After a few months of ups and downs with her health, particularly after fainting live on television and most recently, abruptly taking three days off to deal with “flu-ish” symptoms, Wendy Williams is finally about to take some time real off to take care of herself. Doctor’s orders.
The 53-year-old talk show host announced on Wednesday (Feb. 21) that she was told by her doctor that she needed to take three weeks off to rest and deal with her health issues attached to Graves’ disease. She shared all of this in an attempt to finally answer the question, as she put it, of “What the hell is going on with Wendy?”
“Now you know I have thyroid disease. My hyperthyroid is attached to Graves’ disease,” she said. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind your eyeballs. That’s the reason for [bugs eyes out].”
Williams went on to speak on the medication she’s been taking to help with everything, saying, “I feel like there are birds swimming around my head. You know, like a cartoon? Constantly high. But not high. But constantly on one.”
But as it turns out, rest might be the best remedy according to her physician.
“My doctor has prescribed — are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” she said. “I was pissed. Encore performances, really?”
Williams said she was only going to take two weeks since she’d already been off three days last week, but in a statement to Us Weekly, a show representative seemed sure that she would indeed be out for three.
“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the rep said. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”
This is all in contrast to Williams’s triumphant message and return to her show on Monday.
“I must say, it’s good to be back,” she during taping on February 19. “I apologize to those of you who had tickets for the show Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I was not here. I was flu-ish with complications. But no more.”
And while some might be hearing about Williams’s Graves’ disease diagnosis for the first time, a condition which also affects rapper Missy Elliott, it’s not new information. In 2009, in an interview with The New York Times, it was brought up when she mentioned that she’d learned to be more mindful of the intensity of her “eye pop” after watching past episodes.
And in 2014, she also told the Daily Mail that her thyroid issue, attached to Graves’ disease, is the reason she wears wigs.
During today’s announcement, Williams shared a message on the importance on taking care of yourself before you worry about everything and everyone else.
“So what I want to say to women more than men is stop putting everyone first,” she said, “because if we’re not good, they’re not good.”
Check out Wendy talking about her latest endocrinologist visit and the recommendation from her doctor below, as well as the ways in which her condition has impacted her health: