Former The Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler has nightmares about mass shootings because she fears her multiple sclerosis diagnosis will prevent her from getting her kids to safety.
In an emotional essay for Shondaland.com about the challenges of being a mom with MS, the actress admits that’s the worst case scenario she came up with while talking to her husband, Cutter Dykstra, about the condition.
“I had to have the talk with my husband about what we’d do in the worst of circumstances, where I thought out loud: ‘If there ever was a mass shooting, you have to take the kids and run, and trust I will do my best to stay safe’,” she writes. “Just thinking about this still makes me tear up.”
The 37-year-old star was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago, but only went public with her condition in 2016.
Sigler reveals she has always been concerned about how the condition will impact her role as a mom to her young sons.
“The one area in my life where that fear really gets me now is motherhood,” she adds. “When I learned I was pregnant with my first son, Beau, six years ago, I was terrified.
“All of a sudden, I had to think about how my MS would affect someone else. (I say this, because my husband has made me feel since day one that this disease had no negative effect on us as a couple). But with my son, his safety depended on me! His survival!”
The couple now also has a one year old, Jack, and Jamie-Lynn admits she’s trying to be a present mom, despite all the challenges.
“I have two little boys now… I am there for them each and every day,” she explains. “I walk Jack every day in his stroller, around the block, no matter how long it takes me. I take Beau to hockey and karate and baseball, and sit on my chair and cheer him on. I am definitely participating in life the way I always dreamed, but it’s not without challenges.
“My body can ache, and not do the things I want it to do, but in the face of the daily fears that I have of not being enough, my two little boys give me all the love and reassurance I’ll ever need… They don’t ask why I move the way I do, why I need help upstairs sometimes, or why daddy rubs my legs a lot. They don’t care.”