Jamie-Lynn Sigler isn’t letting multiple sclerosis (MS) hold her back as she watches her sons grow up.
“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,” Sigler, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her partnership with Novartis. “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, who was diagnosed with MS when she was in her 20s, shares two sons, Beau, 9, and Jack, 5, with husband, former MLB player Cutter Dykstra. While she admits it’s not easy to be a parent while battling a chronic illness, she is honest with her little ones about her condition.
“So my kids both react to it very differently. 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 shares. “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.”
While her sons have different reactions to their mom’s struggles, Sigler confessed that she admires both of her kiddos for being honest about their feelings.
“It’s honest and real and so it’s different the way I have to discuss it with both of them,” she admitted to Us. “But I am always encouraging them to express their feelings about it because when you live with a chronic illness … it’s like the whole family has to deal with it. It’s in all of our lives.”
“It’s a 30-minute moment of just fun and silliness and him making me uncomfortable and me reacting. People write in and we give our quote ‘sweet and sour’ advice – he’s the sour, I’m the sweet, but we also get personal about what we’re dealing with in our life,” she explained to Us. “He’s a recovering addict. I obviously live with MS, so it’s an opportunity for people to get to know another side of us, to see our relationship and hopefully to make people laugh.”
Sigler continues to advocate for MS and has teamed up with Novartis to create a guide where she reflects on her experience with the condition and how she manages Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RMS). See her tips at ReframingMS.com.
Reporting by Andrea Simpson