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Jamie-Lynn Sigler Was Hospitalized for 14 Days With 1st MS Symptoms at Age 19

Jamie Lynn Sigler Was in the Hospital for 14 Days With 1st MS Symptoms at Age 19
Jamie Lynn Sigler Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Jamie-Lynn Sigler is sharing more details about the onset of her multiple sclerosis symptoms.

During the Tuesday, May 7, episode of her and Christina Applegate’s “MeSsy” podcast, Sigler, 42, opened up about a health scare she experienced at age 19, about one year before she was diagnosed with MS.

“I all of a sudden felt like I had to pee so bad, like a bladder spasm, which I’d never experienced before,” she recalled. “And then I would go to the bathroom and I couldn’t pee.”

While Sigler initially thought she might have a UTI, new symptoms appeared a few days later.

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“I started getting that feeling right before pins and needles, like that heaviness numb. It started in my feet and then every day it was rising. It was in my ankles, in my calves, in my knees, in my thighs,” she said. “By the time it got to my hips, I remember I was on a plane back to New York and I called my dad … and I said, ‘You need to pick me up from the airport, something’s wrong. I need you to take me to the hospital.’”

Sigler, who noted that she was “about to enter into the third season of [The] Sopranos” at the time, then endured a lengthy hospital stay.

“I was in the ICU for 14 days, nobody could tell me what was wrong,” she said. “They did a spinal tap, they did an MRI, they ruled out MS at the time. They did every single test you could possibly imagine.”

Sigler “recovered” from the mysterious symptoms after being put on “an incredible amount of steroids,” but the numbness returned “about a year and a half” later. Though she felt like she was “exaggerating” when she insisted on returning to the hospital, Sigler was diagnosed with MS soon after.

“Immediately, they’re like, ‘We need to do another spinal tap and MRI.’ And the next morning, I woke up with a neurologist in my room telling me I had MS,” the actress recalled.

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When Applegate, 52, questioned whether doctors “missed” Sigler’s MS the year prior, Sigler offered an explanation.

“I guess there was no lesions before, it was very early on,” she said. “I don’t think it was as obvious to diagnose as it was this time around. There were clear lesions at this point.”

Sigler didn’t share her diagnosis publicly until 2016 when she was 34. “I was told by many people [to] keep it a secret,” she told Applegate, who revealed her own MS diagnosis in 2021.

Because Sigler was largely “asymptomatic” during the early years of her battle with MS, she was able to avoid coming to terms with the illness.

“I was a terrible patient, I did not take my medication,” she shared. “I just wasn’t taking care of myself and I was sort of rebelling against the whole thing. And then I went through a very nasty divorce [with ex-husband A.J. DiScala], and in that moment was when my health just went [on] a big downward spiral.”

Sigler, who split from DiScala in 2006 after three years of marriage, went on to marry husband Cutter Dykstra in 2016. The pair share sons Beau, 10, and Jack, 6.

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Sigler has spoken candidly about how her health struggles affect her kids.

“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 exclusively told Us Weekly in September 2023. “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.”

Despite the challenge of raising children while battling MS, Sigler added that nothing can take away from the bond she has with her boys.

“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,” she told Us.

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