Jennifer Esposito Got Serious About Health Issues After Tooth Fell Out On Set
Actress Jennifer Esposito pictured at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California – Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images North America.
Actress Jennifer Esposito has her former Samantha Who co-star Melissa McCarthy to thank for urging her to seek out help that became a celiac disease diagnosis.
The Crash star admits she had been suffering undiagnozed health issues for years when a tooth suddenly fell out while she was filming a scene on the 2008 TV series, and McCarthy told her it was time to get serious about her well-being.
Actress Melissa McCarthy poses in one of her creations as while promoting her fashion line Melissa McCarthy Seven7 at Nordstrom Downtown Seattle on July 22, 2016 in Seattle, Washington – Photo: Paul Conrad/Getty Images North America.
“We were dear friends… and she knew I was struggling for a while,” Jennifer tells Access Hollywood Live. “I was having panic attacks and I would sleep all through lunch… She knew I was searching and kept going to doctor after doctor.
“My tooth fell out in the middle of a scene with her and Christina (Applegate), and I looked at them and said, ‘Did my tooth just fall out out of my mouth?’
“Melissa said, ‘You’re ill…’ I said, ‘I know, but what do you do?’ I was with three or four doctors at that time… (They were saying) everything from ‘you need therapy’ hypochondria, to ‘you’re stressed – you’re in a crazy business; it’s difficult’… I just kept pushing and I went to one female doctor and she sat with me for about an hour and she took a test for celiac and she called me and said, ‘You’re the worst case I’ve ever seen, I don’t know how you’re alive!'”
In her new book, Jennifer’s Way, Esposito reveals one medic transferred her to the psychiatric ward of a hospital after she shared her suicidal thoughts with him as he was treating her.
She explains, “I was in such bad shape I said, ‘Please keep me here in the hospital. I cannot go home. I’m jumping out of my skin’. He kept me but he kept me in the psych ward because I said, ‘I wanna jump out the window’… I thought, ‘This is not OK!'”
Jennifer spent seven hours in the ward with severely disturbed and unstable people and lost her cool when it came to meal time, adding, “It was a platform of food with pigs in a blanket and fruit in cans and I thought, ‘This is what you’re giving these people to eat? I know now this is related to my gut. Maybe these people have a similar thing’.
“I thought if I ever get outta here alive – because it was a very scary time – then I would do something.”