Christina Applegate’s 13-year-old daughter shares the ‘uncomfortable’ way her mom helped her understand MS pain

christina applegate and daughter sadie grace lenoble on purple background
Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

In the June 25 episode of her MeSsy podcast, Christina Applegate is joined by her 13-year-old daughter, Sadie, and the pair opened up about what life is like at home amid Applegate’s battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Sadie began by sharing how things changed when her mom was diagnosed with the incurable autoimmune disorder, in which nerve damage can contribute to a host of physical and emotional symptoms. “When she got diagnosed in 2021, it kind of just felt like… not like everything was over but it was hard seeing my mom lose a lot of the abilities she used to have in my childhood. When I was a kid, we would dance in her room for hours at a time.”

“It’s definitely hard seeing my mom struggle with this,” she continued. “It’s just really difficult seeing her go through this.”

Still, Sadie says it’s “nice being able to help her and support her,” though it seems her strong-willed mama sometimes doesn’t want her teen daughter’s help. “Every time we go to a concert, she always is like, ‘You cannot push my wheelchair, Sadie, you’re going to run into a wall,'” she said. “And I will beg. I’m just like, ‘Please, mom, let me push your wheelchair.’ Because I want to help her, so that’s definitely why I want to do it, but it’s also funny because she’s always saying, ‘No, I want this person to do it’… and it’s never me.”

Applegate joked that she’s worried Sadie will find it “funny” to let go of the chair while she’s in it, but she admits, “You are darn good at pushing the wheelchair.”

Sadie noted that when her mom was first diagnosed, the actress put sand-filled balloons in Sadie’s shoes to demonstrate the “pain of walking” with the condition. “It was a very uncomfortable experience,” she said.

She also revealed she’d recently been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a chronic blood circulation disorder that causes an abnormal increase in heart rate upon sitting up or standing. It can cause lightheadedness, fainting and rapid heartbeat.

“When my mom’s like, ‘I’m in pain right now. I’m having tremors,’” she said, “If I didn’t have [POTS], I probably would be like… I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I actually have tremors from POTS. It’s definitely a lot easier to understand what she’s going through when I have something I’m going through as well.”

The Dead to Me star shares Sadie with her husband, musician Martyn LeNoble. LeNoble is also a dad to daughter Marlon from a previous relationship.

Applegate says she feels “incredibly guilty” when her symptoms are at their worst, “because I don’t ever want you to feel that I’m not capable to be your protector, your mother, you know, I love you,” she said. “I want to make you food. I want to bring it to you. I want to do all the things and I do, when I can. And I feel incredibly guilty when I can’t.”

We’re wishing Applegate and her family nothing but the best as she navigates her new normal with MS. Her honesty and candor will only help others who have experienced chronic illness, so they feel a little less alone in whatever they’re going through, too.