Former "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was raised in Jericho, says being a parent with multiple sclerosis has required her "to become creative" in order to give her two young sons a full life despite her chronic illness.
When Beau, 5, her elder son with Manhasset-born former baseball player Cutter Dykstra, first "was walking and running, my fear was he would run somewhere, and I couldn't catch him," Sigler, 37, said Monday on the motherhood podcast "Katie's Crib," hosted by "Scandal" actress Katie Lowes, also 37, a Port Washington native. "And I don't want to keep him confined and home all the time, so I started to become creative and so I would find parks that were gated,” among other workarounds and adaptations.
"But then I think as he got older, I just started to have these worries that my disability would slow him down, too. And you start to get these . . . emotions of just, like, 'I don't want this to take away anything from his life.' . . . So I hired a nanny to take him [on] trips to the beach or things that I couldn't do . . . hiking or things like that, that I wanted him to experience and I wanted him to have fun doing. And of course it killed me that I wasn't the one doing it, but he comes first."
Sigler reflected that, "You just have to make — they're not sacrifices but choices. . . . I'm bummed that I'm not the one that can experience it all with him but . . . I don't want him to not have those experiences."
She added, "Sometimes I feel guilty or I feel bad because I don't want to put my [troubles] on him." Turning tearful, she said that, "At the same time I think that maybe I'm giving him some lessons in compassion and understanding," saying she was grateful for "the fact that he's never, ever pointed out a single thing that makes me different. The only thing he's ever pointed out is just why he loves me."
As for her younger son Jack, 14 months, with husband Dykstra, son of former Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra, "I hope he'll take Beau's lead."
Sigler revealed three years ago that at age 20 she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that is treatable but incurable. Its many symptoms can include loss of balance, muscle spasms and tremors, and excessive fatigue. About 400,000 Americans suffer from the disorder, the precise cause of which is unknown. But with medication and treatment, say doctors, many patients can lead largely normal lives.