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Jamie-Lynn Sigler On Her Battle With Multiple Sclerosis

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 15/03/2016 Quora

These questions originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.Answers by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Mother, Actress, Baseball Wife, on Quora.Q: How has your battle with multiple sclerosis affected your career?

A: Well, I have taken many "breaks" to deal with it. Not necessarily because of anything physical, but more emotional. There are times when this disease has really made me question my self worth, my purpose, my talent.. because now I had limitations I never had to deal with before, and it really would take its toll. So I would step back for a few months and just try and gather myself and my confidence again to step back out. Because I was living with it as a secret, I would just hit my limits sometimes and have to take a break. There have been times too where I wanted to work and things just didn't work out for the jobs I really wanted.

I have certain limitations, and I know what they are, and am very upfront about them. So now, until I find my way to fully healing ( and i believe I will) I just need to find people that don't mind that I can't really run or do anything that involves too much physicality, and want me for my talent and the emotion I can bring to a role. I have thought about "quitting" hundreds of times because it would just be easier to do that. But, I love what I do. I really do. I work at it all the time. I don't want to give up.

Q: What should everyone know about MS to better understand those who have it?

A: Thank you for asking that. Hmm, where do I begin?

MS is a neurological and auto-immune disease in which the body basically attacks itself, and affects the myelin (which is the protective coating around our nerves). It can cause all different types of ailments in those affected by it. No case is ever the exact same. So it can be frustrating to explain or feel like people can relate to. I am not a doctor or an expert, but I am someone who has lived with this disease for about 15 years.

It is very difficult to have things you once had control of and abilities you once had be taken away from you. It can eat away at you physically and mentally. I think the emotional affects have been far greater than the physical ones for me. Although I do have things physically that are affected.

Many of us can look healthy, but be in a lot of pain at the same time. You learn to live with it. You have no choice but to.

MS takes patience. Especially from those that are around people that have the disease. Family and friends are affected by MS just as much. But one thing I have learned, is that the more I let people in , and the more I let them help me (even though thats really hard to ask for at times), the better things are. Its a fight for all of us together.

I do, however, believe in my heart of hearts, that there will be some relief and even possibly a cure in our lifetime. I have to believe that. Not just for myself, but for my family, my son, and all those out there that have to deal with this disease every day.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone diagnosed with MS, what would it be?A: Have a good cry, take a deep breath, and do research. Don't stop fighting. Be active as much as you can. Eat as healthy as you can. Ask for help. Don't give up. Most importantly though, be kind to yourself. You can't be perfect and you can't do it all. Meditate, stretch, get a massage..anything that relaxes you.
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