The actress announced late on Friday (06Feb15) that she had split from her second wife, Michelle Rounds, in November (14) and would be walking away from her daytime gig after just six months to take care of her children.
However, O'Donnell, who suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2012, reveals there was also a medical reason behind her move to quit.
She explains to People.com, "My doctors were noticing that there was an uptick in my (blood pressure) numbers since I started on the show. It got a little bit worse right before the holidays, and my doctor was kind of concerned, so when I went back after the holiday break, she said to me, 'You know, the stress level is too much.'"
O'Donnell, 52, took heed of her medic's advice and decided to reevaluate her lifestyle as she attempts to work things out with Rounds.
She continues, "I've had a lot going on in my personal life that's been very stressful. I have five kids, four of them teenagers, that's a lot of my attention.
"You know, Michelle and I are going through some hard stuff, and I can't really fix those things right away, but I can fix this. I listen to my doctors when they say, 'We don't know why you're living...'
"Like most married couples I know, we are trying to figure it out. And I love her very much as you can see, and she loves me as well. So what it can be and in what way, we'll figure out."
O'Donnell married Rounds in June 2012, and they are parents to an adopted baby girl, named Dakota. She also has an adopted son Parker, and three children with her former partner Kelli Carpenter.
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