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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.

Twitter: @koreansoul77
Instagram: halfkoreangirl25

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Natural medicine?! Moi?

The title is a bit cryptic yeah? I wanted to express that I am on a MS medication and I would never change. As well, no one should take what I say as medical advice and you should always, I repeat always, talk to your doctor about any supplements or natural medicine you want to take. 

With that being said, I have found some things that help me manage some side effects associated with MS and high blood sugar. 


First of all food! Heavy foods make me sleepy, and meals that are high in carbohydrates make me sleepy because of the blood sugar spike and fall. Saying this I try to keep my meals pretty balanced and/or follow a low carbohydrate diet. While I was going through chemo all bets were off on this one. I ate what I could. Since meat literally tasted like dog food it was hard to find a good balance. I managed mind you but it was HARD. So I totally understand when things are in your way like work, kids, school, and just life in general. It really is worth it to take the time to try to change your eating habits even if it's just a little at a time. 

A vitamin B Complex and B12 - This helps me a lot. I'm low on B12 so I take a liquid supplement (under the tongue) always take a liquid or a pill you can put under your tongue (sublingual) because your stomach acids will eat most of the B12 and you won’t get the benefits.  

Exercise - This has worked the best for my MS fatigue. If you're in a flare it's better to rest and you have to know your limits. If you can only sit in a chair and raise your arms for 10 minutes that should be your exercise. My honest recommendation is to find a Physical Therapist who understands MS and that MS does not mean you'll be disabled, and work with them to set limits for yourself. 

Blood Sugar

Cinnamon - Yep, that little spice helps with my blood sugar. However, I don't use to it sprinkle on food I actually take tablets that have cinnamon in them. Cinnamon dramatically helps my blood sugar and unless you’re allergic to cinnamon, I have never heard of someone ODing from cinnamon consumption (smile). 

Fenugreek - I can tell most of you are like "Huh?" but it is real and it is out there. Fenugreek is a common Indian spice and is used a lot in curries and other Indian dishes. If you’ve ever had Indian food the likely hood that you've had this spice is 100%. Fenugreek has actually been studied and has been proven to work on blood sugar. I use it in some of my foods, like chili and tomato soup, but I also take it as a supplement (because I love Indian food but not everything should take like Indian food). You can buy it at any local vitamin store; I get mine from The VitaminShoppe. 

Exercise - I don't have to explain this one right? Good. 

Those are a few things I use to help me manage my MS and my blood sugar. I'm also a bit more of a hippy and use meditation and other herbs for other things. That's for another post (smile)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Affordable healthcare: Why I luvs it (yes I said luvs)

I know that people have very strong feelings on the ACA (which BTW, Is its name it's not "Obamacare"). For me, and many people I know, it's the best thing since sliced bread. Why? Because we have Multiple Sclerosis (I also now have/had Cancer) and health insurers don't like us. 

This means before ACA if we lost our job or became unable to work (raising hand - that pesky cancer thing) and we did not have a spouse that had health insurance we were SOL. For those of you who do not know acronyms that means Shit Out of Luck. I want to address some questions people have asked me how ACA affects me and why I like it. 

Question 1
"What about Medicare? If you have MS you should get disability." 

This makes me laugh a 'lot'. It's very hard to get disability with MS. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to prove you cannot work and even if you have support for your disability by way of a Neurologist, Neuropsychologist, Physical Therapist, and an Occupational Therapist, they can (and will) still deny you (raising hand). To be fair, in my case my Cancer was mistaken for a worsening of MS but it was still denied. 

The other little bit of info that people don't understand is that you have a two year waiting period after you are approved for disability before you can qualify for Medicare. So, that is at least two years with no medical coverage. What about Medicaid you ask? You have to be destitute to qualify for Medicaid. Now, when I say you have to have NO MONEY I mean you have to have NO MONEY. I was hospitalized for Cancer, approved for emergency disability, and was getting 960 a month from SS and I ladies and gentlemen did not qualify for Medicaid. Let that sink in. 

I am lucky I was working until I got sick and had money put aside for COBRA. Without COBRA I would be dead right now. No blog, no talking about ACA just dead from cancer. 

Question 2
"Well, it's going to be too expensive. How are you going to pay for it?"

They have policies that range from 90 a month to 400 a month depending on what you need. If you're healthy, never see a doctor, and you're comfortable with a lower level of coverage go for the cheapest one. I however, have a chronic disease. 

Using my medication for an example - Without insurance it would cost me $4600/month to purchase Copaxone without insurance. That's just my MS medication. My cancer treatments were 12,000.00 each treatment I had 150 treatments at a bare minimum, not to mention my six week hospitalization and the oral chemo (which was 900/script x 6 prescriptions) that I had to buy. 

Would it be worth it to me to pay 400 dollars a month for insurance? You bet. 

Question 3
"I don't want to cover stuff I don't need like maternity care. I'm a guy, why should I pay for that?" 

I like how it's always the guys who say this. I never see a woman saying "I don't want to pay for Viagra and Prostate Cancer!" even though we do pay for it. That is how insurance works. We always pay for a base coverage that covers the basics of the plan such as maternity care and prostate cancer. This has always been the state of insurance. Why is it now an issue?

Question (really a statement) 4
Well you're different.

No I'm not. I personally know hundreds of people with MS who would be in the same situation as me if something happened to them, their spouse, or their financial situation. 

Question (or another statement) 5
No one will take that! My doctor doesn't take ACA. 

Well ACA isn't insurance but Blue Cross Blue Shield is, and that's what I have. Some individuals seem to be under the misconception that ACA is its own separate health insurance. That is simply not true. Do a search on the plan you choose (BCBS, Humana Aetna) to make sure your doctor/medication is covered before you buy it. It's pretty simple and is what I did. 

I hope this little blog helped someone out there understand ACA a little better.