Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Thalía Mottola felt like illness crushed her bones, she thought she was dying
The singer is an advocate for Lyme disease awareness and was honored in 2015 by the Lyme Global Alliance for her work
Mexican-born entertainer Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda Mottola, known to most as Thalía, has dominated the Latin music industry besides singing at the White House and dancing with former president Barack Obama. As her career soared to new heights, the legendary singer suffered from Lyme disease in 2008. In her 2011 memoir titled 'Growing Stronger', Mottola dedicated a chapter to her experience with the illness and has been vocal about her struggles since. The disease is caused and spread by ticks and affects thousands, although it isn't easily or efficiently diagnosed. Its wide array of symptoms can also be misdiagnosed.
Mottola started to feel ill as she approached the end of her first pregnancy. After she gave birth to her child, the singer's health took a turn for the worse, rendering her unable of taking care of her newborn daughter, reported lymedisease.org. Her symptoms weren't approached with the cautiousness of Lyme, rather the doctors involved in her case attributed her symptoms to post-partum depression, which is another serious illness. The singer knew there was something else that was causing her such discomfort as nothing the doctors had given her helped alleviate her symptoms. "They didn’t care what I said, it was as if I was talking to a wall. I continued to feel like I had been run over by a truck that had dragged me for a thousand miles, along with a steamroller that had crushed every last bone in my body. I literally thought I was dying," Mottola wrote in her memoir. The singer started to research about her concerns and came across Lyme disease, which was later confirmed and treated.
In 'Growing Stronger', the singer writes about her struggles during the treatment and how difficult it was. "I would sweat profusely, soaking my pajamas, the sheets, and even the mattress; everything hurt, even my hair, which, by the way, started to fall out. At times it felt as if my head were going to burst, as if there were lead inside of it; my eyes ached in their sockets…. the hypersensitivity of my skin was so severe that sometimes I couldn’t even handle the bedsheets," wrote the singer. She had gone through treatment for two years and writes that it was the treatment that put her "on the road to recovery". "I have started to live again," wrote the singer, who made sure she followed a healthy lifestyle and returned to her career and numerous talents.
The singer is an advocate for Lyme disease awareness and was honored in 2015 by the Lyme Global Alliance for her work. She even has an educational website for the illness in Spanish called sobrelyme.com. Mottola told Hola in January 2020, "It's like a silent epidemic called 'the great impersonator' because it can be confused with lupus, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia, among many others." On March 31, 2020, during the Billboard Live Q&A, Mottola spoke with Billboard’s Leila Cobo for an Instagram Live where she spoke of her experience in quarantine. The singer explained that she has been in sort of a quarantine over the past decade, saying, "I practice quarantine for my Lyme disease, everything that is the hygiene of the hands, cleaning shoes, where to go out has been part of the process." She also told Hola, "I got sick 12 years ago. Now I feel fantastic thanks to the treatments I have followed, a healthy life change, healthy eating, exercise, and a positive mind."
May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month and it brings an opportunity for Lyme patients, activists and educators to share tips and open up about Lyme and tick-borne diseases. In this column, we highlight the struggles of celebrities and talk about preventive and cure measures.