state for two weeks. By the time he
FINALLY, THERE WAS Jake. The woke up, his mother had died.
medical designation for his classi- At the beginning of the year, Jakes
fication of cerebral palsy is called stories were space operas: waylaid
spastic quadriplegia. Symptoms starship explorers trying to find their
include involuntary spasms, mus- way home or a ragtag crew of help-
cular rigidity and abnormal muscle mates staring down an intergalactic
tone. All of his limbs are affected, threat. Jakes narratives were similar
and he uses an electric wheelchair. in two ways. One, they always ended
Four months before I met Jake, he with the explorers safely home or
and his mother, his sister and a fam- the threat vanquished. Two, they
ily friend were out for a walk. A drunk featured a young male character
driver jumped the curb in his Dodge with telekinesisthe ability to move
Durango and collided with them. objects with his mind without any
Jake was struck and thrown from his reliance on his body. This character

112 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


wasnt the dashing commander, but me hell when I mixed up telekinesis
he was always involved in the mis- and telepathy. Obviously, I would
sions success in some minor yet take these opportunities to irritate
essential way. him further.
In mid-autumn, Jake told me he Oh, so your main character has
was working on a manuscript ten- one of those machines like in Star
tatively titled Mystery Academy. By Trek, the one that zaps Captain Kirk
the end of the school year, it was 140 from the Enterprise down to the sur-
single-spaced pages long. Jake had face of a planet?
written a book. Arghh! No, thats teleportation!
You need to have drama and fear Its all different! Captain Kirk? Youre
and high incident, he told me in so old.
October. And youve got to keep the The main characters in Jakes
tension at a fever pitch before laying novel were battling a dark force,

JAKES PROTAGONIST HARBOURED


A SECRET: HE WAS RESPONSIBLE, IN
SOME WAY, FOR HIS MOTHERS DEATH.

off. Andand, and!youve got to something huge and unknowable


have comedy. Your comic foil. And that Jake dreamt one night. When
romance. But not drippy. I asked him to tell me about this
Jake envisioned Mystery Academy as baddie, Jake couldnt articulate any-
a series, an epic on the scale of Lord thing beyond a vaporous, seething
of the Rings. In the mornings hed give hate: the hatred his villain exuded,
me the latest update. and the hatred Jake felt towards his
Ninety pages now! One hundred own creation.
and two! Big night112! Good I was never able to discern if Jake
news and bad news, Craig. Bad news: kept his villain vague on purpose
way too much social studies home- one of the rules of writing is to leave
work last night. Good news: I still the worst things in the shadows and
wrote a page of my novel! let readers use their imaginations
His hero was once again a boy or if he did not want to approach his
with telekinetic powers. Jake gave villain head-on, to give it a name,

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 113


READERS DIGEST

a face. If he had, Jake might have carved out. I knew just when the
found that he recognized that mon- moments of high drama would
ster. It might have lived in the same arrive, and knew my own role
suburb, a few blocks away. Its drive- when to respond with an encour-
way might have had a Rorschach aging oooh or aaah. But I never
stain where a busted-up Dodge got bored of those tales. They were
Durango had leaked a pint of oil. security blankets for the kids, and
Jakes telekinetic protagonist thats what they became to me, too.
harboured a secreta past event We tell ourselves stories in order
unknown to even the hero himself. to live. Another, wiser writer said
Somehow, in some way, he was that. But after hearing these chil-
responsible for his mothers death. drens chronicles, I would think: do
Jake rarely asked me for writing we not also tell stories to live vicari-
advice, but I remember telling him ously in ways we cannot?

IN FICTION, WE CAN ATTAIN NOBILITY.


WE CAN BE OUR BEST SELVES: THE BEST
FRIEND, BEST PARTNER, BEST PARENT.

this: Its okay to use your own life Nadjas tales of never-ending din-
in fiction. Your own life has value. ner parties were those of a young
The unique things youve experi- girl who lived in a modest condo-
enced. All you have to do is go back minium complex and yearned for
to those galvanizing moments in a taste of the glamour glimpsed in
your past and write from there. Take fashion magazines.
everything youve felt and thought Consider Olivers protector, Joey:
and put it on the page. he-man, namer of biceps. Not a
But there was no need to tell Jake boy with a condition typified by low
that. He already knew. muscle tone who crouched in his bus
seat to avoid neighbourhood bullies.
OVER AND OVER, Id hear the kids Vincents heroes were blessed with
stories. Repeated, embellished, superior intellects and chiselled mus-
glossed, the same terrain covered culatures. None were awkward teen-
until a well-worn path had been agers with cumbersome physiques.

