A SCOTS mum is set to share her inspiring story of living with multiple sclerosis on a new global radio station.
The US-based MS & Me Radio Network launched this month and Glasgow woman Patricia Gachagan presents a weekly show. She’s the only UK host on the new network which aims to reach people with multiple sclerosis around the world.
The invitation to become a regular on the station came as a result of Patricia’s newly-published first book Born Together, about her life with MS.
“So many people have said they’ve been inspired by it and now this gives me the chance to reach a global audience,” said Patricia, 49.
“My Positively Different MS Show will try to reassure people with MS that while their life may be different, it’s definitely not over.”
Former teacher Patricia will be interviewing many within the field of MS and trying to show how there’s more than one approach to dealing with the chronic disease. Although she does use some medication, she’s aware there can be a lot of negativity surrounding the purely medical approach.
She’s a strong advocate of alternative and complementary therapies, using yoga and maintaining a careful diet herself.
The so-called jigsaw of differing strategies has been key to Patricia turning her own life around.
“I called the book Born Together because the MS happened just as my husband Allan and I had our son Elliot, who’s now 11,” she explains.
“We’d lost a baby to miscarriage so it was so special having him. I have lots of happy memories, but it was also a really fearful time because I had no idea what was happening with the MS.
“There was such a mix of emotions.”
Patricia had been a super-fit gym-goer with no health concerns until the birth. “I had problems right from that day and after a few weeks I was out with the pram when my legs gave way. The pram actually started rolling away from me.
“I lost feeling in my feet and my sister had to help me home and my husband had to help me up the stairs into the house.”
It was thought initially that the problems may have arisen from potential nerve damage as a result of the caesarean section and it took the best part of a year to get the MS diagnosis.
She had to give up the teaching job she’d always loved and felt was a privilege as she simply couldn’t cope.
And she’s had to be aware of the limitations resulting from her condition.
“The biggest problem, apart from the fatigue, is my walking. I’ll look to take a hand when I’m crossing the road to help with my balance,” she adds.
“But I’ve still done all the things I’ve wanted to do as a mum.
“Elliot’s really into his football and I always get to see him play, I just need to make sure to park closer or recce the facilities.
“I’m a really positive person and I want to try to get that over with this new radio show.”