Category Archives: Health

Renewing Our Seguro Popular Policy

September arrived and it was time to renew our Seguro Popular policy. It comes up for reaffiliation every three years and since I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled in November plus all the lab work that goes with that, we needed to make sure our policy didn’t lapse.

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So first we headed to the Módulo de Afiliación y Orientación building. I was just the paper carrier. I let my husband do all the talking. First, he showed the guy at the desk our expiring policy. Then another guy came over to take a look at it. He said we needed a copy of identification and comprobante de domicilio (proof of residency). 

When my husband explained we had no utilities at our house, he said we should go to the presidencia (town hall) and request a letter. We’ve tried that route and since we live outside of town, they won’t do it. Then I handed my husband the letter we have from Super Prez verifying that we live in La Yacata. We haven’t had to use it since the last time we applied for Seguro Popular. The letter was dated 2016. So we’d need a new letter.

My husband showed his driver’s license, but it was expired. Then he showed his motorcycle driver’s license, but that too expired in May (as did mine). So we’ll need to renew those as soon as we have the chance but that was a quest for another day. His IFE was still valid and even though his photo makes him look like a psychopath, it would do. Whew!

We went home and I typed up the letter we’d need from Super Prez, the president of the asociación de colonos de La Yacata. I don’t have any ink in my printer, so we headed to a Ciber (computer cafe). Everything was fine except it printed on two different pages. Since I had saved it as a PDF, the girl couldn’t alter it there. And I couldn’t remember my Google password to access Google Docs, so we went back home. I took out a space and saved it again.

Back to the Ciber and it printed out just fine. Our next task was to locate Super Prez to sign it. We were in luck! While he wasn’t in his office, his brother who runs the ferretería (hardware store) next to the office said he was at home. So we rounded the corner and rang the bell. 

This worked out really well since he not only signed the letter, but we could bring him up to date on the goings-on in La Yacata. We were even able to brag a bit about our completed solar system

With this letter in hand, we headed back to the Reaffiliation Office. My husband was given a number (10) even though there was NO ONE else there. Whatever. We sat down to wait. Eventually, he was called up to the desk. As the clerk was entering the information, the system flagged my husband as having an IMSS policy. Thus, in the computer anyway, it looked like we were double-dipping in the healthcare system. In order to proceed, he would need to present a letter from IMSS that stated he didn’t have a policy. 

IMSS in Moroleon, GTO

We headed to IMSS which was on the other end of town. Let me tell you, it was liking into the gates of heaven when compared to el Regional where I go for my appointments. There were no lines. The floor wasn’t broken. There was AIR CONDITIONING! And the nurses, staff, and doctors were just strolling around, not harried and frantic. 

We were sent around the bend to an office where a nice young girl looked up my husband’s information. She said he DID have an IMSS policy in 2007. It turns out that the job he had then which lasted about 2 months, had turned in his paperwork for IMSS. If you remember, IMSS is healthcare for employed Mexicans. Of course, once the job was done, my husband was laid off, so we had no medical benefits since then, hence our application for Seguro Popular. 

So this nice young woman gave me a list of requirements we would need to request the letter stating my husband didn’t have IMSS including a sample letter. Apparently, this sort of thing happens enough that they printed up this information to hand out. 

We would need to bring back the original and copy of his birth certificate, CURP, IFE, comprobante de domicilio, and the signed letter entitled CONSTANCIA DE NO ASEGURADO. We headed home and I typed up the letter. It was too late in the day to continue our pursuit, so we would have to wait until morning. 

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Bright and early the next morning, we headed to the Ciber for the print-out and copies required. Then back to IMSS. My husband asked if we would need a ficha (number). Nope. The nice young woman took the documents and printed out the letter we needed for Seguro Popular. My husband asked if there was a charge associated with this. Nope. We thanked the nice young lady and left.

Back to the Reaffiliation Office then. My husband was given a ficha (number) even though there was NO ONE there and we sat and waited. With all the documents in order, the application could proceed. The clerk asked my husband a few questions about his work, our house, our income. I remained silent even when my husband didn’t get my education information correct. 

I primed my husband to ask about our son’s coverage since he will be turning 18 in May. He’s covered until then and as long as he is enrolled in school which can be proved by a constancia de estudios (a letter written by the school). 

