Greetings, I’m Michelle Carston!

If you’re reading this, you are either a friend of mine, you saw my documentary on TLC/Discovery Health Channel called, “Paralyzed and Pregnant”, or you simply stumbled upon my blog.  Whatever the reason, I am thrilled to have you read along on my journey, as I tell the world what is happening in my day-to-day life as a disabled 40 year old mother of an extremely bright 4-yearold son named, Pierce.  It is sure to be an adventure, and quite different from the way most people live their lives.

I am beginning this blogging experience on a hot and humid Spring day in mid May, lying in bed on my side, where I do all of my computer work from.  You see, I have been a quadriplegic since a 1993 diving injury at age 23, which I survived with limited use of my arms and hands, but no voluntary movement below my chest.  Since I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of having a child ofmy own.  As an adoptee, I have always found biological connections fascinating, and finally, despite complications from my pregnancy making me more disabled, I have the child I had always wanted.  His name is Pierce, and he turned 4 in October of 2009.  He goes to Pre-K each day, which allows me to shower and take care of a few things each morning before he arrives home.  After that, it’s time to play, eat lunch, take a nap, a bath, and play anywhere in between.  He is a typical, healthy and hyper child, who is usually looking for something fun to get into. 

We have an update to our original documentary airing this Sunday, which I have been waiting six months to see.  By law, I am not allowed to see it until the rest of the world does, too.  The new show, Paralyzed and Pregnnt: 4 Years Later, celebrates Pierce turning 4, as well as me turning 40 the following month.  It also discusses my current divorce, which I am struggling to cope with, and the health issues which keep me bed ridden most of the day.  I am extremely nervous about this show airing because there are a lot of negative things that are happening in my life right now.  The first show was nothing but joyous, detailing my wonderful marriage, and the birth of my son.  I am uncertain about how the world will perceive these new issues, and even what my soon-to-be ex-husband said while being filmed.  In just two short days, all of my issues will be out in the open, available for anyone and everyone in the world to judge.  However, as good or as bad as things may be, this is my life and my reality.  My job is to be a strong and positive role  (roll) model for Pierce, so I refuse to focus on any negative outside sources.  My daily focus is on him, and teaching him everything that I can before my time here is through, so that he can survive in the world without me one day. 

Pierce is waking up from his nap, so I must close for now.  I’ll be back soon, because I have a lot to share!

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25 Comments »

  1. kirsty smithies Said:

    As a mother of three, I just have to say what a wonderful inspiration you are. You have an intelligent, polite and beautiful son who is a credit to your determination and wonderful parenting abilities!

    You continue your daily battle against medical fragility, whilst offering a loving and stable environment for Pierce.

    I can never imagine how hard it must be for you to live your life with such restrictions, but you continue to remain positive and strong.

    I thank you so much for sharing your life with the world and I believe strongly that you have blown many stereotypes of disability out of the water.

    Keep your chin up, keep smiling, show the world and continue to shower your son with your love.

    P.S. The permanent make up looks like a fantastic idea, a timesaver for all us women!

    x

    • Kirsty, thank you SO much for the wonderful comments and compliments! Pierce is an absolute doll, and I am lucky to have him! He brightens my world and gives me the inspiration to keep fighting. I’ve been working very hard on sitting back upright with the help of physical therapists and it is working. I’ll be back up full-time here soon, and will show him the world. I can’t wait!

      Thanks for taking the time to find me and write such nice things!

      Take care,
      Michelle

  2. jen Said:

    Hi Michelle!
    You are such an inspiration! You teach us able bodied people a lot about courage, perseverance and positivism. Thank you!

    • Jen, thank you very much for your kind note. I really appreciate it!

      Best Wishes,
      Michelle

  3. hopefusco Said:

    Hi Michelle! Just watched the second show! It was fantastic! Your an inspiration to all of us and a wonderful mother!

  4. laura Said:

    You inspire me when I think I’m having a rough day. My son just turned one this past June

    • Thank you very much, Laura. I really appreciate hearing that! Enjoy your litle guy every moment, because soon you’ll be where I am – with a little boy in kindergarten while you’re wondering where the time went! Children are the most precious gifts in the world. Just make sure you enjoy “the present” and try not to focus too hard on things that are out of your control. Thanks for taking time to find me and let me know how you felt!

