Selma Blair Speaks Publicly for 1st Time About Living With MS
After making a statement on Oscars night with her custom-made cane, the "Legally Blonde" actress said she cried with relief when she finally had a diagnosis for her health problems.
It was more than just a stylish accessory for the "Legally Blonde" actress. Blair has been living with multiple sclerosis and needs the help walking.
Blair's arrival at the famed Oscars party was her first public appearance since revealing her diagnosis in a candid Instagram post in October, writing, "I am disabled. ... I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others."
I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. 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. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member... thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. 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 I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. 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. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. 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. And I am relieved to at least know. And share. ? my instagram family... you know who you are.
Blair opened up Tuesday in her first public interview since announcing her health struggles, speaking to Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" in the middle of an MS flare-up that affected her voice.
“I am doing very well,” she said slowly. “I am very happy to see you. Being able to just put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis is like. So my speech, I have spasmodic dysphonia right now. … It is interesting to be here to say this is what my particular case looks like right now.”
When she posted on Instagram in October, Blair said she had been experiencing symptoms of MS for a long time, that she "probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least." She told Roberts that she "cried with relief" when she finally got a diagnosis for her health issues.
“I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control and there was some relief in that," she said.
MS "is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body," according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The cause is still unknown.
The disease can lead to "overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation and difficulties with mobility." Blair said she experienced some of these symptoms, telling Roberts, “I dropped my son off at school a mile away and before I got home I’d have to pull over and take a nap." In her October post, she wrote, "I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps."
After battling her disease in private, Blair finally brought her fight into the spotlight at the Vanity Fair Oscars party — and broke down in tears on the carpet. Photos showed Blair standing proudly with her cane and also wiping away tears from her eyes.
"This was a streak of light. To say I am here. I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness. I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though," Blair wrote on Instagram.
She also thanked her manager, who offered her a hand and helped her down the carpet.
"Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could. Thank you, Troy. We got me just where I wanted to be. For a night. "
There are moments that define us. This is one of those indelibly watermarked in my heart. This is #troynankin ; my former publicist turned manager , best friend , and fake husband. We joke. I have become a different woman in the last few years, through struggles and the intense pride of motherhood. @vanityfair has always been a champion of mine, like Troy. And yet, I have not fully realized my capabilities as an actress. I wanted to be at this red carpet to remember my first time attending with a not yet famous friend, @jakegyllenhaal . I believed in him and his career and wanted him there. And this dinner always symbolizes so much. And I kept going because it was always a night in hollywood that was full of hollywood dreams with all the talent present in their glory. I loved to watch. I was invited this year. I am featured in March issue . Thank you @radhikajones @kristasmith @samiranasr #juliemiller @cassblackbird . So this was a streak of light. To say I am here. I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness. I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though. I can regain much. Mommas gotta work. And I will be able to do so much more on my own, But this man. Until that comes ...This man and a host of others light the way and hold the moon @thetexastroya was a hero. Wanting me to shine brightly in a time that can be so challenging. He knew I wanted to be able to stand proudly as the woman I have become and hope to be. To be a part of something so special when my body won’t move clearly yet. And then I felt the love from the photographers who have watched me goof around on red carpets since I was in my twenties. I felt the warmth of the bulbs. The strength of my gown. His attentive touch. And still I hoped my brain could send signals for the remainder of my time there. And I sobbed. And I appreciated every single second. Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could. Thank you Troy. We got me just where I wanted to be. For a night. And I later pushed my way into a family photo with @dianaross (omg) . So much to post but not before this one. True love. Right here. Forever.
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