114 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


Jakes protagonistwho our best selves: the best
could move objects with friend, best partner, best
the power of his mind parent. We can always do
was breathed into life by a the right thing, show the
boy trapped inside his courage we cant display
own body. in life, kiss the boy or girl
Were these fictional of our dreams, and live
characters or polar selves? happily ever after.
I am no differentIve Jake and the other kids
never written my true self conjured new lives into
into one of my novels. existence every day. They
We al l want big g e r had discovered what it
lives, do we not? The takes some writers half a
inability to find complete lifetime to figure out: tell
satisfaction is woven into EDITORS the stories that lie near-
CHOICE
the heart of the human est to your heart. That
condition. In fiction, we can attain way, theyre not really fabrications
a heightened nobility. We can be at all. Theyre hopeful truths.
FROM PRECIOUS CARGO: MY YEAR OF DRIVING THE KIDS ON SCHOOL BUS 3077, BY CRAIG DAVIDSON. COPYRIGHT 2016 CRAIG
DAVIDSON. PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF CANADA, A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA LIMITED.
REPRODUCED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PUBLISHER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

LANGUAGE SKILLS

Some people just have a way with words,


and other people...oh...not have way.
STEVE MARTIN

I dont want to brag, but I do speak pig Latin; I mean, Im not


fluent, but Im sure if I ever went there, I could get by.
BONNIE Mc FARLANE, comed ian

I bought one of those tapes to teach you Spanish


in your sleep. During the night, the tape skipped.
Now I can only stutter in Spanish.
STEVEN WRIGHT, comedian

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 115


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GET SMART!

13 Things
You Should
Know About
Car Maintenance
BY JI L M c I N TOS H

1 Choose the proper fluids for


brakes, cooling and other systems.
For models built after the year 2000,
says Glenn Maidment, president of
the Tire and Rubber Association
of Canada. If you can see all of the
its crucial that you use the manufac- sails, the tire needs replacing.

3
turers fluids or equivalents, says
Jason DAmico, professor of automo- Air can save you money. It takes
tive technology at Centennial College more energy to roll on an under-
in Toronto. If you decide not to, trans- inflated tire, and you can lose 0.3
missions and other components may per cent of your fuel mileage if one
be noisy or perform poorly. of yours is just a pound of air short.

2
About half of all Canadian vehicles
Prioritize your tires. When they have at least one tire thats 10 per
dont have enough tread, you cent above or below its recom-
ISTOCKP HOTO

arent able to stop quickly or han- mended pressure.

4
dle slippery roads. Place a dime
in one of the tires grooves, with the Heed recallsthey identify
Bluenoses sails pointing down, potential safety issues. Even
rd.ca | 10 2016 | 117
READERS DIGEST

though automakers provide free


repairs for recalled vehicles, its
estimated that about 20 per cent of
9 Go long. During short trips, your
vehicles engine doesnt heat up
enough to remove condensation,
owners dont take advantage. Visit which reduces the engine oils ability
your automakers website to check to protect moving parts. If you cant
each vehicles recall status. take a drive lasting at least 30 to

5
45 minutes each week, DAmico
Replace your brake fluid every advises changing your oil every
two years. Its hygroscopic, three months, regardless of mileage.

10
meaning it pulls moisture out of the
air. This water contamination greatly After every winter, use a self-
increases the risk of brake failure. serve car wash to remove salt

6
from your vehicles underside until
Avoid waiting until your car wont the water runs clear. Otherwise,
start to replace your battery. Have buildup can rust the floor pan or cor-
it checked every fall after the three- rode electrical wiring or brake lines.

11
year mark instead. Batteries hate the
cold, and one thats failing could work Have the air filter inspected at
at 20 C but leave you stranded when every other oil change. If it
temperatures plummet. gets dirty and clogged, it can cause

7
your vehicle to use more fuel.

