Christina Applegate has opened up about life after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, explaining that she has seen a 40lb weight gain and now struggles to walk without the support of a cane.
The Bad mothers The actor, 50, originally shared news of his diagnosis in August 2021 via Twitter, but has now reflected on the difficulties the condition caused her while filming the final season of her Netflix show, Death to me.
The NHS says the lifelong condition, also known as MS, can affect the brain and spinal cord and cause a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
In a new interview, Applegate revealed how production on the new season was paused for five months following her diagnosis, and she went on to share some of the effects her illness caused when filming resumed.
“This is the first time anyone will see me as I am,” she told The New York Times. “I put on 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I’m very aware of all that.”
The Don’t tell mom the babysitter is dead The star also revealed how she wished she had “paid more attention” to the signs she might have the condition in the years leading up to her official diagnosis, including tingling and numbness in her extremities.
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Speaking about the period while production was halted, Applegate says it provided an opportunity for her to come to terms with her diagnosis.
“I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me,” she explains. “So I needed that time.
“Even though it’s not like I came out the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine,'” she added. “Acceptance? No. I will never accept this.”
Although there was some discussion about whether production would continue, the star was determined to complete the series, which stars Applegate and Linda Cardellini as two grieving women who bond during therapy.
“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop.’ We don’t need to end it. Let’s put some episodes together.’ I said no. We will do it, but we will do it on my terms,” she explains.
The actress began using a wheelchair to get on stage, and in some scenes her friend Mitch B Cohn – the show’s sound engineer – held up her legs.
And when she didn’t feel like it, she took time off.
While her illness may not be immediately apparent on screen, Applegate says she expects some fans can’t “get past” how different she may look.
“If people hate it, if people love it, if all they can concentrate on is, ‘Oh, look at the cripple,’ that’s not up to me,” she said. “I’m sure people will be, like, ‘I can’t get past that.’
“Okay, don’t go past it then,” she continued. “But hopefully people Can move past it and just enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls.”
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What is Multiple Sclerosis?
(MS) is a lifelong autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord and causes a wide range of symptoms that vary from person to person.
Depending on the severity, MS can be debilitating, leading to problems with vision, balance and movement.
The MS Society estimates that there are over 130,000 people with MS in the UK, and that almost 7,000 people are newly diagnosed each year.
Although it is most often diagnosed in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, it can develop at any age and is more common in women than men.
In addition to Christina Applegate, other celebrities living with the condition include Jack Osbourne and Selma Blair, who was diagnosed in August 2018.
Symptoms of MS
The symptoms of MS vary widely for each sufferer and can affect any part of the body.
The main symptoms include:
– difficulty walking
– vision problems, such as blurred vision
– problems controlling the bladder
– numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
– muscle stiffness and spasms
– problems with balance and coordination
– problems with thinking, learning and planning
If you are concerned that you may have signs of MS, you should see your doctor.
However, it is important to remember that the symptoms often have many other causes, so they are not necessarily a sign of MS.
If your doctor suspects that you may have MS, you will be referred to a specialist in conditions of the nervous system (a neurologist).
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Treatment of MS
Although there is no cure for the condition, MS can be treated and managed with various treatments.
Treatment may include:
– treatment of relapses with short courses of steroid medication to speed up recovery
– specific treatments for individual MS symptoms
– treatment to reduce the number of relapses with medicines called disease-modifying therapies
For more help and information
There are two main MS charities in the UK:
– The MS community
– MS Trust
There is also the website shift.ms, an online community for younger people affected by MS.
Death to me returns to Netflix on November 17.
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