Kristen Johnson Has Lupus Myelitis, a Rare Autoimmune Disease

Image: Kristen Johnson Has Lupus Myelitis, a Rare Autoimmune Disease

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 10:00 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Comedic TV actress Kristen Johnson revealed this week that she has been diagnosed with lupus myelitis, a rare, autoimmune disease that has kept her from working on recent episodes of her TV Land sitcom "The Exes."

Johnson, who won two Emmys for her work on "3rd Rock From the Sun," detailed her recent health struggles in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

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"I've been really, really sick since early Sept.," she wrote. "Full body muscle weakness to the extent that just walking [is] difficult, stairs [are] impossible, and I even need a neck brace to hold my head up… After 4 months & 17 Drs (no lie) I've FINALLY been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder… Meaning my immune system has decided to go rogue & attack my muscles."

Johnson, 46, didn't initially specify what autoimmune disorder she had been diagnosed with, leading many Facebook users to leave critical comments. The actress then penned another post clarifying her diagnosis.

"I'm not trying to be 'coy,' 'relevant,' or 'get attention' — I just was diagnosed 2 days ago with a rare form of Lupus called 'Lupus Myelitis' — Google it… I'm not on my death bead...far from it. I'm gonna be fine," she wrote. "I just wanted to have a few weeks of privacy to navigate it & receive treatment. The only reason I said anything is because I won't be in a few episodes [of 'The Exes']."

Johnson explained that actress and recent "Dancing With the Stars" competitor Leah Remini will guest star on the TV Land comedy series in her place after the illness kept her from shooting two episodes.

"I gotta say, TV Land and everyone at 'The Exes' have been just amazing, all of them," Johnson wrote. "So patient, understanding, loving & supportive."

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