12
Use the right grade of fuel. Some
sportier models require pre- If youre considering a more
mium, which ignites more evenly in eco-friendly vehicle, budget
their higher-compression engines. for maintenance. Hybrid engines
Regular fuel can leave these vehicles still require oil changes. And while
running sluggishly. electric cars dont contain oil, you

8
should have their brakes and steer-
Listen to your car. Open the ing inspected at least once a year.

13
window to check for grinding or
squealing brakes, clunks when you Select your repair facility
turn the steering wheel or noisy wisely. Quick-lube shops sel-
exhaust. If you can hear a humming dom employ licensed technicians to
noise when the window is closed, it inspect safety items such as brakes.
could be an under-lubricated wheel Make sure to head to a shop with
bearing. The bearing noise is speed licensed techstheir provincially
sensitive, so the faster you go, the issued credentials will be on dis-
louder it gets, DAmico says. playfor a safety check each year.

118 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


Thats Outrageous!
OH BABY!
BY GRAEM E BAYLISS

EARLY ADOPTER in March, the pint-sized


They say you have athletes scurried several
to crawl before metres on their hands
you can walk. Well, Zyla and knees, hoping
St. Onge learned how to be crowned the
to water-ski before she fastest baby. It was
could do either. Her father, soon a two-tot race, as four com-
professional water-skier Keith St. petitors failed to leave the starting
Onge, introduced her to the family gate. The leading pair was neck
business by pulling her across the and neck until one crawler stopped
carpet on a set of junior skis. She unexpectedly at centre courtto
loved it, so he tested her on water. nap. His rival took the lead and,
Zyla, then six months old, zipped ultimately, the glory.
across Lake Grew in Floridaat
a kid-friendly 11 kilometres per UP IN THE AIR
hourpast loved ones who waded In October 2015, Dr. Angelica Zen
in, ready to catch her. After gliding had dozed off on a flight from Taipei
for 210 metres, the infant let go, and to Los Angeles when an announce-
Keith nabbed her within seconds. ment woke her up: Is there a doctor
Zyla declined to comment (she cant on board? When Zen, a pediatri-
talk yet), but Keith says shes onto cian, answered the call she discov-
her next challenge: crawling. ered that a passenger had gone into
labour. With the help of flight attend-
YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE ants, Zen constructed a makeshift
For the Sacramento Kings and the medical tent out of blankets and
PIERRE LORANGER

Utah Jazz, it was just another NBA grabbed an emergency kit. Three-
game. But for six babies, the half- and-a-half hours later, she delivered
time show was the competition of a a healthy baby girl to the applause of
lifetime. Pitted against one another a few groggy passengersand gave
at Sacramentos Sleep Train Arena new meaning to the word airborne.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 119


MORE GREAT READS THIS MONTH

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You Need to
Download
H E A LT H

How to Use Your T-Shirt


to Treat Injuries
If you cant get medical help right away,
you can still stop a bad bleed, prevent
infection or treat heat exhaustionall
with a simple closet staple

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Newsletter

HOME

8 Decor Mistakes
Avoid these common pitfalls
ISTOCKP HOTO

to make sure your home looks


up-to-date and clutter-free

120 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


Brainteasers
Challenge yourself by solving these puzzles and mind stretchers,
then check your answers on page 124.

ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY DETAILS, DETAILS (Difficult)


(Moderately difficult) Four details from the drawing below were
Ahmad, Brielle, Dina, Ed sampled and rotated to new orientations.
and Ginny have their birth- Three of them were also otherwise altered
days on consecutive days in small but significant ways. Which of the
but not necessarily in that four was not?
order. This year, all of their
birthdays land between
Monday and Friday. Can
(I TS YOUR BIRTHDAY) MA RCEL DA NESI; (DETA ILS , DETAILS) DARREN RIG BY

you figure out whose birth-


day is on each weekday?
Ahmads birthday is as
many days before Ginnys
as Brielles is after Eds.
Dina is two days older
than Ed.
Ginnys birthday is
on Thursday.
AY
MOND
TU ES DAY

? ? WED
NES
DAY

?
THUR
S DAY

? F R IDA
Y
A B C D

?
rd.ca | 10 2016 | 121
READERS DIGEST

PATTERN FINDER (Easy) IT KEEPS TURNING UP (Difficult)

