My name is Lisa Hood. In 1992, at only 19 years old, I was diagnosed
with Relapsing Remitting MS. At the time of my diagnosis, a breakthrough
treatment, Betaseron, was being introduced to the medical community.
Betaseron was only available to those suffering from a more chronic,
debilitating form of MS, and even they could only get it by entering a
lottery. Now I’m 34 years old and there are at least five different
medications used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. I tried most of them, not
because I had to, but because I wanted to! You see I have MS, it does
not have me! Since I was first diagnosed, I decided to take control of
After an MRI of my brain showed scarring on both sides of my frontal
lobe, I was relieved to have an answer: MS is causing the paralysis to
the entire right side of my body. Just as quickly as walking became a
pastime, within a few months I was running. No longer dependent on a
wheelchair but graduating to a walker . . . cane . . .then poof!! I was
walking, dancing, and playing tennis as if nothing had ever happened. It
seemed as if in a flash, I went from being able bodied to paralyzed and
back again and I wasn’t the only one who thought “that’s weird, right?”
I like to call it part of the “Wonderful and Strange” things associated
with this disorder.
For seven years I did not need or want treatment. I would relapse every
once in a while, in a different form; numbness from the waist down,
numbness in my feet or switch it up and the left side of my body was
numb for months at a time. It’s more of an annoyance but, the “Doctors”
called them exacerbations, episodes or flare-ups. Hey, they like giving
things names and that’s okay by me. I have tried different forms of
treatment; Avonex (3 years) and Rebif (3 years). I also changed my
neurologist and for the past 2 years have been feeling better than ever.
Currently, I am taking Copaxone injections daily along with some
medications and really trying to get a workout regime nailed down. I
have my trusty “shower chair” so as to avoid any falling while wet!
In January 2006, my neurologist said, “Lets try something different.
You’re tired and I don’t think there is now or ever will be that pill
that is going to give you the energy you need.” I told her to “Bring it
on!”. I’m always up for a new adventure. Now, this is important, I trust
this woman implicitly with my health. She is more up to date on current
MS treatments than I am and she has only my best interests at heart. No
hidden agenda. She works for me. She is my doctor. Refreshing, isn’t it?
It feels that way to me and I am so thankful she is in my life. So, this
new treatment is low dose Cytoxin and Messna. Chemotherapy! And it has
helped. I only do it every 4 weeks for about 3 months but I have more
energy and feel great.
MS is a different journey for each individual, I try to enjoy mine and
go with the ebb and flow as best I can. I’m also not in this alone and
that is truly a blessing to me. I’m grateful and humbled by everything
my loved ones do for me and with me. I enjoy life. My take on everything
is to have a positive outlook. It sure takes away the stress when you
start with yourself first, then clean house by getting away from
negative influences. Kick the negativity to the curb and let the street
sweeper suck it up and out of your life. I am very fortunate to have the
amazing family and friends that I have. They are super supportive of who
I am. I also have incredible doctors, I ask tons of questions and follow
their recommendations as best as I can. It is very important to remember
the doctor you choose can be changed. He or she works for you, not the
other way around. Ask questions, I can’t emphasize this enough!
Having a fabulous DME like Allegro Medical has helped in meeting my always changing needs for things like shower chairs, grab bars, yoga equipment, (mats, medicine balls, light weights), ice packs (shoulder holder), walking aids and much more.