You may know her from movies like Legally Blonde, Cruel Intentions, and Hellboy – but now Hollywood star Selma Blair has a new role she’s tackling: multiple sclerosis advocate.
Just this weekend, Selma announced her MS diagnosis via an emotional Instagram post.
“I have #multiplesclerosis. I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix, I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that affects the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. A person’s immune system attacks the protective covering of nerve cells known as the myelin sheath. In advanced cases, the nerves can be permanently damaged by the immune system’s attacks.
All parts of the body may be affected; in particular, muscles in the extremities and the eyes are most commonly involved. Symptoms of MS present in a wide variety of ways. The first symptoms usually appear between the ages of 20 and 40. MS may cause weakness, numbness, loss of coordination, and balance. Problems with speech, vision, and bladder control are also hallmarks of the disease.
“I have MS and I am ok”
Selma’s announcements really hits on a lot of things that are worth emphasizing.
She talks about the common symptoms and experiences anyone with MS can relate to, in a humorous and candid way:
“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. But we are doing it.”
“It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep.”
“But if you see me , dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone.”
I’m sure these words ring very familiar to many of us in the MS community!
Selma goes on to share that she suspects she’s had MS for years, but never had it checked out.
“I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least.”
So this is a good opportunity to remind anyone who is feeling something in their body but might be too afraid to see a doctor about it; don’t be! Always listen to your body and see a doctor if you begin to feel something isn’t right.
And thank you, Selma Blair, for sharing your diagnosis with the world and bringing attention to not just MS but all rare diseases; by being a celebrity and sharing her diagnosis, she’s now a living example that she can be and is more than her disease.