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Saying Hi from Korea

Hi, my name is Herim and I am 24 years old. I am Korean and I currently reside in Seoul, South Korea.

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2008 when I was a senior in high school. My parents and I thought I wouldn't be able to go to college with my conditions. However, I graduated undergrad in 4 years and I am now in graduate school studying English Education.

I've been living with UC for almost 6 years now. At first, I went to the ER a lot and I've been hospitalized about 3 times within 2 years. I was really depressed at first because I felt like my life was taken away. While my friends were out having fun I was at the hospital or at home. I didn't even feel motivated to try to get healthier. I felt like there was no hope for me. As time passed by I learned to live with UC. But from time to time, I still get really depressed when I think of the limitations I face because of UC.

At times, I feel like nobody understand me and I feel like I'm on a deserted island all by myself. My family is very supportive but sometimes even they don't understand me. I recently found this forum and I've read some of the experiences other people have had. I'm really glad I found this forum. Now I don't really feel like I'm alone anymore.

I tried a lot of medication like immunosuppressant( I think that's what they are called) and steroids. Most of the medication didn't work and my doctor suggested I get remicade infusion. I started using remicade in early 2013. It has been working great for me. I also take 3 pills of asacol per meal. So far, my health is at its best.

I am currently trying to get ready to apply for a PhD program in the states, but my medications is preventing me from it. I need to get remicade infusion every 2 months and the insurance and the bills are not looking good for me. I'm still researching for insurance that will cover for my medication but still no good sign. If any of you know of how non-US citizens can receive remicade infusion in the states or even just insurance in the states, I would really appreciate some advice.


Well-known member
Welcome to the forum.It's very good news that you have found meds.that are working for you.There will be someone along soon that will be able to advise you about meds in the USA etc.I just wanted to welcome you,We do have a young adults thread,so you will find there are many in your age group who have been through a similar situation to chat to.Best wishes for your future.
I don't know specifically about insurance that will cover Remicade but I do know that students can buy insurance plans from their university. I also know that some people have insurance plans from foreign countries that travel with them. I have a friend who is a visitor from Korea - her husband is at our local university. I will ask her what she knows about insurance.
Hi Herim and welcome to the forums. I'm glad to hear your condition is under control right now and remicade is working. I think we all can relate to how isolating and depressing IBD can be at times and it's good to have people to talk to who know what it's like.

As for insurance, I believe that foreign students enrolled in a US school can qualify for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (obamacare). Or maybe through your university as well.
badbelly: thank you. i really feel like i'm not alone anymore. i will check out more about insurance through the university thanks :)
My friend reports that the best insurance is through a university. My friend knows some people who have insurance from Korea but it doesn't sound great because they need to pay first and then get reimbursed and the coverage sounds limited. Best wishes.
Hi Herim, maybe you could help me. I'm moving to Korea from the UK in the next few weeks and I have Crohn's disease. I'm very nervous about moving to a foreign country with a chronic condition (and I am currently flaring). Could you possibly advise me on the gastroenterologists there and perhaps recommend a good one. Obviously English speaking is a must as I have yet to learn Korean! Thanks.
Hi, Nomad2000. I just saw your reply. Which part of Korea will you be movong to?? I live in Seoul so the doctors I know are all here. My doctor is one of the best in Korea but he doesn't speak English. But the hospital I go to provides English service. If you are going to come here you won't be able to find many doctors that speak English fluently
Hi guys, do you know of any IBD/Crohn's/ulcerative colitis support groups in Seoul or Korea? It seems like it'd be really helpful as a way to share tips, the latest research, and the unique challenges and experiences living with IBD entails with others going through the same thing. It's how I found out about microbiome transplants/fecal transplants and got "cured"(as cured as you can get according to my doctor).