Kristen Johnston is best known to television audiences for her popular sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun and her current TV Land show The Exes. But this weekend she’s making news in the pages of People by talking about her life with a rare form of lupus.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Johnston revealed in a Facebook post last December that she was living with lupus myelitis.
According to the Lupus Research Institute, lupus myelitis results in an immune system attack on the spinal cord.
Johnston told People she visited 17 different doctors before she received a proper diagnosis. By that point, Johnston was so weak she could not lift her head without a brace. Once doctors finally pinpointed the cause of her condition, she entered hospital for treatment. Six months later, Kristen is in remission, after receiving chemotherapy and steroids.
The actress has spoken not only to People, but on her blog, where she recounts in detail her health challenges – including the ever-present fear of a relapse into drug addiction. Her post on Friday described in detail her serious fall while hiking and her struggle to not only recover but maintain her sobriety. Answering the unstated question as to why she wanted to talk about her own experience, Johnston was blunt:
“I wrote this for people in recovery from opiates who find themselves in a situation where they must take them. I want them to know that it’s possible – that if care is taken, relapse isn’t inevitable.”
Kristen has been public about her history of addiction, even publishing a book called ‘Guts’ in 2012. A quote from that book demonstrates the depth of Johnston’s experience, as well as her talent for the written word:
“It felt like I was speeding on the Autobahn toward hell, trapped inside a DeLorean with no brakes. And even if I could somehow stop, I’d still be screwed, because there’s no way I’d ever be able to figure out how to open those insane, cocaine-designed doors.”
In her blog post Friday, Johnston made reference to the incident that got her on the straight path to sobriety: “Many of you already know of my should-be-dead experience I had due to my addiction to opiate medication (My tummy blew up in London),” and posts powerful words about overcoming illness.
People quotes the actress’ grateful attitude for her period of remission and her positive outlook on life: “Every day I’m amazed that I can lift my head. Every single day is a gift, and I don’t take one second of it for granted,” Kristen Johnston is quoted as saying.
[Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]