Living With MS
- Christina Applegate, first known for her role as Kelly Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children, has admitted to prioritizing her time differently and spending more time with her daughter amid her battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that causes nerve damage.
- Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary greatly from person to person; Some common symptoms to look out for include blurred or double vision, slurred speech, and numbness and weakness in your limbs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- There are 400,000 people suffering from MS in the United States, according to scientific research. In Don’t Stop Me Now, SurvivorNetTV features the story of one incredible woman who, like Applegate, learns to overcome her own hardships, and inspires countless people along the way.
The brave 50-year-old actress, first known for her role as Kelly Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children, revealed in the spring of 2021 her diagnosis, which is an auto-immune disease that causes nerve damage in the brain and spinal cord.Read More
“This day means more to me than you could possibly imagine. … I don’t say I have friends, I have family. These people take care of me every day of my life, and without them I don’t know what I would do,” Applegate said, before addressing her daughter.
“The most important person in this world is my daughter. You are so much more than even you know. You are so beautiful and kind and smart and interesting. I’m blessed every day that I get to wake up and take you to school…thank you for standing by me through all of this,” she added, according to Variety.
Also at the event was Martyn LeNoble, Applegate’s devoted husband, who was seen drying his wife’s tears at the event.
The ceremony was the first time Applegate was seen after gaining 40lbs due to limited mobility.
She told The New York Times earlier this month, “This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am. I put on 40 pounds. I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”
Days prior to the ceremony, Applegate opened up on how multiple sclerosis (MS) has changed her life and admitted to prioritizing her time differently as she struggles with MS.
“It’s about finding what I’m capable of doing. I’m so new in this right now. It takes time to kind of figure out this disease, and figure out what’s bringing on symptoms,” Applegate, who recently showed off her new walking sticks, told Variety.
— Variety (@Variety) November 14, 2022
“I’m just a newbie to all of this. So I’m trying to figure it out — and I’m also in mourning for the person that I was. I have to find a place that’s as loving as my set was, where they won’t think I’m a diva by saying, ‘Hey, I can only work five hours,'” she explained.
The star of Netflix’s Dead to Me, who is now focusing more of her time on her 11-year-old daughter Sadie Grace LeNoble, said she’s hoping to find a place that will respect her battle with the disease and allow her to work shortened hours or take breaks when needed.
She admitted that she feels fatigued most of the time, but more recently she’s been able to work out on the Peleton more—something she claims she wouldn’t have been able to do about eight months ago.
“Right now, I’m enjoying being a mother. I love being here for her 100% all the time — to take her to school, to pick her up from school, to be here for her homework, to make her dinner, to be here when she needs me,” she added. “That’s kind of what I missed out on for a while. And she’s very happy to have me here.”
Although she will be spending more time at home these days, she still wants to develop and produce.
“I’ve got a lot of ideas in my mind, and I just need to get them executed,” she said.
Applegate is no stranger to her MS diagnosis, as she is also a breast cancer survivor. However, according to scientific research, there is no known linkage between women diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.
In 2008 Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer after doctors found something in her left breast, she then decided to have a double mastectomy. Additionally, she revealed to Today.com in 2017 that she also had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a precaution, due to her higher risk with ovarian cancer in her family. Applegate shared that she changed her lifestyle habits and advocates for more rest and less stress to stay healthy.
I have a very important ceremony coming up. This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal. Thank you @neowalksticks for these beauties. Stay tuned to see which ones make the cut for a week of stuff. pic.twitter.com/O543p1G4vS
— christina applegate (@1capplegate) October 27, 2022
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the body’s nerves.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains this disease as: “An unpredictable disease of the central nervous system…[MS] can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted.” Investigators of the disease believe it to be an autoimmune disease.
Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40 (Applegate is 49). Typically, one of the first symptoms of this disease is vision-related: Blurred or double vision, red-green color distortion, or even blindness in one eye.
Many people fighting MS experience muscle weakness and difficulty with coordination and balance. Currently, there is no cure for MS, although some people treat the disease using chemotherapy, medications, or steroid drugs.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
MS causes the immune system to attack the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers which leads to communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eventually, MS can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS can vary widely but may include the following, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time, or your legs and trunk
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
- Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
- Prolonged double vision
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
- Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
The Mayo Clinic also says most people with MS go through periods of new symptoms or relapses followed by quiet periods of disease remission. These relapses can develop over days or weeks and the remission periods can last for months or even years. Around half of patients will have symptoms steadily increase within 10 or 20 years from diagnosis, which is secondary-progressive MS, and that rate varies greatly between patients.
A fellow actress, Selma Blair, 50, is another inspirational example of thriving amid a major health battle with MS. The two seem to support each other via social media.
Get it. Congratulation MS sister pic.twitter.com/UlsCPVXr82
— christina applegate (@1capplegate) May 20, 2022
Blair recently made quite the splash on the reality show Dancing with the Stars. Sadly, though, she had to withdraw from the intense competition due a change in her health relating to her ongoing health issues.
Inspiring Stories For People With Multiple Sclerosis
As a part of our effort to support people with chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, SurvivorNetTV has added a new block of programming specific to MS. It is our hope that these films inspire the nearly 1 million people living with MS in the United States.
SurvivorNetTV’s film Defying All Odds, follows the story of Dr. Terry Wahls – a world-renowned doctor and scientist determined to continue practicing medicine even after being diagnosed with a severe form of multiple sclerosis (MS).
You will see in the film that Dr. Wahls attempts to manage her condition by starting a paleo diet, which consisted mainly of grass-fed meat, fish, leafy and root vegetables, and nuts. She restricted her consumption of dairy, eggs, and grains. As a result of her new diet, Dr. Wahls and her colleagues saw incredible improvement in her health.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff