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Valerie Paxton

Valerie Paxton is a co-founder of AllegroMedical.com and lives in Phoenix, AZ. In 1997 she set out with her business partner, Craig Hood to form Allegro Medical - a company dedicated to helping people lead more independent and healthy lives. They poured their knowledge and experience into AllegroMedical.com and now have more than 1 million customers nationwide. Valerie has a degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska and has spent most of her career in communications, marketing, PR, and investor relations. She enjoys giving advice, mentoring, volunteering, writing, reading, cooking, telling funny stories, healthy eating, her cocker spaniel Honey, her boyfriend Todd, hiking, kayaking, jokes and world travel. Follow Valerie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vpaxton

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
my life.

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.

Our extensive list of diagnostic and evaluation products includes tools for home and professional use.
Strength, muscle and range of motion testing
Diagnostic tools and measuring devices
Assessment tools
Vital signs equipment

Strength, muscle and range of motion testing

Measure range of motion, posture, physical angles and curvature accurately with a goniometer or inclinometer from Allegro. To test strength, and for rehab evaluation see our manual muscle testers, hand squeeze dynamometers, pinch gauges and other muscle strength electronics from only the highest quality brands.

Diagnostic tools and measuring devices

Test and track your body fat anytime, in the privacy of your own home with a body fat analyzer. Or, track your fitness goals with a pedometer. You will always know your heart rate when exercising, and can track distance, pace and calories burned- better than any personal trainer.

Allegro has dozens of scales for home or office, including mechanical and digital bathroom-style, physicians’ scales, scales for weighing babies, and high capacity and wheelchair scales, all at the best prices anywhere.

Get fast and accurate measurement of edema for arms, legs, feet or hands with a volumeter.

Physicians, assess patients’ hearing and vibratory sensation with a set of tuning forks. Doctors (and Dr. Moms), detect ear infections or eardrum abnormalities with an otoscope.

Assessment tools

Test children of all ages for development and proficiency. Our motor proficiency tests use balance, coordination, strength, motor control, and more in fun, challenging, game-like tasks. Tests gross and fine motor development. Or, test dexterity, cognition, perception and manipulative ability for developing or injured patients with our assessment tests.
Assess functional performance of psychiatric, brain-injured, geriatric, or developmentally disabled patients with the BaFPE (Bay Area Functional Performance Evaluation) test.

Allegro has reference books for physicians, such as a Stedman’s Concise Medical Dictionary, Quick Reference to Occupational Therapy and more.

We have a wide array of timers and stopwatches for the countertop or the wrist. Time anything, anywhere, anytime…on time!

Allegro has eye charts for vision testing from a variety of distances, and for all ages and levels of patients. Test your eyesight and track your vision at home, anytime.

Looking for medical models? Life-size anatomical columns of the skeleton, including foot, leg, spine and shoulder are perfect for your office. Use our anatomical charts for teaching and informing patients or students the human muscular system, knee and more. Color charts show skeletal, ligament and muscle anatomy with anterior and posterior views.

Vital signs equipment

Allegro has everything you need to check vital signs. Check temperature in the ear, quickly and accurately, or the old-fashioned way, orally with our selection of thermometers and thermometer supplies. Medical pros, find your new stethoscope here, at a great price. While you’re at it, you may as well stock up on tongue depressors and pen lights for the office.

Watching your blood pressure? We have blood pressure monitors perfect for home or professional use, including fully automatic monitors with digital readout and memory of the previous reading, and manual or automatic inflate.

Check pulse during exercise or anytime with an oximeter. Heart rate is read with finger pulse or chest strap with wrist monitor for fitness testing. With the latest in oximeter technology you can record up to ten hours of information for later analysis, or download the information directly to your computer!

If you are watching or lowering your cholesterol, check it on a regular basis at home, quickly and easily with a cholesterol home test kit. It is even FDA approved!

We have many products for men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence. Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. It can also include erections becoming weaker or less rigid on a regular basis. ED is common with those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, prostate cancer and other health problems.

Non-invasive Erection Aids, such as vacuum devices powered by a pump or battery, can assist with ED and premature ejaculation issues.
Regular use of a Vacuum Device may help open and clear penile arteries and possibly restore them to their natural elasticity, allowing more blood flow to the penis. This results in more rigid erections.
Vacuum devices are completely external. The vacuum action increases the blood flow to the penis resulting in a rigid erection. A soft comfortable ring is then placed at the base of the penis to hold the erection longer. Our erection aids include instruction manuals and even 800 number assistance lines to ensure proper use of the products. These systems have proven effective in 9 out of 10 impotent men, with no surgery, no side effects, and are often covered by Medicare and insurance companies.
Take a look, and see how erection aids can improve your sex life, and help bring intimacy back to your relationship.