Emma Caulfield has multiple sclerosis.
The 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' actress recalled the "out-of-body experience" she had when she was given her diagnosis after going for an MRI on the insistence of her acupuncturist when she experienced a number of concerning symptoms.
She told America's Vanity Fair magazine:"Once upon a time, I had zero health problems. Back in 2010, I was working on [executive producer] Marti Noxon's 'Gigantic', and prior to starting that job, I woke up one morning and the left side of my face felt like there were a million ants crawling on it. That feeling when you've sat in a position too long? ...
"The feeling's gone and it's coming back like a rush of blood. Then it just sort of went, I wouldn't say completely numb, because I could still scratch it and feel my nails. But it was extremely dull. I went to my acupuncturist, and he was like, 'I don't know, man. Maybe you have Bell's palsy?' "
Recalling the call she received to give her her diagnosis when she returned to set, she continued: "I had five minutes down or whatever. And he was like: 'You have MS.' Just like that.
"It was like an out-of-body experience. I'm like, 'No, that's not possible.' I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' He was very matter-of-fact about it. 'Well, you can get a second opinion…' It was literally a kind of nightmare…. It turns out it was something major. Then I was like, 'I've got to go to work now.' What do I do?" "
The 49-year-old actress - who has six-year-old daughter Knightley with husband xx - is feeling "OK right now" but is "so tired of not being honest" about her condition.
She said: "Truthfully, my attitude is not crumbling under the fear of 'what if' or 'what can,' or 'what has' for other people. I just have to keep going...
"My daughter has changed my perspective.
“I’m not actually doing everything I can for her because I have my mouth shut. If I have a platform at all, I should be using it.
“Even if it affects my ability to get work. It’s better for me to at least be vocal about this.”
But the 'WandaVision' actress isn't looking for "special treatment" from people in the industry.
She said: “I never asked for it. I don’t expect it. … Oh, God, please don’t make me a role model. [But] if me talking about this offers some solace or encouragement to somebody who has it, that’s so great.”