8 Celebrities Who've Struggled With Lyme Disease
What is Lyme disease?
Singer Avril Lavigne was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014 after suffering from bouts of extreme exhaustion. In an interview with People in April 2015, Lavigne said that she'd been lethargic and bedridden for five months. "I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk and I couldn't move," she said in the interview. "I thought I was dying."
In a later interview with Good Morning America, Lavigne spoke more about her battle with the disease. "I'd wake up and have night sweats and I felt like I had the flu," she said. "This went on and off for a month." After seeing numerous specialists who misdiagnosed her, the singer ultimately found a Lyme disease specialist and is expected to make a full recovery.
Foster addressed her illness again on an episode of Watch What Happens Live. "It's been a long journey… every day I wake up trying to figure out how to get over this," she said. "The most frustrating part of this disease is that you look so normal from the outside."
Daryl Hall—who you probably know as one half of the band Hall & Oates—was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2005. "I've lived in the country for many, many years—in the New York/Connecticut border; it's a hotbed for deer and other wildlife animals," he said in a 2011 interview with Healthline. Hall's wife and two stepchildren also suffer from the disease.
Before he first went to the doctor, Hall experienced a wide range of symptoms, from fevers to muscle stiffness and tremors. "I used to think I had allergies, because I used to feel feverish," he said. "And then one day I got a really high fever, my neck stiffened up, I had all kinds of aches and pains and I got really bad tremors." The musician's symptoms were so excruciating that he was forced to cancel an upcoming tour and focus on his treatment.
In a 2013 op-ed in The New York Times, Tan described how she suffered through Lyme disease symptoms without a proper diagnosis or treatment for four years. "I was plagued by a variety of ailments that didn't quite fit any one disease," she wrote. "I suffered joint pain, head and muscle aches, insomnia, a racing heart, a gagging sensitivity to smells, constant nausea and exhaustion, plunging blood sugar, seizures and an obsession with my unknown illness."
Though actor Alec Baldwin has been less vocal about his Lyme disease diagnosis, he referenced his chronic battle with the disease in a 2011 interview with The New York Times. "At the same time of year, I get really tired," he said.
Wells said that her symptoms were continuously misdiagnosed. After seeing numerous doctors, she finally consulted an environmental medicine doctor, who gave her the Lyme diagnosis. "What having Lyme has continued to teach me is that even when you can't see it, there's hope," she says. "I reached a point when I didn't think there was any hope. My doctor said to me that there is always hope, you just have to reach for it."
The former The Sopranos and Entourage star contracted Lyme disease while filming a movie in rural New Jersey. Luckily, Sigler is an example of successful treatment after early detection: the actress first noticed a tingling sensation in her feet and shortly after, she experienced paralysis of her legs. After spending five days in a hospital, doctors diagnosed her with Lyme disease and she was given antibiotic treatment, which was effective in combating the disease.
"It was such a life-altering experience," Sigler said in a 2001 interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "I realized it could all be taken away in a moment. It's hard to explain, when you sit there and can't move anything."