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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My mother makes me laugh.

I was talking to my mother this morning and on the TV cartoons were on. Now for some random reason my mother always has her TV on something she doesn’t watch. Like cartoons (but I know she watches Family Guy even if she won’t admit it) or one of the Spanish language stations, which I know she's not watching, unless she has learned Spanish and hasn't told me.

As I've said in my about me section my mother is Korean. She's been in America since the 1960's and is pretty Americanized. Oh don't get me wrong, she's still 100% Korean she's just pretty ingrained in American culture. A few things she's not but...we'll talk about that later. She also may be one of the funniest people I know.

As I was saying cartoons were on. This cartoon was Ni Hao, Kai-lan. For those of you who don't know Ni Hao, Kai-lan is a cartoon like Dora the Explorer except this is a little Chinese girl.


My mother looks at the TV and asks. "What is that?" I tell her what I've told you here. She pauses and looks at the TV for a moment.

"She's Chinese?"
"She can't be Chinese. Asian people's eyes aren't that big!"

Then she looks at me and starts laughing.

I love my mom.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Five tips for better living

I was flipping through TV stations and came across a show called “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” Now…I know I can be a bit slow on the uptake but last I checked growing a baby isn’t a subtle thing. So, in order to help others, I’ve decided to make of list of things you should do if certain OTHER things happen.

First - Your stomach grows to 3 times its normal size and you vomit every morning. You should go to the doctor. Either you’re pregnant or something else is going horribly wrong.

Second - A person with a gun walks out in front of your car - Duck down, gun the gas, and hit the person with your 3000 lb car. Then drive to a police station to tell them about the car-jacker/rapist/serial killer/insert whatever other horrible title you can think of, you just killed with your car. The little weirdo probably can’t shoot through an engine block. He also probably isn’t a marksman and couldn’t hit a moving target to save his life. Now if he has a scoped M15 eeeh maybe your time is up. Other than that scenario, just run that person over.

Third - If someone grabs you and tries to force you into a car or take you away from where you are, fight. Fight scream kick scratch bite rip claw. I would rather die right then and there then die three days later after the serial killer had me in his white serial killer van for three days.

Fourth - If a friend ever tells you “If I die, my husband did it.” or “I think my husband is going to kill me.” you should call the police. Have you watched TV? Do you know this is how all the shows start? “There were no signs. Oh, except for the past three years she was telling her sister that she though Bob might kill her.”

Fifth - Don’t pick up hitchhikers

Those are my five tips for better living. Please use them wisely.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This is why I run!

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Highly fit multiple sclerosis patients perform significantly better on tests of cognitive function than similar less-fit patients, a new study shows.

In addition, MRI scans of the patients showed that the fitter MS patients showed less damage in parts of the brain that show deterioration as a result of MS, as well as a greater volume of vital gray matter.
Ruchika Shaurya Prakash

“We found that aerobic fitness has a protective effect on parts of the brain that are most affected by multiple sclerosis,” said Ruchika Shaurya Prakash, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

“As a result, these fitter patients actually show better performance on tasks that measure processing speed.”

The study, done with colleagues Robert Motl and Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois and Erin Snook of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, appears online in the journal Brain Research and will be published in a future print edition.

The study involved 21 women diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. They were compared with 15 age- and education-matched healthy female controls. The study assessed fitness, cognitive function, and structural changes in all participants.

In order to measure fitness levels, the participants underwent a VO2 max test, in which they rode a stationary bicycle until they felt exhausted. During the test, they breathed into a mask which measured their oxygen consumption.

All the women also took a variety of tests designed to evaluate cognitive functions, such as processing speed and selective attention. In one test, for example, participants had to write down in one minute as many words as they could think of that began with the letter “F.” MS patients generally perform poorly on these tests compared to healthy people.

The third analysis involved MRIs of the participants, revealing any damage to their brains.

As expected, the MS patients did much worse than the healthy controls on the tests of brain functioning, and showed more deterioration in their brains as revealed through the MRIs.

“Physically fit MS patients had fewer lesions compared to those who weren’t as fit and the lesions they did have tended to be smaller,” Prakash said. “This is significant and can help explain why the higher-fit patients did better on tests of brain functioning.”

But what was interesting, Prakash said, was the significant differences between the more aerobically fit MS patients and those who were less fit.