(PATTERN F INDER) MARCEL DANES I; (I T KEEP S TURNI NG UP) DARREN RIG BY; ( PATH PU ZZL E ) ROD E RICK K IMBAL L OF PAT H PU ZZL E S.COM
The numbers on the cubes The diagram below represents one
below follow a pattern. piece of a spiral staircase. The round
Can you determine what part goes over a post, and the edges
it is and provide the (marked in yellow) of the stairs
missing numbers? connect. Some dimensions are
marked (rounded to two digits),
91 and the staircase goes once around
the post. Rounding off to the nearest
metre, how tall would the completed
? 50 staircase be?
radius: 1.0 m
16 25 ?
? 11 ? 11
height:
0.25 m

3 ? 9 5 ? arc: 0.52 m

PATH PUZZLE (Moderately difficult)


2
Draw a path that goes from one of the
grids four openings to another. As the
path winds from one cell to the next, it 4 3
can move up, down, left or right but not
diagonally. It cannot pass through any
cell more than once. The numbers
around the grid tell how many cells the
path must pass through in the corres-
ponding row or column. Numbers that
are adjacent to both a row and a column
3
indicate the total number of the cells in
the path from both the row and the col-
umn. If a row or column has no number, 3 2
then the path may pass through as many
or as few of its cells as you like.

122 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


Trivia Quiz
BY PAUL PAQ UET

1. Which countrys 1900 constitution 8. Which calendar date is the


left room for adding New Zealand as rarest birthday?
a member state someday?
9. In 2005, what celebrity jumped up
2. Earlier this year, who became and down on Oprahs sofa, proclaim-
the youngest person to receive four ing his love for actress Katie Holmes?
Oscar nominations for acting?
10. Of the six wives of Englands
3. Seven Catholic popes, three King Henry VIII, how many were
Russian czars and one great named Catherine?
Macedonian all shared what name?
11. In which country do the similarly
4. In what 1980s hit does the singer named Dnieper and Dniester rivers
buy bread from a man in Brussels reach the Black Sea?
who was six foot four and full
12. Which American king
of muscles?
posed for a photo with U.S.
5. What is the only major president Richard Nixon
European river to waltz its in 1970?
way from west to east?
13. Measuring just a few
6. Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans millimetres, paedocypris
purportedly used a 300-year- progenetica may be the
old Jamaican recipe to create worlds tiniest fish species.
what coffee liqueur? In which country could
15. What Renaissance you spot one, if you
7. Whats the name of political thinker have good eyesight?
both the Libyan capital advised, It is better to
and Lebanons second- be feared than loved, if 14. Where is the
largest city? you cannot be both? humerus bone found?
ISTOCKP HOTO

12. Elvis Presley. 13. Indonesia. 14. In the upper arm. 15. Niccol Machiavelli.
10. Three (Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr). 11. Ukraine.
Men at Work. 5. The Danube. 6. Tia Maria. 7. Tripoli. 8. February 29. 9. Tom Cruise.
ANSWERS: 1. Australia. 2. Jennifer Lawrence. 3. Alexander. 4. Down Under by

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 123


Sudoku
Brainteasers:
Answers
(from page 121)

BY IAN RIE NS C H E ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY


Monday is Dinas birthday.
Tuesday is Ahmads.
Wednesday is Eds.
Thursday is Ginnys, and
Friday is Brielles.

8 4 5 6 1 3 DETAILS, DETAILS
D. In A, the root of the tree
1 4 was moved closer to the
bicycle pedal. In B, the rear
1 3 4 handlebar was deleted.
In C, an extra pair of lines

1 5 6 were added.

PATTERN FINDER
9 5 2 8 Each cubes number is the
sum of the two numbers
8 7 5 on the cubes below it to
the left and the right. The

3 2 8 missing numbers, from top


to bottom and left to right,
are 41, 25, 5, 14, 2 and 6.
8 3 IT KEEPS TURNING UP

7 2 8 1 3 6 The staircase will have the


same radius as this piece,
1.0 m. Its circumference
will be 1.0 m x 2 x 3.14 =
TO SOLVE THIS PUZZLE
6.28 m (because circum-
You have to put a number from ference equals radius x 2 x
1 to 9 in each square so that: pi). Twelve stairs will com-
plete that circle (6.28 m /
(S UDOKU) S UDOKUP UZZ LER.COM

every horizontal row SOLUTION 0.52 m 12), so the stair-


6 3 1 9 4 5 8 2 7
and vertical column 7 9 2 3 1 8 4 6 5 cases height will be
contains all nine numerals 5 4 8 6 2 7 3 9 1 3 metres (12 x 0.25 m).