I was a little worried about that since his school is online until I remembered that there is a UVEG branch in town where we could go and ask about it. If he is still studying, he can remain on our Seguro Popular policy until he is 26. If he isn’t he may need to apply for his own policy, which I’m not sure he’d get approved for since he isn’t the head of a household. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The clerk printed out the new policy sheet and we are hunky-dory for three years. Of course, the new president AMLO has been making sweeping changes in the national healthcare sector and they’ve been going along as swimmingly as the changes in gas distribution went in January. Medication shortages in states where the reforms have begun have created an unbelievable healthcare crisis. That means it’s hard to say what the future of Seguro Popular will be and how that will affect us personally. 

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Read more about negotiating the healthcare system in Mexico!

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Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini-Course from Herbal Academy

Free Making Herbal Preparations 101 Course

Every time I treat myself to an herbal course at Herbal Academy I find myself rubbing my hands in glee. My latest experience, Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini-Course, was no exception. I signed up during the free enrollment period in July. This course is scheduled to be re-released next year, so don’t despair if the link above takes you to another page.

I have to admit that herbalism in Mexico is challenging. I can’t just order herbs willy nilly from organic herb stores and have it delivered to my doorstop to brew, decoct or tincture in endless delight. Oh, no. That would be too easy. Instead, I have to painstakingly gather information and positively identify plants, flowers, and trees that I didn’t learn about growing up in the Eastern United States.

So, this drawn-out process in my adopted land has undermined some of my herbal concoction confidence. This is where I appreciated the Herbal Academy’s most recent course.

The course was divided into seven lessons. Each lesson had informative readings, printouts and easy to follow videos making this an excellent course for beginners.

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LESSON 1: EVERYDAY HERBAL PREPARATIONS

This lesson differentiated the different types of herbal preparations. There are water-based, sweet-based, oil-based and alcohol-based preparations. The type of solvent you use depends on the application and plant property need to treat whatever it is you are going to treat with herbs.

LESSON 2: EVERYDAY HERBS

Lesson two stressed the importance of treating herbs as medicine. This means knowing how to prepare the herbs, potential side effects, and the duration an herb can be safely administered. You should also know the health issues and life stage of the person taking the herb and any possible herb-drug interactions. Of course, you should also be cognizant of plants that could become toxic with extended use or those that resemble beneficial herbs.

I was delighted to learn that Western herbalism has a similar categorization process to the Mexican culture which sometimes confounds me. Energetics in herbs is based on temperature (cool or hot), moisture (wet or dry) and tension (relaxed or constricted) which in many ways is identical to the indigenous belief system found where I live. So a person with a dry cough would be given a moistening herb to aid the body in achieving balance.

LESSON 3: WATER-BASED HERBAL PREPARATIONS

Water-based herbal preparation is one that combines herbs and water. It could be a tea, wash, enema, infusion or decoction. A cup of chamomile tea prescribed as a sleep aid is an example of a water-based herbal preparation.

LESSON 4: SWEET-BASED HERBAL PREPARATIONS

Using honey as a base for creating an herbal preparation was the topic of lesson four. After all, a spoonful of sugar (in this case organic honey) helps the medicine go down.

LESSON 5: ALCOHOL-BASED HERBAL PREPARATIONS

Lesson 5 demonstrated the use of alcohol such as vodka, brandy, and gin to create herbal rubs, washes, and tinctures.

LESSON 6: OIL-BASED HERBAL PREPARATIONS

Oils can be used to create herbal infusions meant to be used externally or in cooking. Doesn’t rosemary-infused virgin olive oil sound simply delicious?

LESSON 7: EVERYDAY RECIPES

Lesson 7 provided basic preparation instructions for each of the methods presented in the course plus some delightful recipes including how to make a chickweed poultice, violet honey lemonade, fire cider and more. What a fabulous way to end the class.

Having gone through Herbal Academy’s Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini-Course, I’ve gathered enough confidence to start decocting my own herbal medicine cabinet from locally harvested herbs.

Just so you know, the Herbal Academy is having a Back to School sale with savings up to 25% until September 16. With classes designed for beginners to advanced herbal aficionados, there’s something for everyone!

