Kristin Chenoweth is going public about her battle with asthma in an interview on The Doctors.
The Tony Award-winning actress and Glee star, 45, told the show's panel that she's suffered with the respiratory disorder for more than a decade after first noticing symptoms while living in New York City.
"Ten years ago -- around the time after 9/11 -- I began to suffer with not being able to get my breath and chronic chest colds that turned into walking pneumonia," said Chenoweth.
But in an interview with The Associated Press, the actress says she wasn't correctly diagnosed for a few years and she initially thought she was suffering from bronchitis or other respiratory issues. "It was only after going to L.A. to do Bewitched and The West Wing that I really got sick. But I wasn't diagnosed with asthma," Chenoweth recalls. "It wasn't until I was doing the television series Pushing Daisies, that my doctor in Oklahoma diagnosed me."
Chenoweth -- who is going public to raise awareness of the illness and recently did a public service announcement to educate asthma sufferers -- says she now has to carry an inhaler at all times in case she needs it and that the diagnosis changed her life and affected her confidence as a performer. She recalled one scary encounter while appearing on Broadway in the 2010 revival of the musical Promises, Promises.
"I was onstage, literally in the second act in a pretty dramatic scene, I can literally feel it coming on, and I remember thinking, 'How am I going to deal with it? How am I going to get my breath? How am I going to get offstage? How am I going to get to my inhaler?' Luckily, I found a spot where it would make sense for me to exit and my dresser was there with an inhaler."
Chenoweth suffered an injury while shooting on the New York set of The Good Wife in 2012. In the accident, she was hit by a piece of lighting equipment that knocked her out and slammed her to the ground, where her head hit a curb. She was hospitalized with the head injury and later revealed that the recovery process took several months.