Christina Applegate shared her candid reaction to learning she had multiple sclerosis.
The Dead to Me star, who revealed she’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in August 2021, appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Thursday (8 December). While speaking with Clarkson over video chat, Applegate shared the NSFW reaction she had to learning she had MS – an immune disorder that disrupts the central nervous system.
“Can I say it sucked balls?” she asked the talk show host.
The 51-year-old actor went on to explain how she learned of her MS diagnosis while shooting the Netflix series, Dead to Me. She referred to filming the series while suffering from MS as the “hardest thing” she’s ever done in her life, and revealed that she had been experiencing symptoms as early as four years ago.
“Shooting the show was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life because I was diagnosed during shooting and I didn’t know what was happening,” she explained. “I couldn’t walk; they had to use a wheelchair to get me to set. I was freaking out until someone was like, ‘You need an MRI.’”
Applegate continued: “I found out on a Monday after work that I had MS, a disease that I’m going to have for the rest of my life.
After her diagnosis, Applegate said she “started thinking about the last four years” and recalled how she had “very small symptoms” of MS over the years.
“I’d go like, ‘Oh, I think I’m tired,’” she explained. “So, it presented itself a few years ago until it just got as bad as it did.”
Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a variety of symptoms such as mobility issues, partial or complete loss of vision, or balance issues.
According to the National MS Society, more than 2.3 milion people worldwide have been diagnosed with the immune disorder, with women being more than two to three times as likely as men to develop the disease.
In August 2021, Christina Applegate revealed she had been living with MS just a few months after her diagnosis.
“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS,” she tweeted at the time. “It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”
In a recent New York Times interview, Applegate reflected on the warning signs she experienced ahead of her diagnosis, and added that she wished she’d paid more attention to her symptoms.
One of the first indicators that something was wrong was when Applegate was filming a dance sequence for season one of Dead to Me, when she found herself off balance and struggling to play tennis. However, Applegate said she decided to push herself harder instead.
“I wish I had paid attention,” she told the outlet. “But who was I to know?”
Eventually, Applegate’s symptoms grew more severe, with the actor recalling how the “tingling and numbness” in her extremities began to worsen before her eventual diagnosis.
“Although it’s not like I came on the other side of it, like: ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine,’” she said. “Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed.”