How Ally Hilfiger Survived and Thrived After Her Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Healthinterviewed Tommy Hilfiger's daughter Ally about her long battle with Lyme disease after being bit by a tick as a child. She details her symptoms and the many misdiagnoses she experienced. Watch the video to learn about the toolkit she used to get through the hard times and achieve wellness.
Health interviewed Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter Ally about her long battle with Lyme disease after being bit by a tick as a child. She details her symptoms and the many misdiagnoses she experienced. Watch the video to learn about the toolkit she used to get through the hard times and achieve wellness.
No time to watch? Here's the full transcript:
Hi everyone. Ally Hilfiger joins us here at Health today to talk about her lengthy battle with Lyme Disease. One that you can read all about in her new memoir Bite Me which comes out May 10th.
Do you remember when you initially contracted Lyme Disease?
Yes, I was seven years old. I remember getting bit by a tick and my parents sent it off to the labs. And we got inconclusive tests back.
Do you remember getting the bullseye rash or other telling sign that this was Lyme Disease?
There's so many different symptoms. Reading became a challenge. Light sensitivity. But the neurological, joint pain, nausea were probably the most aggravating.
And you were misdiagnosed for ten years?
I saw many different doctors and I heard a lot of different things, one of them was fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, growing pains rheumatoid arthritis. A lot of different symptoms and a lot of different diagnoses. A lengthy laundry list!
Can you talk about how this battle affected you emotionally on top of those physical symptoms?
One of the biggest issues I think a lot of Lyme sufferers have is that some days you can have good days. And other days you can feel really feel horribly and not be able to get out of bed. So I think it's a lack of validation. And sometimes you start to doubt whether or not you're really feeling what your feeling, if that makes any sense. And you feel disbelieved.
After this laundry list of misdiagnoses, what was it like when you finally heard that it was Lyme disease?
It kind of felt like I won the lottery. Which is so interesting! I finally felt validated for everything that my body was telling me.
And your symptoms have mostly subsided, is that correct?
Yes, I mean I have my good days and my bad days, but overall they're pretty good. I'm happy to be able to get out of bed everyday and be a functioning human being, a present mother and partner.
In your book you mentioned you had this mental, spiritual tool box that you used to really control your symptoms. Can you share those tricks?
Yes, it could be phone numbers of supportive friends. It can be meditation groups. It can be different types of meditation, essential oils.
Can you talk about how your desire to be a mother was this kind of light at the end of the tunnel?
I think when you're going through a hard time, it's always nice to have a goal and that was really something that I focused on and I visualized myself becoming healthy enough to have a baby and she's thirteen months now.
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And and what values do you want to instill in your daughter that you've learned from this pretty wild experience?
I learned self love. That's what I want my daughter to know. You don't have to be a victim and you can be a fearless warrior and survivor.