Take, for instance, lesions, which are the characteristic feature of MS. Lesions are areas of inflammation in the central nervous system in which neurons have been stripped of myelin, an insulating protein.

“Physically fit MS patients had fewer lesions compared to those who weren’t as fit and the lesions they did have tended to be smaller,” Prakash said. “This is significant and can help explain why the higher-fit patients did better on tests of brain functioning.”

Aerobic fitness was also associated with less-damaged brain tissue in MS patients, both the gray matter and white matter.

Gray matter is the cell bodies in the brain tissue, while white matter is the fibers that connect the various gray matter areas.

The study found that fitness in MS patients was associated with larger volume of gray matter, accounting for about 20 percent of the volume in gray matter. That’s important, Prakash said, because gray matter is linked to brain processing skills.

“Even in gray matter that appeared relatively healthy, we found a deterioration in the volume in MS patients,” she said. “But for some of the highest fit MS patients, we found that their gray matter volume was nearly equivalent to that of healthy controls.”

Another MRI analysis involved the integrity of the white matter in the brain. In MS patients, the white matter deteriorates as the myelin is stripped from neurons. Again, higher-fit MS patients showed less deterioration of white matter compared to those who were less fit.

Overall, the three MRI tests in this study showed that parts of the brain involved in processing speed are all negatively affected by MS – but less so in patients who are aerobically fit.

Prakash noted that other researchers have found that exercise promotes the production of nerve growth factors, proteins which are important for the growth and maintenance of neurons in the brain.

“Our hypothesis is that aerobic exercise enhances these nerve growth factors in MS patients, which increases the volume of the gray matter and increases the integrity of the white matter,” she said.

“As a result there is an improvement in cognitive function.”

Prakash and her colleagues plan to extend this research by studying whether exercise interventions with MS patients can actually improve their cognition and have positive physical effects on the brain.

“For a long time, MS patients were told not to exercise because there was a fear it could exacerbate their symptoms,” she said.

“But we’re finding that if MS patients exercise in a controlled setting, it can actually help them with their cognitive function.”

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

Contact: Ruchika Shaurya Prakash, (614) 292-8462; Prakash.30@osu.edu

Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

A plan is born!

I went on my five mile walk tonight with a good girlfriend of mine. It's a good break from running and strength training. Random things always happen when we're together and it's become a running joke with us. A few examples:

We found a Louis Vuiton Wallet
A random Korean kid had to give us his food recommendations at Bento's
A man beat a wall at a movie theater
A small child stole my pop corn
We scare fire fighters
Men try to pick us up after walking four miles looking a mess
Strangers go on long diatribes about the show LOST with my friend and ask me to leave because I haven't see it yet
etc etc etc

Tonight another random thing happened. We walk down a major road to a mall for these excursions. We get exercise and we get tea at Barnes and Noble after. Works out well. This is a developed area with a lot of traffic. As we're walking we hear a car slam on the brakes directly behind us. I spin around to see what had happened. What do I see? Not a fender bender or an car accident nearly avoided. I see a pig scrambling to get to it's feet because a car scared it so bad it fell. Yes, I said a pig. With two of it's little piggy friends running like hell to get away. It scrambled to get to it's feet, got up, and ran the opposite direction of it's friends. I look at my friend she looks at me, we look back at the pigs, we look at each other again, back at the pigs.

"Is that a...?"
"Yeah it's a pig."
"I was going to say because I thought I'd clear that up in case I was hallucinating"
"No, you're not."

Did I say pig? I meant wild boar. These things were not little cute pink escaped piggies. They were black wild boar. Where...WHERE next to a mall a huge golf course and many homes do wild pigs live? Why are there wild pigs in Florida?

My friend and I have now come up with a way to make money. When I move to Seattle her and I are going to hike together a lot. We're going to bring my High Def movie camera and when bigfoot shows up, because if we're together it will show up, we're going to video tape him and sell that tape!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Put some clothes on!

I wonder when running clothes cross the line from OK to really not OK. Florida is hot very hot and humid and I had to buy new workout clothes because it's summer. Now, I'm a pretty conservative girl and while I understand the need to stay cool - what is it about working out that makes people think it's OK for me to be able to see everything God gave you? Do you dress like this when you're not working out? I wear shorts and a sleeveless workout top. I consider it a smedium (Where you can see your midriff almost) If you're going to wear less then that why not just go in your sports bra and some underwear? Are you trying to pick someone up in the neighborhood? I mean that would explain why the neighbor down the street is following me around. Maybe he thinks all girls that run around this neighborhood are looking for a quick hook up.

