Sandy Drew, an Allenstown resident, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1991. She worked as a RN at Concord Hospital until 1990; she then took a less demanding job at a doctor's office and finally retired from nursing in 2001 after a 27 year career.
As a nurse, Sandy said she often saw patients benefit from alternative treatments. "I don't think traditional medicine always has the answers," she explained.
MS is a condition in which the body's immune system attacks the Central Nervous System, causing permanent nerve damage which interferes with signals being sent throughout the body. The disease does not significantly reduce life expectancy, but it can dramatically decrease a patient's quality of life. There is no cure for MS; treatments are designed to prevent further attacks and help patients manage the disease.
Sandy has used standard MS treatments, but she experienced intolerable side-effects. One drug caused her to experience flu-like symptoms, and two anti-spasmodic drugs caused her to have nightmares. She says marijuana effectively reduces her muscle spasms; it also allows her to get a good night's sleep, which is critical for patients coping with serious illnesses.