The Sopranos alum Jamie-Lynn Sigler first opened up about her multiple sclerosis battle in 2016, nearly 15 years after she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease at age 20.
“I already had a big career. It was difficult to accept,” Sigler said while sharing the health update during an October 2016 appearance on Fox News.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Sigler’s symptoms subsided, only to resurface years later as she navigated her divorce from A.J. DiScala in 2005. (The actress later moved on with Cutter Dykstra, whom she wed in 2016. The couple share sons Beau and Jack Adam.)
After quietly managing the disease for years, Sigler found it “really empowering” to share her truth, she told Fox News. “[It] allowed me a new platform and a great sense of responsibility I feel now to the MS community,” Sigler continued.
Keep scrolling for Sigler’s most candid quotes about living with MS:
During an appearance on Fox News, Sigler spoke about wanting to be a source of comfort to others living with health challenges.
“I think a lot of the time when people are dealing with any chronic illness you can feel very isolated, you can feel alone, you feel like people don’t understand,” she said. “I wanted to be somebody that says, ‘I get it, I feel you, I hear you, I go through what you go through, and I understand.’”
Despite feeling like she has “every excuse to stay in bed and say, ‘Poor me,’” Sigler noted that she lives “a full life,” just like many others living with MS.
“People with MS fall in love, have kids, have marriages, have jobs, have other problems that have nothing to do with their disease,” she said during a February interview with E! News’ Daily Pop. “I think more than anything, I just try and represent somebody who is trying to be brave in the face of it and still live their life and choose every day to not fall victim to it.”
Sigler cleared up some misconceptions about pregnancy and MS during an interview with People.
“You can absolutely carry and you can absolutely have a very healthy pregnancy, healthy delivery,” she said. “And in fact, a lot of people feel better during pregnancy. And during my first pregnancy, that was the case.”
“MS is like another job of mine and you know, sometimes I’m a really good employee and sometimes I’m not,” Sigler said during an interview with CNN. “I’ve lived with this disease for over 21 years and you know, sometimes some days [or] some weeks, you can get a little bitter and upset about the amount of focus that it takes just to live.”
During an appearance on the “Bathroom Chronicles” podcast, Sigler admitted that she struggles to accept her physical limitations at times.
“I feel myself, like, leveling up and moving forward as a human being, but my body [is] not following me, and it’s really — that’s my struggle now,” she shared. “You feel like it should be aligned, and it’s not. That’s the struggle in my family, to be quite honest, we all feel it.”
Sigler added that she hasn’t given up on her goal of being more physically active someday.
“I think it would be really cool for my kids to witness miraculous healing, too, how they could take that throughout their life,” she said. “I have, like, my vision that I always hold on to that I try to see when I meditate or anything, and it’s always just me running with them. … It’s me just running in front of them in their joy and their happiness, because they talk about it all the time. It’s all they want.”
The New York native shared insight into how her illness affects her ability to parent her children.
“I’m human. Are there days where I wonder, ‘Would I have been a little bit more patient if I wasn’t struggling physically?’ It makes you question everything in your life. It affects every area of your life,” she exclusively told Us Weekly. “But I think that when I put my kids to bed and I see the connection that we have and I know that that’s completely unaffected no matter what I physically can or can’t do.”
Sigler added that her two sons are opposites when it comes to how they handle her condition.
“My oldest son is an empath. He’s very sensitive. If I ever apologize [to] him that I can’t do certain things or explain to him certain limitations I have, he’s always like, ‘Oh, mom, I get it, don’t worry. It’s all right.’” she shared. “My little one … he is upset about it, he doesn’t like it. He’ll compare what I can and can’t do to other moms, which is totally OK.”
During an interview with Forbes, Sigler said that she initially kept her MS diagnosis a secret “out of fear and self-preservation.” She recalled navigating her busy schedule as a series regular on The Sopranos without talking to friends or a therapist about her health challenges.
“I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t know how to ask for help,” she explained. “I thought, ‘Hey world, I have this illness and I’ve had it for quite some time. How are you gonna feel about me now? Industry, do you still wanna hire me? Friends, do you still wanna hang out with me?’”
Source: US Magazine
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