Avril Lavigne saw specialist after specialist when her body seemingly turned on her with weakness and fatigue rendering her bedridden back in October. Chronic fatigue syndrome and depression were suggested by top doctors, but it wasn’t until the real culprit was discovered that she got on the road to recovery. She had Lyme disease.
Avril visited the set of “Good Morning America” on Monday and offered a very emotional reveal of her debilitating journey with Lyme disease, according to the Huffington Post on June 29. She is on the road to a full-recovery today, but when recalling the ordeal on “GMA,” she couldn’t help but break down in tears.
At times she couldn’t stand up and the fatigue kept her away from the things she loved. Then there were bouts where the 30-year-old singer didn’t shower for a week because she simply couldn’t get up enough energy to do so. According to MSN News, Avril said, “This is what they do to a lot of people who have Lyme disease, they don’t have an answer for them so they tell them, like, ‘your crazy'”.
It was in April when Avril first opened up about this disease during an interview with People Magazine saying, “I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move. I thought I was dying.” The 30-year-old singer was just too young to be feeling this awful day after day with doctors finding nothing.
Once Avril was diagnosed and was started on the treatment for the Lyme disease, she slowly started to recover. She tells “GMA, “I think, for me, it’s a second shot at life. I want to go out there and truly do what I love, so I’m so excited for life after this.” Avril finally saw a Lyme disease specialist who was able to diagnose her with Lyme disease.
If you live in New England there is a very good chance that you know someone who has been diagnosed with Lyme disease or has a family member or pet that has contracted the disease. The treatment consists of a heavy-duty antibiotic regiment, usually for an extended period of time. The length of treatment also depends on how far along the disease has progressed.
According to the CDC Website, “a rash occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days).” While the bulls-eye rash that some folks get at the site of the tick bite is usually a good indication that Lyme disease is present, many people who do get Lyme disease never had a bulls-eye rash or any rash for that matter.
Much like Avril describes while appearing on “GMA,” it is not unusual for people to go undiagnosed with Lyme disease as its symptoms mimic other ailments. Early stages of Lyme disease often presents with flu-like symptoms and it progresses as time goes on. Joint stiffness, headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness, change in heartbeat, dizziness, stiff neck and even Bell’s Palsy are symptoms that can present within days to weeks after being bitten by a tick. These are just some of the symptoms and you can see how they are symptoms that go along with many diagnosis.
When Lyme disease is undiagnosed and not treated, the disease progresses to the later stages (months to years post tick bite) and the symptoms also progress. According to the CDC “Approximately 60% of patients with untreated infection may begin to have intermittent bouts of arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Large joints are most often affected, particularly the knees. Arthritis caused by Lyme disease manifests differently than other causes of arthritis and must be distinguished from arthralgias (pain, but not swelling, in joints).”
According to the CDC, “Up to 5% of untreated patients may develop chronic neurological complaints months to years after infection. These include shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with short-term memory.”
After the disease is treated and cleared up, lingering symptoms can occur, according to the CDC, “these symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbances, or fatigue.” When Lyme disease is suspected, a blood test is used to diagnose the disease.