Kelly Osbourne has opened up about her decade-long struggle with undiagnosed lyme disease.
The 32-year-old, who is the daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, reveals that doctors first misdiagnosed her illness and she turned into “a zombie” due to the sheer amount of medication she was prescribed.
Osbourne, who was once addicted to prescription medicine and visited rehab four times, revealed she feared for her life in her upcoming memoir There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch.
Recalling her pre-diagnosis days, she writes that she suffered from “traveling pain”, including sore throats and stomachaches. Following a seizure in 2013, doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy.
“The doctors kept changing my prescription, trying to get the dosage right, and it turned me into a zombie,” she writes, in an exclusive extract featured by US Weekly.
When she received yet another prescription to help manage her symptoms from the other medication she reached “breaking point”.
She told her family: “‘I can’t live like this anymore,’ I said. ‘I’m a vegetable.’”
Osbourne had been researching her symptoms and was convinced she had Lyme disease.
This was later confirmed when she was diagnosed with stage III neurological Lyme disease by an alternative medicine practitioner in Germany, whom she first met when her treated her brother for MS.
“I was relieved to finally know what was going on, but I was also scared sh*tless...I started stem cell therapy. Rather than trying to kill off the disease with antibiotics, this treatment worked to strengthen my immune system so my body could fight off and get rid of the disease on its own, which is a much more complete and lasting cure.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.
It is often characterised by a bull’s-eye rash, however many people will not seek medical help and can go years before being diagnosed.
According to the NHS, more serious symptoms may develop several weeks, months or even years later if the disease is left untreated or is not treated early on.
These symptoms can include: pain and swelling in the joints (inflammatory arthritis), problems affecting the nervous system, heart problems and inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Osbourne recalls the moment she contracted the tick-borne disease from a reindeer sanctuary in the back garden of the family’s England home at her father’s birthday in 2004.
She adds that she has kept quiet about her disease until now.
“It seems like the trendy disease to have right now, and I’m tired of seeing sad celebrities play the victim on the cover of weekly mags,” she said. “Since I know firsthand how awfully debilitating it is, I know who really has it and who is just trying to prolong their 15 minutes. I don’t understand how anyone could think that the life you have to live with Lyme disease is glamorous.”
She adds: “I’ve learned to advocate for myself when it comes to my health, and I trust my intuition. If I think something is wrong, I refuse to let anyone dismiss it.”