(1-9) without repeating any 1 5 9 2 7 3 6 8 4


PATH PUZZLE
of them; 2
8 2 3 1 6 4 7 5 9
4 6 7 8 5 9 2 1 3
4 3
each of the 3 x 3 boxes 9 8 4 5 3 6 1 7 2

has all nine numerals,


2 7 5 4 8 1 9 3 6
3 1 6 7 9 2 5 4 8
none repeated. 3
3 2
124 | 10 2016 | rd.ca
Word Power
Say is a versatile verb, but there are plenty of other options
waiting to be heard. Take this quiz to fill your vocabulary with
alternate ways of describing speech.
BY SAM ANTH A RID EOU T

1. animadvertA: speak out 9. inveigleA: invoke supernatural


against something. B: advertise beings. B: encourage someone
through word of mouth. C: use to break the law. C: persuade with
a gentle tone. deception or flattery.

2. parryA: repeat. B: wonder


10. ratiocinateA: reason logically.
aloud. C: skilfully evade a question.
B: provide feedback. C: pronounce
3. asseverateA: declare emphat- a judgment.
ically. B: make a counter-argument.
C: insult viciously. 11. philippizeA: advocate under
the influence of corruption. B: con-
4. concedeA: whine. B: grudg- sole. C: convey unwelcome news.
ingly admit. C: explain a plan.
12. importuneA: recite a poem.
5. repineA: say with a yawn.
B: express discontent. B: offer assistance.
C: contemplate. C: request persistently.

6. japeA: mock. B: talk with food 13. upbraidA: describe enthusias-


in ones mouth. C: boast. tically. B: gossip behind someones
back. C: scold.
7. calumniateA: agree without
thinking. B: make a false and
14. ballyhooA: praise extrava-
defamatory statement. C: take
gantly. B: shout hoarsely. C: gloat.
an unlikely guess.

8. perorateA: threaten. 15. quaverA: whisper. B: ask a


B: deliver a long speech. rhetorical question. C: speak with
C: mumble nervously. a trembling voice.

rd.ca | 10 2016 | 125


READERS DIGEST

Answers
1. animadvert[A] speak out 9. inveigle[C] persuade with
against something; as, First Nations deception or flattery; as, Cant you
leaders animadverted upon the inveigle any celebrities to attend my
pipelines threat to the watershed. party? pleaded the socialite.
2. parry[C] skilfully evade a ques- 10. ratiocinate[A] reason logic-
tion; as, Do you want someone ally; as, Actions are motivated by
experienced or someone capable? desires, so morality cant be based
parried the candidate when asked on reason alone, Hume ratiocinated.
about her employment history.
11. philippize[A] advocate under
3. asseverate[A] declare emphat- the influence of corruption; as,
ically; as, Cayman was a bad juror; Pavithra suspected the mayor was
he believed everything the witness philippizing when he praised the
asseverated, no matter how absurd. local factorys safety record.

4. concede[B] grudgingly admit; 12. importune[C] request persis-


as, I guess my trainer was right tently; as, Tired of hearing his kids
when she said I wasnt ready for a importuning him to bring them to
marathon, conceded Ayako. Disney World, Eugenio gave in.

5. repine[B] express discontent; 13. upbraid[C] scold; as, Liese


as, During lunch breaks, Donovans upbraided her sister for having
co-workers would listen to him called their mother a cheapskate.
repine over having left his village. 14. ballyhoo[A] praise extrava-
6. jape[A] mock; as, Sofia pre- gantly; as, Mateos boyfriend bally-
empted any japing about her ears hooed his homemade lasagna so
by calling herself the love child of much that he wondered if he was
Prince Charles and Mr. Spock. teasing him.

7. calumniate[B] make a false and 15. quaver[C] speak with a trem-


defamatory statement; as, Hoping to bling voice; as, Do I have to read
snag Husnis job for herself, Mathilda my book report aloud to the class?
calumniated him as a thief. the child quavered.

8. perorate[B] deliver a long


VOCABULARY RATINGS
speech; as, The conference delegates 710: fair
sighed with relief when the organizer 1112: good
finished perorating. 1315: excellent

126 | 10 2016 | rd.ca


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