Friday, August 31, 2007

med news & responses to comments

I appreciate the responses to the last post. I am convinced that landing and then moving at a later date is not a problem.

"L-girl" wrote:

I know this may seem crazy to you and others, but I avoided the message boards and yahoo groups when we were in process. They were so full of worry, anxiety and misinformation, I found them more potentially hurtful than helpful.

I do see where you're coming from. I think that what happens sometimes when people on these lists give an account of an event they leave out information. That I see all the time. So, I'm willing to believe that this person had problems but 1) as "mseh" says, it's the odd exception and 2) there may be something that this person is not including in her report.

Other than having to be careful of people's accounts on those lists, I do find a lot of helpful information that can easily be verified through other sources. I have a whole file that includes helpful moving hints, financial-tax-banking info, etc. I don't want to stop reading them all together, but I think you're right that I shouldn't take people's stories as gospel.

"west end bound" questions/comments:

It is surprising to me that there are "issues" that need so much follow-up when it seems to be the case that no one is denied PR status due to health reasons. So why the gyrations? Also, I'm confused when you say no further word from the DMP or CIC - Who is requesting the follow-ups??

For "issue #1": the examining physician in Vancouver (the Designated Medical Practitioner, DMP) requested the follow-up lab tests after irregular results that Alan had -- and we could do those in Seattle. Those, too, were irregular -- and more so. So then there was lots of follow-up with more and different kinds of tests (poor Alan has been poked and prodded a lot and not in the good way); we're honestly not sure if that "second round" of tests were required by the DMP or not. At that point, it was to find a reason for the irregularities that were found in both Vancouver and Seattle.

We heard from the specialist a couple of weeks ago and he said that as far as he was concerned the matter was closed. They've done every test they can think of and they can find no cause; he would only be concerned if some symptom presented itself (e.g. pain). He said he would send his report to our primary physician (PCP) in Seattle. Our PCP will report back to the DMP. I'm not sure if the DMP has been reporting all this to Ottawa or not, but if he did to begin with, he would most certainly have to follow up.

For "issue # 2": This came to us in a letter from the DMP who enclosed a letter from Ottawa. (Yes, odd that it was not the dreaded "brown envelope" sent directly to us. I don't know if that's because we had the exams in Canada.) Our PCP was asked to submit his opinion to the DMP who would then forward it to Ottawa. After doing his best, the PCP wrote a letter to the DMP agreeing with Ottawa that basically he could find nothing "wrong," but perhaps worthy of keeping an eye on in the future.

Ottawa made it pretty clear in their letter that issue #2 would not stop us from immigrating. I'm not sure, but it seems like they were actually writing in concern for Alan's current and future health. And to dot their "i"s and cross their "t"s.

I tried calling the DMP today to ask if he and Ottawa were satisfied that they now have everything from us. The office is closed and I will try again next week. Right now I feel like we're in a black hole of communication. Should I try contacting the consulate in Seattle (where our file resides) to ask them if they have everything? (They should.)

Of course, the most important thing is that Alan is OK and that although we can't find answers, nothing serious -- or even minor -- has been found. And we have lab results that we can use for comparison in the future if there ever be a need.

Thanks, folks, for hanging in there. I'll certainly post if we hear anything else.

I believe it's a three-day weekend in the U.S. and Canada. Have a great one!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Alan's situation with the follow-ups to the medical exam is still in limbo. He's undergone a bunch of stuff and they've found nothing (yay!) and they still can't find a reason for the irregular results of one of the lab tests. For the other issue, they want to look at Alan's records from a few years ago for comparison, but we had a stupid *sshole doctor at the time and they're having a hard time tracking him down. This is getting as wearisome as it is expensive.

There have been no further communications from the DMP or CIC.

Over on the Canadian immigration yahoo groups (see right column of blog), there has been talk of people getting a hard time when they land without the intent of moving at the same time. It was reported that one border official said a bunch of things, including that you couldn't give an address for receiving the P.R. card where you were not residing (e.g. a friend) and that it was "illegal" for someone to send (forward) the card outside Canada. As I've written, the one thing that keeps me from getting too anxious of the next step should we be accepted is that we don't have to move when we land. Now I'm freaking. Anyone have any information or thoughts?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

All is not well in our future (we hope) home

You've probably already heard about this.

There have been a few horrible shootings in the past couple of years in Seattle. We moved from New Orleans where shootings were commonplace; the city averaged a murder a day. (The last straw for me was when a restaurant we frequented was robbed and all were shot and left for dead.) Call me silly, but I think there should be more restrictions on guns than there are on the manufacture of toothpaste. (And I don't believe the U.S. 2nd Amendment gives rights to individuals. "A WELL REGULATED militia ...") It's sad to see signs of the gun disease spreading North ...

One area where Seattle is ahead of Vancouver: the citizens here rejected hosting the Olympics. It sounds great as promoted by the Chamber of Commerce; the realities are often not pretty. I do hope that Vancouver fulfills the promises made and makes us proud in facing important social challenges.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two Year Mark

Well, it's been two years since Alan and I started on this journey. Starting in late July / early August 2005, it took more than six months to gather our materials for the application that we submitted in February 2006.

The passage of time is strange. I'll say it again, whether it makes sense or not: The past two years feel slow and fast at the same time. And I know that while things are dragging out right now, if/when they give us the green light, the process will move at a hectic pace. I'm not looking forward to that pressure, but it will be nice to have resolution (a yay or nay). Knowing that we don't have to move when we land makes a big difference. We have time to get our lives together.

Speaking of lives together ... with bad timing, I'm having a mid-life crisis (early or late, depending on your definition of mid-life), complete with anxiety attacks. I'm not fond of being so ordinary, but the experience is true. I don't want to move with this messiness. If I were to relocate to Vancouver now, I'd be distracted with all that comes with survival and exploration of a new home. That will wear off, however, and I'll still be me and have the same unresolved issues.

For the past year or so, I've been saying to myself (and sometimes to others) that I'll do this or that once I get to Vancouver. I've decided to start some things now. Canada will not be a panacea. I need to remember that.

Besides the little soap opera (telenovelita?) of my life, there's not much to report. Poor Alan has a dental appointment and two medical appointments (issue one and issue two) on the same day next week. It's not fun and it's expensive. I'm not really complaining; these are just the mosquitos of life.

We're healthy. We're wealthy (by world standards). I've lived long enough to have a mid-life crisis. We have health care. The future ahead has many possibilities. Not too shabby.

Forgive me if I've said this in a previous post: I'm always reminded of a phrase from the Passover Seder, where we say "next year in Jerusalem." It's an expression of hope and promise, of longing to be home with one's "family." To our community of U.S. to Canada immigrants: Next year in Canada! You're in our thoughts and we appreciate your hanging in there with us.