      Michelle

  5. Janice Taylor Said:

    Dear Michelle, words failed me after watching your documentary. To wish you health and happiness is an understatment. The documentary has aired here in Australia only two years behind. Your gorgeous son Pierce is now six. I truely hope that you are still hanging in there and that life’s been kinder to you then it was two years ago. Love and best wishes to you and Pierce… Jan Taylor Australia xx

    • Hi Janice! Thank you SO much for your kind words. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support and encouragement. Life has been kinder to me in the past two years, as I am now able to sit upright without passing out. It has made a huge difference in not only my quality of life, but Pierce’s, too. I bought us annual passes to Sea World, a theme park here in Orlando, and we go and enjoy my restored mobility on a regular basis. You’re right, Pierce just turned 6 in late October, and he is the shining light of my life. He is worth every struggle I have ever encountered, and has given me a purpose to thrive. Thank you again for your kindness! Best wishes to you and your family! ~ Michelle

      • Berta Said:

        Good for you ! How are things now for you?
        Berta

      • Hi Berta! Things are going very well. Thanks for asking. I’m in good health, and so is Pierce. I’m able to be upright with no more fainting spells. The only thing missing now is a great man in my life. I’m on some dating websites to help make it easier for the love of my life to find me. Best wishes to you and your family!

  6. Dave Said:

    You are gorgeous would love to chat with you….

    • Thank you. I like the way you think! :O)

      • Dave Said:

        Thank you,i love the makeup you had tattooed on….but you looked beautiful without any makeup….hope to hear from you beautiful….Dave…xoxoxoxo

  7. Thank you very much for your kind words! I truly appreciate them and agree that our children are the biggest blessings in our lives!! Take care and enjoy your children!

    Michelle

  8. Shannon, thank you so much for your comments and telling me about your family. I really appreciate hearing that my story gives you inspiration when you feel you’re having a tough day. We all have different struggles in our lives, but our children are worth it! Keep smiling and know that I appreciate your kindness!

    Kindly,
    Michelle

  9. Ashley,

    Wow, I cannot tell you how totally honored I am that you would actually name your little boy Pierce to honor us. That makes me so happy that I want to cry happy tears! Thank you very much for such kind words. I hope you and your husband do have another child, because that child would be lucky to have a mom as loving as you. Take care, and thanks for finding me!

    Love,
    Michelle

  10. Thank you very much!

  11. Thank you, Daisy, for your encourging words! I took a while to reply, but wanted to let you know that I did read what you wrote. I really appreciate it, and will remember your words when things in life get tough!

    Kindly,
    Michelle

  12. Thank you, Jose. I will keep on living for my son, because he deserves it!

  13. Hi Jose! As you see, I haven’t visited this website in far too long, but I wanted to thank you for your kind words. I will never give up! My little boy needs me! Thank you again. ~Michelle

  14. Randi, I apologize for my delayed reply, but wanted you to know that I appreciate your very nice letter. I agree that it is most difficult to be screaming to try to gain the attention of the medical community when something is wrong, and you have no other answers. It is a very frightening, lonely, and desperate feeling! I applaud YOU for fighting your fight, and making it your mission to wake up these doctors! You will remain in my thoughts and prayers! I’m pulling for you!!

    Kindly,
    Michelle

  15. Hi Maria! Sorry for taking several months to reply, but I just want to let you know that I really appreciate your wonderful compliments, and encouraging letter! The divorce has been final for a while now, and I’m really trying my hardest to be friendly with my ex. The divorce was harder on me than anything I’ve ever experienced, but I am moving on! I am determined to somehow get my book written, and will let you know when it’s done. It would be easy if I knew what I was doing, ha ha!

    Thank you again for taking the time to let me know how you feel. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

    Kindly,
    Michelle

  16. Thank you for your nice letter, Amanda! I appreciate it very much, and wish the best to you and your family!

    Kindly,
    Michelle

  17. Hi Emma, I apologize for my delayed response. I really appreciate your compliments and kind words of optimism! I believe that optimism is in my genetic makeup, therefore, Pierce will be optimistic by default, too! :)

    The updated show will air again on Monday, April 18th at 10:00 AM EST on TLC. I hope you get the chance to see it, if you haven’t already!

    Thanks again for your kindness,
    Michelle


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