When Selma Blair decided to publicly disclose her multiple sclerosis diagnosis nearly a year ago, it wasn’t because she wanted attention.
Actually, it was an effort to prevent bad attention from wagging tongues who noticed her changing behavior. The actress revealed she was worried people would think her MS symptoms — which include difficulty speaking and an inability to fully use her left leg — were because she was drinking too much.
The Cruel Intentions star explained at the Time 100 Health Summit in New York City on Thursday:
“I didn’t want people to think that I was drunk, because I have a history of that. I’m sober and I’m so proud of that. So that’s really the reason. I’d rather someone think, ‘Oh, she’s going to be in a wheelchair,’ rather than that I’m up in the minibar.”
Way to take control of the narrative!
Photo: Selma Posts Sexy Bottomless IG Pic
Speaking on a panel with Dr. Oz and Dr. David Agus called Searching for a Cure: A Patient’s View, the 47-year-old admitted she wished she had asked for an MRI as soon as she started having symptoms nearly a decade earlier.
“Before my son was born I definitely noticed a kind of rapid aging in my 30s, and that was very painful. I just thought I had arthritis. I was very active, horse jumping, and I just thought I pinched a nerve, that was the numbness. I’ve always had a lazy eye. I just thought, ‘well, human bodies are strange.’ ”
But after giving birth to her son Arthur in 2011, Blair became “incapacitated.” She remembered:
“I thought it was postpartum depression, and I went on antidepressants. I had a macrobiotic diet, but it got worse and worse. I did go to the doctor several times and had all my blood levels checked and I was malnourished. But I should’ve just asked for an MRI when I stopped being able to use my leg, and I didn’t. My doctor would see me walking in, dragging my leg and we would laugh about it.”
Once the star was diagnosed last year, two months before she bravely went public about it in October 2018, she mostly felt relief knowing what was actually happening to her body.
“I wasn’t even scared or sad. I made some crocodile tears because that was what you were supposed to do when you got a diagnosis. I was actually relieved to at least feel like I was among you. Other people feel isolated — I felt like, ‘Oh, I have a human disease, I am human.’ ”
Since then, Selma says she found sharing her diagnosis and various health updates — not to mention, her epic appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in February — has helped others battling the disease:
“I see other people who were really so comforted that I used a cane at a glamorous event and I didn’t think about that at all, I just didn’t want to fall. And it means something to them. I’m glad I’m useful!”
Um, more than useful, girl — you’re an inspiration!
While Blair has maintained an overwhelmingly positive outlook since revealing her illness, she admitted on the panel she thought her MS would be easier to handle, explaining:
“I thought would be fleeting, because I do know other actors who have it. My symptoms were kind of flamboyant. I have glitches.”
Blair underwent a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy over the summer.
Recently, she penned a candid Instagram post where she revealed her son “ran away” from her because of how sick she was looking and feeling from her illness — but noted she’s “going to get through this,” writing:
“So glad this is me and not my child. I cannot imagine ever feeling ok again. #roughday. We get through. #realitycheck”
Keep fighting and keep inspiring, momma!
Send her your love and light, Perezcious readers.
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