Posted by: ~KC~ | August 14, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

 The research on the human costs of pollution and pollution-related diseases estimated that around 21,000 people in Canada will die from breathing in toxic substances drifting in the air this year.


By 2031, short term exposure to air pollution will claim close to 90,000 lives in Canada, while long-term exposure will kill more than 700,000, the report said.


“Ontario and Quebec residents are the worst hit Canadians, with 70 percent of the premature deaths occurring in Central Canada, even though these two provinces comprise only 62 percent of Canada’s population,” the report said.


Not all the blame for air pollution falls on Canada, however.


“Canada gets a fair bit of pollution from the American midwest, which drifts north, comes across through Ontario and continues right on through to Quebec,” CMA legal advisor Ted Boadway told reporters at the report’s presentation.  ~ from Here



I’m not dying… at least not yet.

I’m certainly not wanting to be a statistic, that’s for sure.

But… I can attest to the article’s truth.

Because I was never this sick before moving to SW Ontario.

Not while I was living out West. 

I wasn’t in perfect health but I certainly wasn’t in the condition I am now in.


Since coming out to SW Ontario for 3 months that turned into 14 years… I have been diagnosed with various ailments and have pretty severe allergies, causing sinus pains and severe migraines.  To breathe often is painful… and I have been put on steroids (nasal spray that give me occasional nose bleeds) to help, along with pretty strong narcotics (that I HATE taking because of it side effects) to contain the migraines… I haven’t been able to get the pent up pressure in my ears to leave for about a year now… because of my sinus issues.  And weight gain/loss is a battle that I have long been waiving the white flag… I surrender.  There’s nothing I can do anymore.  Not while living here.


I’m in rough shape!


No… I’m definitely not blaming the States.  Dear lord, no.  But the air quality in SW Ontario is terrible.  The quality of the air from all the manufacturing facilities in both nearby Canadian towns & States … has taken it toll on me.  It’s not for nothing that they call this ‘belt’ that I find myself living in… called “Chemical Valley.”


I notice an immediate difference when I’m elsewhere – outside of the province, even while vacationing.  Certainly, the first day requires an adjustment… but within no time flat – I’m not using any of my allergy medicines, I can breathe properly and I don’t feel ill.  My digestive system is stabilized and I feel much more active.


So… I am sitting patiently (but begrudging time… LOL) for my time leave.  I want my health back.  Why I waited for so long is beyond me, but its never too late to go home.

And yesterday… was the second step towards making this all very real.

I asked to speak to my supervisor in private.

I explained to him my plans – sell the house and relocate both my father & I out West.  I’m going for health reasons… which has been a concern of theirs for some time now.


The first things my supervisor asked if I’m taking a leave of absence (it was more of a statement rather than a question).  And although I didn’t believe I qualify for one, he wants me to apply for one rather than quit.  That will mean I am eligible for the Pay-for-Performance bonus for the months served with the company this year… rather than walking away from that.  It also leaves the door open… just in case.


I truly appreciate him mentioning he wanted me to do this… especially since we have had a rocky relationship.  But since the beginning of the year, we both have made a conscience effort to communicate and work together, and it’s paid off.  He’s acknowledged my skills and abilities (finally!!) which aren’t easy to come by.  They have a very difficult time finding people with my skills and who actually WANT to do the job, at this pay, in this environment.


So the plan is in place. 

I don’t feel like I need to tiptoe around anymore.

I don’t have to lie about what my plans are… they are solidified.

I’ve updated my status on Facebook to show just that now.

Which is shocking a few…

Some – most actually – are excited for me and are envious…

Others are freaking out… trying to project their own fears onto me.


But I’m taking this leap of faith.

Because I know that I need too.

I need this change… before it completely changes me all-together.

My dad needs this change… if I want to keep him around longer than the Doctors tell him he has.

And I’m ready to go home.

It’s all so surreal on so many levels.

I know I’m taking all the necessary steps to get there.

But I wonder if its’ really gonna happen.

All the signs are there saying it is…

But it feels surreal.

My determination is making it real though…

And it won’t be long before I take whatever few possessions I will have remaining… and head Westward…

Towards change…

Towards newness…

Towards something much better.

And I will finally be able to breathe… once again.


“…all I need

Is the air I breathe

And a place to rest my head…”

~ Song “Say (All I Need)” by Onerepublic



  1. This is why I hope to continue living in a fairly rural area for now. The career potential isn’t as good, but everything has a price – health and family are not on the table for me to negotiate.

  2. This change in direction surely will calm your mind and improve your health. Glad to know your supervisor has come around from the dark side. 😉

  3. I hope this move is more than you dream of and I’m glad that it is coming together for you. Having that little safety net of being eligible will allow you some freedom to take risks!

    Have fun with it!

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