Friday, June 15, 2012

What If?

I've been having a lot of fun telling people that we're moving to Nunavut, because it is so completely out of left field that people are simply gobsmacked when they find out. It's to the point where I have to start the conversation by saying "I have news! (No, no babies yet.)" Everyone assumes that since we're newly married, I'm going to announce that I'm pregnant - so it's taken what is some pretty big news on its own and amplified it by 2378327 because no one would ever expect it.

Whenever I tell people that we're moving to Nunavut, it's generally been met with a "Nunavut?!? You're not really going to Nunavut??" Surprisingly though, as it's never been on either mine nor Jeff's radar in any sense, most people seem to have some sort of six degrees of separation to Nunavut - either they've known someone who's been, or someone who's there, or they've wanted to go. After the customary questions of why we're going, what we're going to be doing, etc. it inevitably turns into the "What if" game.

"What if it snows really badly and planes can't bring food in?"
"What if you slip on some ice, break a leg and need medical attention right away?"
"What if the power goes out for a week and you have no electricity?"

...and so on and so forth.

Truth be told, I don't know the answers to all the questions because, well, I just don't know. I anticipate that since people have been living just fine up there for years upon years, that I won't starve, or freeze, or anything like that unless I'm doing something completely stupid.

The only thing that I have some sort of concern about is the medical attention. I just got back from a business trip and when I got off the plane, I noticed that my hand was swollen and felt like it was asleep. I got home and it seemed to be spreading, so we turned to my mother-in-law for help and she suggested we go to the doctor. A short drive and a long wait later, the doctor gave me a prescription for an anti-biotic. Another short drive to go home, a stop at the 24 hour pharmacy, and I was done.

It hit me while we were driving around that this wouldn't be an option if something happened to us in Baker Lake. There is a health clinic there, but I assume it's for fairly minor ailments because anything serious needs to be flown out to Winnipeg. There's also a pharmacy there, but I don't think it's as well stocked as a pharmacy in the GTA, because I hear that for some prescriptions they have to be pre-ordered at least a month in advance because they need to be flown in. I'm not even quite sure what the healthcare system in Nunavut is like. I assume that there is some sort of health card like our Ontario ones, but OHIP certainly doesn't work outside this there an NHIP? No clue. I should make a note to look into that...

Anyways, the moral of the story is that yes, things are a bit isolated in Baker Lake compared to Southwestern Ontario. And yes, it won't be as convenient as having everything within our reach here. And no, I don't know the answers to everything, but I'm hoping that the community will welcome us and help us get settled/into the groove of things until we learn. Until then, we'll just deal with each "what if" as it comes up. One step at a time is the best we can do.



  1. Hi Lily...

    Just wanted to say...welcome to the north. There is a lot of 'what if's' living in Nunavut.. I moved back to Nunavut in July, 2011! (I had lived in Pangnirtung for 10months in 2009). Just wanted to let you know that the health care system has it's quirks (like ANYWHERE in Canada)...But always have been pleased with the care I've gotten from the Nurses at the Health Centres.

    A few weeks ago, I cut the top of my finger...gushing blood, I couldn't stop it! So I called and was able to walk into the Health Centre, have it cleaned, glued and bandaged... and home asap. If that had happened in the south...I would have still been sitting in a waiting room somewhere for HOURS!

    :) welcome to the north... looking forward to your blogs as you reach your new home! I'm a blogger too... You can find me at :) Sarah

  2. Hey Sarah!

    Thanks for the comment! I read it, turned to Jeff and said, "See? Sarah lives in Nunavut and she says it's great! And she doesn't have to wait!" (Sorry to hear about your finger though! Eeek! Sounds like a bad cut!)

    Love your blog - more pictures of your every day life please! Your "relaxing" space looks so cozy!!

  3. Well, if Sarah says it's great, that's good enough for me! :-p

    I'm sure it will take some adjustment, but if we don't have to wait 4 hours in Emerg like Ontario, I'll be a lot happier about injuring myself in Nunavut.