Health & Beauty

Avril Lavigne on Secret Illness That Kept Her Bedridden: ‘I Felt Like I Was Dying’

After months of being out of the public eye, Avril Lavigne has revealed the health issue that kept her confined to her home and bedridden for five months.
In the new issue of People, Lavigne confirmed that she was diagnosed with a severe case of Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick sometime last spring.

avril-lavigne_people[credit: People]
"I felt like I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk and I couldn't move," Lavigne said to the magazine. "I thought I was dying."
Lyme disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose, with many symptoms that masquerade as flu. Some people may only notice a change in their mood or a general feeling of fatigue like Lavigne did. Tick bites are small and can result in a red rash that looks like a bullseye.
The “Complicated” singer has since been recovering at her Ontario home with the help of her mom and husband Chad Kroeger, when he’s not touring with Nickelback. Lavigne now says she's “80 percent better.”
"There were definitely times I couldn't shower for a full week because I could barely stand,” the 30-year-old explained. "It felt like having all your life sucked out of you."
This past December, Lavigne hinted at her health scare when she directly interacted with a fan site with the message, "I feel bad because I haven't been able to say anything to the fans to let them (know) why I have been absent. I'm torn as I'm quite private. I'm not feeling well. I'm having some health issues. So please keep me in your prayers."
The message went viral and fans reacted in support, tweeting the hashtags #PrayforAvril and #GetWellSoonAvril.
"This was a wake-up call," Lavigne added. "I really just want to enjoy life from here on out."
No one is immune to tick bites and Lyme disease. Most recently, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Foster has been vocal about battling the disease, and it was reportedly the reason she was forced to walk off the reunion show. Even the mention of the illness caused the 51-year-old wife of David Foster to become emotional during the show, explaining to Bravo host Andy Cohen, “Do you really wanna talk about that?'

Other famous faces that have dealt with the disease are “Sopranos” actress Jamie Lynn Sigler, who contracted Lyme disease in 2000 and says she recovered completely after being treated with antibiotics. Parker Posey was diagnosed in 2009 and chose both conventional and homeopathic treatments, according to her statement.

Richard Gere had to delay filming when he contracted Lyme disease in 2007, saying, “This is one scary disease.” he said. “I felt as though every ounce of strength had gone from my body. Within hours I could barely lift my head from the pillow.” He was diagnosed and quickly treated.

It was revealed that President George W. Bush had the disease in 2007, according to the annual report on the president's health report. A White House spokesman said the president was likely bitten during a bike ride.
For more on Lyme disease, click here.