Emma Caulfield Ford opened up about being diagnosed and living with multiple sclerosis during an interview with Vanity Fair that was published on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old actress sat down for a wide-ranging conversation and spoke about how living with the condition has affected her professional output and personal life.
The Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress began the interview by recalling the first time that she became aware of the effects of multiple sclerosis.
Being open: Emma Caulfield Ford opened up about being diagnosed and living with multiple sclerosis during an interview with Vanity Fair that was published on Tuesday
Caulfield Ford stated: ‘Back in 2010, I was working on 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.’
She added: I went to my acupuncturist, and he was like, “I don’t know, man. Maybe you have Bell’s palsy?”…Even when I was with the neurologist, he was like, “Yeah, it sounds like Bell’s palsy, honestly. You’ve been under a lot of stress.”‘
The performer pointed out that the effects of the disease began appearing during a particularly turbulent period of her life.
She stated: ‘That was literally the year of hell for me. There was so much going on. Really bad personal life stuff. So I said, “yeah, that’s probably it.”
Going through it: The performer pointed out that the effects of the disease began appearing during a particularly turbulent period of her life; she is seen in March
The actress added that ‘there were a lot of things happening. A succession of just, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I was under a tremendous amount of stress. So could it have been the thing that triggered it?…There’s no way of knowing any of that.’
Caulfield Ford then remarked that she was informed that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in an abrupt manner.
She recalled: ‘I had a missed call from the doctor’s office, so I called back. I’m just like, “What’s up?” 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.’
The performer stated: ‘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.”
Caulfield Ford went on to express that she immediately became concerned for her health after receiving the call.
She stated: ‘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?”‘
Out of nowhere: Caulfield Ford then remarked that she was informed that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in an abrupt manner; she is seen in a 2003 episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The performer, whose father also lived with multiple sclerosis, remarked that she had to do her best to work through the effects of the condition.
‘MS has been around in my sphere for a very, very long time…I knew enough to be like, “Oh, my God.” I’m trying to keep my s*** together and I’ve got to go back to work. So that was my first experience of keeping everything really quiet and showing up and just doing my job,’ she stated.
Caulfield Ford recalled that, although she attempted to keep the condition private, many of her friends and collaborators noticed its effects.
She said: ‘There were a lot of inconsistencies to the point where everyone around me was kind of like, ‘Basically, we think [MS] is our best guess.”‘
The actress then stated that, after beginning to manage her condition, she made a conscious decision to focus more on her personal and professional lives.
She recalled: ‘Around the time when I got the second MRI, I was like, “I’m not going to live my life like I have something horrible. I’m going to do what I need to do to take care of myself . But I’m not going to live in fear.”‘
Moving forward: The actress then stated that, after beginning to manage her condition, she made a conscious decision to focus more on her personal and professional lives; she is seen in April
Caulfield Ford added that ‘I love work. I don’t like not working. I’ve always been kind of a worker bee. I thrive in that.’
She then stated: ‘I didn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to not hire me. There are already plenty of reasons to not hire people, reasons most actors don’t even know…I knew in my bones that if you talk about this, you’re just going to stop working.’
The performer also spoke about working on WandaVision, in which she portrayed Sarah Proctor, and expressed that the heat of the shooting location presented a challenge for her.
She recalled: ‘I was physically trying to keep myself looking and feeling normal when I was [on camera]. Everyone was melting, but it is exponentially worse for someone with this. It becomes like, “Oh, God, am I suddenly going to go limp?”‘
Caulfield Ford pointed out that the cast and crew of the production were not to blame for her on-set challenges.
On set: The performer also spoke about working on WandaVision, in which she portrayed Sarah Proctor, and expressed that the heat of the shooting location presented a challenge for her
‘They did nothing wrong…They had no idea what was going on with me. They didn’t ask anything of me that was like, “I need to call my agent!” They’re asking me to just sit and chat and do my dialogue. It’s not hard,’ she said.
The actress then stated that she was doing well and that she was determined to live as best she could while dealing with the condition.
I’m okay right now. It’s a weird thing to say when you’re given a diagnosis like that, but 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,’ she said.
She added: ‘Now that I’m open about this, I can more readily promote things that the MS Society is doing instead of just giving money. This is just what speaks to me right now.’
Caulfield Ford concluded by speaking about her daughter Knightley, aged six, and stated that she wanted to set a good example for her child.
‘I hope she just sees me as someone she can look up to…I hope she sees that I’ve done my best and when push comes to shove, I showed up. I hope she’s just ultimately proud. That’s it. Hopefully she’s proud of me,’ she said.
Caring mom: Caulfield Ford concluded by speaking about her daughter Knightley, aged six, and stated that she wanted to set a good example for her child; she is seen in 2019