Also, are you actually running? Because I think I lapped you four times and I'm slow. I don't think you lapped me because, unless you're going faster then the speed of light and I can't see you, you didn't move.

Don't they have pick up gym's for this type of stuff? I'm sure there is a Bally's or a good meat market LA Fitness around.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

White people are crazy

I guess that's a little racist to say huh? Well, in my defense, I do say other ethnic groups are crazy too. However, white people hold a special place in my heart (I'm also half white so I can say these things).

I'm awake way to late tonight watching TV and as I flip through the channels I see a show called "Expedition Great White". Now, I like to learn about animals and great white sharks are interesting.

This show is just a bunch of crazy white guys in a boat CATCHING great white's. Not just tagging them but physically catching them and dragging them onto their boat. Then they DRILL into the shark and take DNA. While this is going on, the the shark is thrashing and throwing the crazy white guys around the deck like rag dolls.

Then, the crazy white guys start talking about the sharks sperm and showing each other where the sperm comes from...

I don't see any Korean, Ugandan, Dominican, Spanish, or any other race on this boat. What is wrong with people?

Oh no...(it's still on) they have named this shark Flipkin...OK, I'm done. There really is nothing more to say at this point.

Friday, June 4, 2010

For the run of it all

Because today is my rest day from exercising (Yes, I’m resting Simon!) I’m thinking about running. I started running seriously again in January after not running for six months after my MS diagnosis. I was scared! My friend even talked to me on the phone the first time I went walking after I got sick! He knows who he is and he knows I thank him for that!

Well I decided I’m going to do the Boston Marathon in April 2011 for charity (who needs to actually qualify when you have charity mwhahahahaah). So, in January I started really running and it’s become a bit of an obsession.

For instance right now I want to run. I want to put on my sneakers and go. I also realize I need a rest day and that is today. It has to be today because I’m doing five miles on both Saturday and Sunday. TODAY HAS TO BE A REST DAY! However, my body does want to listen and I find myself walking up to my sneakers and looking at them. I then think to myself

“Self, why are we standing in the hallway looking at our sneakers?”
“Because we’re going for a run.” (Yes, I hear voices go with it).
“No, today is a rest day.”
“I don’t want to rest.”
“But we have to rest or we’ll end up sick.”
“We have to run.”

And I then walk away from the shoes to major protests from my inner voice. I think this might qualify me as suffering from some sort of addiction. I suppose a running addiction isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things.

So, I will fight with my inner voice and keep myself from tying my sneakers and going for a run. If I want to be healthy for April I need to take my training slowly and not hurt myself. This makes sense intellectually but that little runner inside me, who finds this so addictive, is not happy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BP is going to ruin our Florida beaches! Haven't we been doing that?

Yes, BP oil is the devil and it's going to kill all of the shellfish, fish, sea life, manatees, sea turtles, plants, economy, and ruin peoples lively hoods. It's a horrible tragedy which was no ones fault (because it was an accident right?) but that little "acoustic switch" (it's a boring explanation about what it is) that is a required safety feature in the North Sea, could have prevented all of this. Why would we require something like that in an area of the United States which provides 40% of the seafood for the lower 48 states? Thank you politicians for making that safety feature an optional device in order to promote industry! Capitalism at it's best people! Right?

I do like how everyone is so worked up in Florida about our beaches. I've lived here most of my life and people leave their trash, cars, tires, and booze bottles on the beach. If people are so concerned about our beaches and our environment, why do they feel it's OK to trash our natural resources unless it's a multimillion dollar disaster?

For example Daytona beach, one of the most popular beaches here in Florida, (The Daytona 500, bike week, etc) allows people to drive and park on the beach itself. The oil, gas, and other chemicals leaching out of the cars into the sand happens 365 days a week. Are we supposed to believe that those chemicals do not hurt the environment and the natural wildlife in the area?

Call me crazy, but maybe if we held people accountable, didn't let politicians and corporations run wild on our "American way of Capitalism" line people like to throw around, and cared about our world during the good times as much as we do in a time of disaster. Just maybe, we could limit these types of disasters, respond to them better, and help our fellow man.

Just a thought...