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Meet - Michelle McCartan

North Carolina, USA

When were you diagnosed with MS? 2006

What type of MS do you have? Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)

#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?

Shortly after the birth of my 1st child, I was diagnosed with MS. I had gone out for a run, and my hands got really tingly and itchy. Once I saw my neurologist, I was diagnosed pretty quickly. Because I felt fine at the time, the diagnosis didn’t really hit me hard.

#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?

Everyone with MS experiences a very unique recipe of symptoms and I am loaded up. At present, I rely on a wheelchair for mobility full-time. I also suffer from neuropathy in both my hands and feet. Additionally, I also experience intense fatigue.

#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?

My support begins with my family and friends. It moves into my community. As well as, my social media network too.

#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?

Unfortunately, over the past three years, my disease has progressed too quickly. I went from a cane to a walking bike. Then I moved onto my walker and I am now in a wheelchair full-time.

#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?

I cannot control what has happened to me. However, I do have control over how I react to it. I rely on my support system to keep me positive. Movement and relaxation are my self-care.

#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?

Please remember that you are an experiment of one. You know yourself best and you need to take care of yourself. It will always be challenging, but just remember, you can do hard things too!

#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?

I have not. However, my son is in the initial stages of forming a support source for the children of a parent with MS.

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