Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

#GODSHOTS
Tuesday, October 4, 2022 by Linda Wood Rondeau

Lisa is my daughter’s best friend, and I consider her my “other daughter.” The two have been best friends since Youth for Christ Days, Houghton College Days, and throughout the years. According to my daughter (left), Lisa (right) is a “true friend.” When she posted this testimony on FB, I asked if I could share her words on my blog, and she graciously agreed. May you find the strength to trust God through whatever trial may come your way, as Lisa has done. 

Note: International Ataxia Awareness Day was on September 25, 2022.

#GOD SHOTS

By Lisa Pratt

Lisa’s #Godshots testimony)

Today is International Ataxia Awareness Day. You may wonder what ataxia is. Until last November, I didn’t have an idea about ataxia either. It has been less than a year since I was diagnosed with spinocerebellar ataxia. In the last 12 months, God has been so good to me so here is my testimony (my #GODSHOTS).

Spinocerebellar Ataxia 2 (SCA2) is my diagnosis. It is estimated that in the U.S., only about 50,000 people have SCA2. It is hereditary (I most likely inherited it from my dad) and many of the symptoms of SCA2 mimic those of being drunk, such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. 

Since SCA2 is genetic, I have always had it. But my journey toward discovering a diagnosis started in October 2021 when I visited a hearing doctor thinking that my balance issues may be caused by vestibular issues. After going through many tests and passing them all, she recommended seeing a neurologist. After calling a neurologist to make an appointment, I was told that the waiting list to see the doctor would be about 6 months. That led me to call another doctor (Dr. Cho) who said she could see me that same week. 

On the first visit, she had an idea of what my problem might be. She sent me to get two MRIs. Just one month after my visit to the hearing doctor, I received the diagnosis of spinocerebellar degeneration from Dr. Cho. I feel like it was God’s will that I see Dr. Cho because SCA2 is so rare, and she figured it out. #GODSHOT!

Dr. Cho referred me to the Johns Hopkins Ataxia Center (I am told it is one of the best facilities to treat ataxia in the country). Johns Hopkins (JH) is relatively close, and I am very familiar with it (I have been there a lot with my dad). I am so thankful to be able to seek care there. #GODSHOT!

I was having no success with getting into the Ataxia Center at JH and mentioned it to a high school friend, Rob. He put me in touch with a friend of his (Ken) who is Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services Outreach at JH. He helped me get into the Ataxia Center. As it turns out, he is the supervisor of my physical therapist. #GODSHOT!

In addition to having some difficulty with balance, I sometimes notice issues with speech and swallowing. I also have a lot of muscle stiffness. There is no cure for SCA2, but I see a physical therapist who specializes in the disease. I also do physical therapy 5 times a week as well as other exercises, including walking, stretching, core exercises, and squats (to keep my legs strong). Eventually, I will walk with a cane and probably a walker. But I’m working hard to maintain the mobility that I still have.

God has been so good to me. I am blessed with a wonderful husband, other family members, friends, and co-workers. ( #GODSHOTS!) I am still able to do so much and for that I am thankful.

 LISA PRATT’S FACEBOOK QUOTE:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Right: Lisa Mattoon Pratt

 

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