Jamie-Lynn Sigler Discusses Life with Multiple Sclerosis
Jamie-Lynn Sigler has largely remained quiet when it comes to her multiple sclerosis, but since opening up, she has discussed her use of a walking stick for MS.
The beloved actress from The Sopranos has been in the limelight for a while, but over the past fifteen years, she had been keeping one thing hidden - her multiple sclerosis. This is because she was afraid that if people knew about her health condition, her career would be negatively impacted.
It was an evening in 2002 like any other that Jamie-Lynn Sigler came home after a long day of filming. However, her day was not yet over. She had a performance set up for that night, so she had to get ready. In the shower, she discovered that there was a heaviness in her leg she had not noticed before. She had previously been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and posited that the two could have been connected.
She says, "it was the feeling right before you get pins and needles - that weird tingling, like your legs are asleep. I didn't know if this was a relapse or what it was. I was just scared, and I was nervous."
Immediately, she knew something was wrong, so she asked her parents to bring her to the hospital. Once there, she had an MRI and a spinal tap. When she woke up in the hospital the next morning, she was no longer feeling the strange tingling sensation she had experienced the night before. So, she expected she had overreacted and she would be allowed to go home. However, when the doctor came in, she was told that she had MS.
She did not have any concept of what the idea was, or what it would mean for her future. Her mind raced to being permanently wheelchair bound, and she says, "I was confused. I thought it was a mistake. I didn't know what was going on."
However, her doctor made sure to explain that she would be able to live a full life. Still, instead of taking the diagnosis seriously and accepting that it was not a mistake, she accepted a starring role in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and would perform eight shows a week. She ran from the diagnosis as much as she could in the beginning, as she thought it could not possibly be affecting her life.
Of course, it was not altogether incomprehensible that she would feel that way, especially due to the fact that she had very few symptoms for the first few years. After all, if you are not suffering, who would think that it would be a good idea to entirely disrupt your life? However, soon after, she would learn how seriously this had to be taken.
Read on to learn more about Jamie-Lynn and how she lives with multiple sclerosis.
Photo: Jamie-Lynn Sigler by Rogelio A. Galaviz C.