Selma Blair Reveals the Alarming New Way MS is Taking a Toll on Her Health 11 Months After Diagnosis
Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis nearly one year ago, Selma Blair has been an open book about dealing with her diagnosis. Now, in a new interview with People magazine, Blair, 47, opened up about what it's been like to live with an incurable, chronic disease, and revealed new details in how her condition is progressing—including how she currently can't see out of her right eye.
Blair was initially diagnosed with MS in August 2018—news that, she says, actually lifted a weigh off of her shoulders. "For some people, the diagnosis is hard; for me, it was great," she told People. According to Blair, receiving a specific diagnosis allowed her to "stop a lot of the self-loathing I had for my fatigue and confusion."
But, when Blair consulted the internet to learn more about MS, she came up pretty fruitless: "I remember when I found MS, I couldn't find anything on the internet," she said. "You'd find the worst-case scenario—people totally contorted and atrophied in a wheelchair—or far easier than my case when I couldn't relate."
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Mom! I have arrived! I am on the cover of @people and the Michigan girl in me is smiling way too broadly. This is such an honor to have this magazine and this thoughtful writer @karajwarner , pay a tribute to chronic illness and the people who pave the way to healing and love. This isn’t about how sick I may seem. This is about me as a mom and friend and a person who is growing every day and I hope some of you feel represented. Thank you. #queenforaday or however long this magazine stays on newsstands. ?. Ps. On newsstands. Go buy so you can read the actual cover cause this country western fan cropped off the other news ?♀️
But as Blair's condition progressed, she said the symptoms "hit kind of hard—the speech and vertigo and vision." Blair went in to more detail about exactly what she deals with regarding her symptoms: "I do have gait issues," she said. "My left side is primarily affected but when I get very tired my body gets very similar to cerebral palsy."
Blair also addressed her vocal issues (specifically known as spasmodic dysphonia, a condition that causes involuntary movements in the vocal box or larynx). "My voice is like, you know when you were a child and you cried too much and you couldn't get your breath after? So I'm not in pain, although it's an effort, but it's like a baby that's so distraught that can't get enough air," she said. Blair did say, however, that she can "get it to settle" once in a while if she relaxes enough—or if she yells. "If I yell I can push enough air out so I don't have it."
But Blair also revealed a newer symptom she hasn't talked about before: Vision loss. "My vision's affected," she said. "I don't see out of my right eye right now," which Selma says she disguises by wearing her hair in a deep side part to cover her affected eye.
Overall though, Blair says she takes pride to be one of the faces of people with a chronic or incurable illness—and has been surprised at how supportive people have been. "I was really surprised at how much it meant to people to be willing to talk about it," she said. That's why it's so important to her to continue to be so open about her MS diagnosis. "I wanna say it's okay if you're not someone's version of best, be your version for the day, worry about the rest later."
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