Herbal Academy Back to School Sale

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Let’s Talk About Health A Minute

Every so often I feature a course or bundle or book that just amazes me. I tend to get so excited about it that sometimes I forget to mention WHY I’m sharing it with you. Therefore, I’m going to take a few minutes of your time and do that now.

One of my main reasons for writing this blog is to chronicle our struggle to create a life lived to the fullest in central Mexico so that others can learn from our mistakes and successes. One of the components of a life well-lived, whether in rural Mexico or any other place, is wellness. To that end, a good number of the featured posts have to do with healthy living. 

Because I sat next to my mother-in-law as she lay dying in a hospital here in Mexico, I became an affiliate of Travel MedEvac Insurance. No one should have to lie alone in a hospital, far from friends and family. I want others to know that there is an alternative available. 

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Because I found myself in a foreign eco-system without even basic plant knowledge, I became an affiliate of the Herbal Academy. I learned so much about how to study plants and herbs and their properties, both beneficial and harmful. Knowing about our local environment is a skill that should not be lost. Our lives depend on it.

Herbal Academy Back to School Sale

Because I couldn’t see which was greatly impairing the quality of my life, I became an affiliate of EyeBuyDirect. Inexpensive eyewear sent even to La Yacata in central Mexico, talk about a game-changer! Plus, for every pair of eyeglasses I buy, I can donate one to someone else in Mexico.

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Because I am committed to learning (and love to read) but find it hard not only to make ends meet but to find books in English on themes I love, I became an affiliate of the Ultimate Bundles. The value that is packed in each bundle, no matter what the topic, is outstanding. Everyone, no matter what their budget, should have access to knowledge.

UHLB2019 Full Bundle

For example, with this latest bundle, the Ultimate Healthy Living bundle, I received 47 eBooks, 33 eCourses, audios, and workshops, 11 printable packs, and workbooks, and 2 summits worth $3236.39 for just $37. I have months of goodies to keep me occupied. And, of course, this subject of healthy living, just like June’s bundle on Herbs and Essential Oils, is near and dear to my heart.
What's inside Herbs & Essential Oils Super BundleSo there you have it! The reason I share these featured posts with you! I have found them to be quality products that can be used to help anyone live their life to the fullest. I hope that you find some of them useful as well.

Que est(Be well)

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Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2019

UHLB2019 Full Bundle

It’s that time of year again! Ultimate Bundles has released a new healthy living bundle and let me tell you, it’s chocked full of useful information. I bought my copy a few weeks ago and have been steadily working my way through the materials a little each week and haven’t even made a dent. There are 47 eBooks, 33 eCourses, audios, and workshops, 11 printable packs and workbooks, and 2 summits., worth $3236.39.

full bundle

Take a look at the topics:

  • Allergy-Friendly
  • Alternative Health
  • Brain & Mental Health
  • Chronic Illness
  • Diet/Detox
  • Exercise
  • Garden & Home
  • Healthy Kids
  • Hormones
  • Lifestyle
  • Nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Sleep

As I mentioned that I haven’t gone through everything just yet, but here are some of my favorites so far.

e-Courses

Seven Secrets to a Healthy Mind was an extremely informational e-course about how to improve your overall wellbeing. Perimenopause and Menopause e-course was exactly what I needed personally to rethink this new phase of my life.

Books and Workbooks

The Wellness Framework is an excellent self-assessment tool to find out where you are and create an action plan to improve the five wellness pillars: nutritian, sleep, movement, mental wellness and support. Ktichen Spices for Whole Body Health makes it so easy to add a few herbs to your diet to improve your overall health. How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery helps you design a plan that best suits your chronic health condition.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is incredible value on its own, but if you purchase it this week, you will ALSO be offered the Herbs and Essential Oils with my book Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico included for only $35 extra! That is $15 off the bundle’s current price AND less than my book alone sells for on Amazon.
What's inside Herbs & Essential Oils Super BundleThis Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle with the Herbs and Essential Oils addition is only available from September 4 to September 9, so don’t wait too long to get yours. Plus, if you order, you can take advantage of these healthy bonus offers!UHLB2019 Style Guide
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Get your bundle now!

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