Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)

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Monday

April A to Z theme unveiled: Describing multiple sclerosis from A to Z




How would you describe multiple sclerosis? This can be trickier than some might suppose.

Kicking MS to the Curb is doing the annual April A to Z Blogging Challenge again this year. That means I have committed to publish 26 alphabetical posts during the month of April. (That might almost be cause for an altogether different sort of commitment. But I digress.)



Today is A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Day. Here’s my blog topic for this month-long series: Describing multiple sclerosis from A to Z.



Each day will feature a key word that helps paint a picture of life with MS Hope you will stop in at Kicking MS to the Curb often throughout the April A to Z Challenge. Whether you live with MS personally or care about someone who does, I hope this series will prove both encouraging and informative.

Image/s:
April A to Z Challenge 2016 logo – fair use
 Adapted from public domain artwork

Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter.  You are invited to join the Kicking MS to the Curb page on Facebook and the Making the Most of MS board on Pinterest as well.

Sunday

Medical math: Baffled by health care billing




Medical billing has me wholly baffled.

A fairly routine medical test, which took less than an hour, supposedly cost $3,765.24. That’s what my medical insurance claim summary report says. It’s listed right under the “Provider Charges” heading.

The very next column lists “Allowed Amounts” and this magic number: $532.67.

Finally, the “Patient Share” figure is listed: $103.52.

Let’s summarize, shall we?


  • Hospital claims:   $3,765.24
  • Insurance accepts:  $532.67
  • Patient must pay:    $103.52


Sorry, wrong number.

It just doesn't add up!

Where do they come up with this stuff? One thing is clear: The cost is not the cost. In fact, there seems to be no hard-and-fast actual cost at all. (OK, that's not clear at all.)

Who would ever pay the full price, anyway? And who taught these guys to do basic math? (Don’t get me started on the Common Core thing.)

Maybe someone needs to go back to Square One. Perhaps the hospital accountants need to have their heads examined. I wonder what that would cost … and who would pay for it.

Many have claimed there’s strength in numbers. After seeing my medical bill, I beg to differ. One plus one equals ... what?

Image/s:
 Adapted from public domain artwork

Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter.  You are invited to join the Kicking MS to the Curb page on Facebook and the Making the Most of MS board on Pinterest as well.

Thursday

MS or just me? I can feel my toes again!




Weird symptoms sometimes just happen to anybody, don’t they? It’s easy to blame everything on MS, but I’m not sure that’s always fair. Sure, I loathe the MS MonSter as much as any MS battler. But I do think quirky conditions occasionally just come and go.

Have your feet ever gone numb for a while? Mine have!

For months, my toes tingled and then went completely numb every time I went running. It always seemed to start right around the one-mile marker. I tried loosening my laces. I tried stretching and stomping. I tried a variety of athletic socks and shoe brands and styles.

I even tried drinking lots of extra water, just in case my numb feet had something to do with insufficient hydration.

No such luck.

Like clockwork, my toes would start that annoying pins-and-needles thing after the first mile. Sometimes it would spread to my soles and more, making my feet completely numb.

Aaargh!

I dreaded the idea that my tingling and then unfeeling toes might signal an oncoming MS exacerbation.

Oh, please, no!

After doing a little research, I learned that tingling toes and numb feet are a fairly common occurrence among runners. This seems to happen rather frequently to those who log miles on treadmills, trails, paths, sidewalks, roads, or anywhere else.

Exercise raises the body temperature and makes the feet swell. Sure, it does! That makes running shoes fit more snugly. And tighter shoes can restrict blood circulation in the feet. Puffy feet in snugger shoes can spell tingly toes and numb feet.

At last I had the answer!

This was not some weird neurological symptom for only me.

I hit the shoe store (just in time for a super sneaker sale) and picked up one more pair of running shoes. But this time, I kicked it up a half size from what I usually wear.

Well, whaddya know? That solved the problem. I can run for miles, and my feet do not go numb. I can feel my toes – at least, for now.

I’m still on pins and needles right before a race. Maybe I always will be. But that has nothing to do with my toes tingling or growing numb.

Image/s:
 Adapted from public domain photo

Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter.  You are invited to join the Kicking MS to the Curb page on Facebook and the Making the Most of MS board on Pinterest as well.
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