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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Vol. 1-Supplemental - Cross Canada/Laser Eye Surgery/Tea

11 Dec 2004

Volume 1, Supplemental                              By Katherine Kiang                                    December 11, 2004



I have so much to be grateful for in these past few years.  I think good health is such a blessing.  So, I thought I would add a few more things to my newsletter which I did not include in the first issue.

So, on top of peace and prosperity, I would like to make a toast to your health!!!   Cheers!

Where in Canada am I?

Do I have amnesia, you may ask?

Yes, I still live in Toronto, but, I am still on my virtual trek across Canada!  I signed up on a website at www.c2cfit.com in May, 2003.  It was referred to me by my friend (Christina).  Lee Downer came up with a fitness program where members can keep track of the distances they have travelled through actual physical exercise (i.e. walking, running, swimming or rowing) online.  You can choose to either make your way across Canada or the U.S. and the program keeps track of the distances you have travelled from one destination to the next.  The destinations are automatically calculated as you enter the mileage you have walked, run, swam or rowed.

There is a charge for being a member.  For futher info., check out the website (see above).

So, as of today, I have walked 2216.65 kms across Canada – headed for Saint John, New Brunswick which is currently 17.35 kms away!  (When you are crossing water, I say I am miraculously walking across water.)  I keep track of my walks with a pedometer.  If you choose other activities, you would also have to be able to measure the distances you have ran, swam or rowed.

If you do sign up, let me know.  We can check how  we rank with the other members.  I am currently at #75 out of 266 participants (which includes school groups too).

Now see this….20/20

Prior to December 5, 2002, I would say that I was “blind as a bat” – if only I’d be so lucky to have sonar abilities and not hit people or a wall.  My vision was extremely poor and I recall the thoughts racing through my head with my optometrist informed me of my astigmatism getting worse because of nearsightedness.  I figured I might go blind some day.  I still remember when my eyeglasses were accidently crushed in church years ago, and my friend (Jackie) led me by the hand, as if leading a blind person, down the sidewalk, into her car, and her husband (Nigel) then drove me home, so that I could get my spare pair of glasses (thank God for spares).  They, then, drove me back to church, so that I could drive myself home.  Well, Jackie, remember I kept saying I saw pretty halos around sources of light (i.e. lamp posts)?  Sure, we thought I was delusional – yes, cuckoo!!!  I had not tried wearing contact lenses before because just an attempt to do so made my eyes cry and cry.  I could not even attempt to wear eye liner.

Well, folks, in September, 2004, my laser eye surgeon, Dr. Harold Stein at the Bochner Eye Institute congratulated me for having 20/20 vision.  It’s one test I didn’t even have to study for.  Yes indeed – “I was blind and now I see!”

Since December 5, 2002, I have told many of you of my experience and progress.  For someone like me (with minus 10, minus 11 vision), I felt that I had nothing to lose.  If you are able to walk down the street without your glasses/contact lenses on and do not hit anybody or anyone and can manage seeing signs about 10 - 15 feet away, well, why risk some of the side effects that you could receive – e.g. poorer night vision.

If, like me, you would like to have better health (it’s certainly not aesthetics for me) and perhaps, greater physical freedom, then I would suggest that you do considerable research specifically on the LASIK procedure (which is what I had done) or laser eye surgery, in general.  I must have waited about 10 years since first hearing about laser technology and laser eye surgery.  Years ago, laser surgery did not correct astigmatism, but, it does now.  In my case, the cost was $2,400 per eye (my own optometrist suggested that I go with a “high end” surgeon), but, the cost could be as low as $1000 per eye at other laser eye clinics (from what I have heard).  Bochner was referred to me by former patients (a friend, a co-worker, co-worker’s siblings).  I would not treat this procedure as a “fad” or just for aesthetic reasons – do it for your own health, for your own life – SEE for yourself! 

Bochner has three eye clinics in/around the GTA (Toronto, Scarborough, Unionville).  The Toronto clinic is located at 40 Prince Arthur, tel: 416-960-2020) – literally steps away from the St. George subway station – which I find very convenient, since one has to return several times after surgery for check-ups.   Bochner’s website is www.bochner.com.

Would you like a cup of tea?

My friend, Victoria, introduced me to afternoon tea about a decade ago.  I started this tradition with my friend, Marleen and Marleen and I started going to the King Edward Hotel (now called Le Royal Meridien King Edward  - but, we refer to it as the “King Eddy”) for afternoon tea.  Every year, in December, in order to celebrate both our birthdays and pre-Christmas (which included a day of shopping), we ended our shopping excursion with afternoon tea (or “high tea”) at the King Eddy.  Years later, others have joined Marleen and me.  This year, Marleen’s sister-in-law, Isabelle, and Marleen’s friend, Phyllis, will also be attending the King Eddy once again.  Another usual attendee is one of Marleen’s closest friends, Grace, but she cannot attend this year because she’s teaching English in Hunan, China (Note:  I mentioned Grace in my first newsletter – she’s been updating her friends through a newsletter, so I decided to finally start one too!).

Marleen and I have tried other tea rooms – i.e. Royal York, Four Seasons, but, we were always drawn to the nice tea room at the King Eddy.  There’s a huge Christmas tree in the front foyer of the hotel and a piano playing away (courtesy of what I call the “invisible pianist”).  However, I was told that this past year, there is no tea room any more.  I know in past Decembers, it’s been nearly impossible to have tea in the tea room because of reservations made by large parties.  And so, we will be having tea at the Café Victoria, one of the hotel’s restaurants which is across from where the former tea room was located (for those of you who remember it).

Going all out for tea (i.e. the complete afternoon tea) is not quite “cheap and cheerful” dining (approx. $35-$40 per person).  It is extremely filling if you nibble through all the little sandwiches, scones, cakes, cookies and a pot (or 2) of tea (of your choice), so you will likely skip dinner.  It may seem extravagant, but, it’s a lot of fun to get together with friends and celebrate a birthday, Christmas/New Year or even, as we did with Isabelle, a baby shower! 

So, if you are interested in trying afternoon tea, I would suggest either the Royal York or the King Eddy, if you’re in Toronto.  Of course, I hope to follow in my friend, Donna’s footsteps one day and try afternoon tea at The Empress in Victoria, B.C. – the closest I’d likely get to having tea with the Queen.