Kristen Johnston says she considered suicide during lupus battle

Kristen Johnston Says She Considered Suicide During Lupus Battle
Kristen Johnston Says She Considered Suicide During Lupus Battle

Kristen Johnston is opening up to People magazine about her lupus diagnosis.

The 46-year-old star of "The Exes" told the mag it all started in August 2013. She realized something was wrong when she had trouble going up stairs - 17 doctors later, no one could tell her what was going on.

"After months of painful tests ... Johnston ... finally visited rheumatologist Dr. Daniel J. Wallace, who diagnosed her with lupus myelitis, a rare form of lupus that affects the spinal cord."

But though this sounds scary, Johnston was thankful she finally had a diagnosis, telling People, "If I had to live like that forever, I would have killed myself. It was like I was swimming through molasses. I couldn't even hold my own neck up."

A People reporter who visited "Good Morning America" reiterated just how scary the situation was.

"Doctors say if she had waited even just a few more weeks to seek treatment, that she could have ended up a quadriplegic."

Lupus International explains: "Myelitis refers to dysfunction of the spinal cord. This is a serious complication of lupus that causes paralysis or weakness." It's caused by inflammation of the sac surrounding the spinal cord or by blood clots.

Johnston went through chemotherapy and steroid treatment, and her doctor confirmed she's in remission.

The actress has been open about her past substance abuse and getting sober. In a blog post about staying sober through her lupus treatment, she wrote, "Who dodges two medical should-be-dead disasters?"

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