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In Oct. 2018, actor Selma Blair announced on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Since then, the star has been a vocal advocate for people with MS and been open about her own experiences. In a recent interview, she shared the moment she knew something significant was wrong. Read on to learn which symptom Blair noticed first, and for more signs of serious medical conditions to look out for, If You See This on Your Feet, You May Have Diabetes, Doctors Say.
Selma Blair said that losing feeling in her leg was the first sign that something was off.
During an April 19 interview with Town&Country, Blair said she first knew that something was off in Feb. 2018. While the star was walking in a New York Fashion Week show for Christian Siriano, she noticed that she had lost feeling in her leg. Although she said that she'd felt similar symptoms before, she'd only thought of the strange occurrences as minor nuisances and hadn't considered they could be a sign of something serious. "It was on that runway, with the thrill of walking in the show, that I suddenly lost feeling in my left leg," Blair recalled. "But I was on a runway and thinking, 'What do I do?'"
According to the National MS Society, leg, arm, and face numbness is one of the most common symptoms of the condition. The organization describes the feeling as if your limb is "'asleep' with a pins and needles sensation." And for more worrying symptoms, If You Notice This on Your Hands, Get Your Liver Checked, Doctors Say.
She announced her diagnosis months after the incident.
Almost eight months after that experience, Blair shared her diagnosis on Instagram. She noted that she wasn't diagnosed with MS until August, although she believes she likely had the condition for at least 15 years. She credited her friend, actor Elizabeth Berkley, for forcing her to see Elizabeth's brother, Jason Berkley, MD, the doctor who ultimately diagnosed Blair after finding lesions on an MRI scan.
"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," Blair said. She added that she was relieved to know and share her diagnosis. And for more reasons to seek medical attention, If This Happens When You Eat or Drink, You Need Your Thyroid Checked.
Blair experiences other common MS symptoms.
In Blair's Instagram caption, she noted a few other common symptoms of MS she experiences. "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," she wrote. The most common symptoms of MS, according to the National MS Society, include fatigue, muscle spasms, difficulty walking, weakness, problems with your vision, bladder dysfunction, bowel problems, dizziness, vertigo, pain, sexual problems, and cognitive and emotional changes. The organization notes that "MS symptoms are variable and unpredictable. No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person's symptoms can change or fluctuate over time." And for more up-to-date information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The star wants to give others hope.
When Blair first shared her diagnosis on Instagram, she said, "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."
In the years since her announcement, Blair has been transparent about her experiences. In 2019, she arrived at the Vanity Fair Oscars party with a cane, and she's sporting a cane in photos for the Town&Country shoot. The actor also shares candid photos documenting her hair loss following chemotherapy, shares her symptoms, and has raised money for charities like Race to Erase MS.
"I am aware my challenges affect other hopeful or isolated people," Blair told Town&Country. "I'm very comfortable in my body, mostly because I am now making a deeper positive connection with it. I am fascinated by this body and this life. I am humbled and pleased to be any inspiration for people." And for more symptoms to be aware of, If You're Sweating at Night, It Could Be a Sign of These Kinds of Cancer.