Saturday, February 25, 2012

Flu Bug?

There is a nasty flu like cold virus going around.  One person (my cousin) ended up with pneumonia.  This virus has been really difficult to shake.  Since I am on Tysabri, I have to avoid sick people.  We all know how difficult that can be so I try to be proactive.  I like to use natural ingredients for different ailments as much as possible for me and my family.  I recently made a home made cough syrup.  It's super easy. 

There are only 5 ingredients: 
red onion
dehydrated cane juice (raw sugar)

You will also need a jar with a lid.

Just slice the garlic, onions and ginger.  Layer ingredients in the jar with the raw sugar, squeeze 1/2 the lemon into jar and place the lid on.  Within 1 to 4 hours, a concetrated syrup will begin to form.  I drained the syrup and bottled it.  It keeps in the fridge for 6 months to a year.  It tastes ok, very sweet and you may want to rinse with mouth wash to eliminate that garlic and onion after taste. 

My husband has come down with a cold but it's not flu like at this time.  I gave him  2 teaspoons of my home made syrup a few nights ago.  This is some very concentrated syrup.  I will continue to give him 1 teaspoon daily for the next 3 days.  I also gave a bottle to my Mom who is also sick.  I believe it's safe for kids too.  I gave 1 teaspoon to 2 of my daughters because they were complaining of sore throats a few months ago.  I also gave them some zinc.  It knocked whatever it was right out.  They did not end up with any long term infections.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Live Well, Stay Active

Acupuncture, Rolfing (deep tissue massage aimed at realigning the body with gravity), hypnosis, and chiropractic care are examples of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine also known as CAM.   CAM Therapy is not an area that is typically covered by insurance.  Here are some ideas to cover costs from the Spring 2012 edition of Momentum, the magazine of the National MS Society.

If you are employed, ask your employer or health plan administrator about a "rider" in which people buy additional insurance coverage specifically for CAM services.  You may be able to get a pre-negotiated discount.

Take advantage of a flexible spending account or FSA.  This allows you to set aside pretax dollars for qualified medical expenses.

Ask CAM providers if they offer payment plans or discounts for paying upfront or in cash or save money by  researching community-based providers in your area that offer services such as yoga, massage and acupuncture.

The National MS society often provides access to free or low priced services such as yoga, massage and acupuncture.  Call 1-800-344-4867 to ask an MS Navigator about community providers and organizations in the area including your Society chapter.

Biogen Idec has a great website that offers a full range of assistance for MS patients.  They will send you free exercise DVD's, all you have to do is register.   I received my free copy and it's a great video that provides different ability levels.  They also have fitness and diet education, healthy recipes, an online journal for tracking your progress, games to stimulate your brain, free personalized support, a peer mentor program and many other resources. Simply go to and get started.  It's a great website.

Live well and stay active.