Everything Tatum O'Neal Has Said About Her Rheumatoid Arthritis
In February, O'Neal opened up about the autoimmune disorder, explaining that rheumatoid arthritis has affected most of her body. "That means that my hands stopped working," she told CBS Sunday Morning at the time. "It means that — I can't really tie my shoes. It means that I can't — I mean, I can't tie my shoes. I have to re-learn to write. And definitely need surgery on my left knee and my neck in the next week." In the interview, she described RA as her biggest challenge ever.
Baring her scars on Instagram, the actress showed followers what it's like "living with rheumatoid arthritis," presenting the bruising and scarring she suffered from back surgery to ease her pains. "Believe it or not this is me actually getting better," O'Neal wrote in her caption. "Cheers to everyone and rheumatoid arthritis can go f— itself #rheumatoidarthritiswarrior."
Days before posting the candid photo of her scars, O'Neal shared a smiling snapshot of herself alongside her dog, writing that she is "on the mend." "I've been in some rheumatoid arthritis bull crap but finally I'm feeling a little bit better," she said at the time. "I hate texting because my hands suck Right now.. so If I don't text you back I promise it's nothing personal." Weeks before, in December, the actress said she was on her "second dose" of a drug called Actemra to "get RA back to the way it's been Not like how it is which is lame !!"
Last March, the mother of three shared with fans that she underwent spinal surgery. Posting a photo from her hospital bed, she wrote that she was recovering well. "I MADE IT!! Walking, talking dancing, souls cycle hiking in my near future," she captioned the pic at the time.
The Paper Moon actress had anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). The surgery is a type of spinal fusion that mends the front and lumbar spine bones together by removing and replacing the intervertebral disc with a bone or metal spacer, according to the USC Spine Center. O'Neal posted footage of herself taking steps with a walker post-surgery in March 2019, and thanked her son Sean for his support: "To you my darling Sean I don't know what I'd do without you your sage like wisdom and belief in me through all my f—ups with which there were many. Without you I would not have made it for sure!!!"
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