Hey there! I'm Alissa.
I am the founder of LissMS, a resource for how to Holistically Heal MS.
I started LissMS originally as a personal blog way back when after being diagnosed with MS (read about that here), but now it has expanded to so much more.
I work with people who have been diagnosed with MS and are ready for a change in their current state of well being. Check out my Work With Me page to see how we can connect.
I utilize a holistic approach in my work and help my clients end the revolving cycle of frustrating symptoms, so that they can feel in control of their lives again. I work with them to create their own individual plan of health and healing. I use small, sustainable steps in each plan I create and I also help them to unblock mental resistance and/or challenges to healing they may have.
I am a Nutritional Therapy Consultant (NTC), AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) Certified Coach, Certified Personal Trainer and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, licensed in the state of Massachusetts.
When I am not working with clients, I can be found at the beach with my husband, traveling to new places and spending as much time as possible outside. In August of 2015 I got married to the most (insert mushy gushy stuff here) man, and I’m lucky to have him.
1. I am a huge, HUGE Star Wars geek.
2. I do eat a pretty strict paleo diet- AIP- (it helps with MS), but that doesn’t mean you have to.
3. My favorite foods are coffee and chocolate, both of which I took some time off from, but have re-introduced back into my diet successfully!
If you want to learn more about what I do, send me a message in the ‘Work with me’ section, or sign up for my newsletter here! Thanks for visiting and I look forward to working with you!
My MS Story
I guess I will start at the beginning, it is a good place to start afterall.
The First 3 Months
Technically my first symptom of MS was Lhermitte's sign, but I didn't know what that feeling was at the time.
I actually thought it was related to back surgery I had the year before. I even made an appointment to see my neurosurgeon who had worked on my back.
But shortly after, I began having blurry vision, optic neuritis. Per my usual, I waited several weeks before going to the eye dr.
He saw nothing in the exam. However I am guessing based on my description of the problem, he decided to send me for an MRI.
When the results came back, he reassuringly stated I did not have a brain tumor, but needed to see a neurologist immediately. Lovely.
Off I went to a neurologist, who ordered more MRI's and more tests including an evoked potentials test and a lumbar puncture.
Remember the back surgery I mentioned? That made the lumbar puncture tricky. It took 45 minutes, of inserting and re-inserting the needle because the scar tissue kept redirecting the needle once inside my back.
Yeah, that hurt.
Oh, and there’s a vicious headache you can get if your spinal cord doesn’t clot correctly.
Obviously got that.
I had to go back to the hospital several days later because I was leaking spinal fluid.
It was miserable, to say the least.
I would eventually learn I had lesions in my brain and on my spinal cord. So all in all, MS was the eventual diagnosis.
Life After Diagnosis
Since my diagnosis I have had yearly MRI's - some good, some not so good - and three relapses. I have experienced mostly sensory symptoms during the relapses, numbness, tingling, burning etc.
During the first relapse, I woke up and I couldn't feel my entire right side. Yeah that was fun.
I currently have most of the feeling back, but it comes and goes. There are times I struggle with ongoing numbness and tingling in my legs as well.
The other major symptoms I deal with are cognitive symptoms. These seem to cause the most trouble in my day to day life.
I struggle with 'Cog Fog' (love this term, probably because it rhymes), memory issues, tongue tied-ness and word finding issues. These all seem to crop up at the worst times (think super important meetings where my mind goes blank, not helpful!) but I've learned to just roll with it (still a work in progress sometimes).
The more anxious I get about what I sound like or what people may be thinking about me (but probably aren't), the worse the symptoms get.
The best thing I've learned so far is to take this MS life one day at a time.