Over the years, I have observed how others deal with multiple sclerosis and its symptoms. This disorder is not one-size-fits-all, and it doesn’t discriminate.
Recently, I came across a video of ABC News interviewing actress Selma Blair about her multiple sclerosis diagnosis and management. Although the interview happened over a year ago, it has opened my eyes to how aggressive this disease can be, and how Blair fights to maintain her life as an actress.
When Blair was diagnosed with MS in 2018, she had no idea what the disease is. This is a common reaction, as many people have heard of MS but are uncertain of the details. I constantly must explain MS to others, including how it affects my body.
I struggle to explain to some details because it is not a visual disease or something one can see on my body. Blair noted that it is called the “snowflake disease” because it’s different for everyone.
Blair said doctors didn’t take her seriously when she first described her symptoms to them. She said she had to fight to get an MRI because doctors wouldn’t order one for her. Depending on the person and the doctor, diagnoses often are delayed due to the complex nature of the disease and of the testing for it.
In her 2019 interview, Blair described a situation I can relate to: She explained that while taking her son to school a mile away, she’d have to pull over on her way home to take a nap. In my case, my job was only about a half-hour away from my house, but I still would pull over to take a nap to avoid falling asleep while driving. I would never offer rides to friends or go out after work, because my fatigue was so bad.
In the ABC News interview, Blair’s voice sounds broken, like she was struggling to speak. Spasmodic dysphonia is an uncommon voice disorder that causes spasms in the muscles of the larynx or voice box, which can cause the voice to sound different and make it difficult for a person to speak. Watching Blair helps to reveal the many sides and symptoms of MS, ranging from mild to severe.
The video of the interview may be short, but it is informative and gives me hope. Blair is an actress with multiple sclerosis. I find it’s not often we hear from celebrities who have major diseases. Blair shows that this disease can affect anyone.
She is still in Hollywood and continues to pursue her acting career. Multiple sclerosis may be part of her life but she said she won’t let it stop her.
Blair motivates me to keep going and to not let my MS stop me from reaching my goals.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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