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Yolanda Hadid opens up about her ‘nightmare’ battle with Lyme disease that made her want ‘to die’

Yolanda Hadid has opened up about how her decade-long battle with Lyme disease had her wishing she would die, saying she wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for her three children. 

Speaking with British Vogue, the 57-year-old mom of models Gigi, Bella, and Anwar Hadid recalled how she suffered from severe fatigue, memory loss, swollen lymph nodes, and slight Bell’s palsy on her face, among other crippling symptoms that led to her being deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. 

‘I can’t begin to describe the darkness, the pain and the hell I lived through every day. For some time, it didn’t even feel like living at all. This disease brought me to my knees,’ said Yolanda, who is currently in remission. 

Love: Yolanda Hadid haas opened up about her battle with Lyme disease, saying she doesn’t think she’d be here if it weren’t for her children Gigi, Bella, and Anwar Hadid

Hard to handle: Yolanda, pictured after surgery in 2016, said she was deeply depressed and 'wished to die' during her decade-long battle with the disease

Hard to handle: Yolanda, pictured after surgery in 2016, said she was deeply depressed and ‘wished to die’ during her decade-long battle with the disease 

‘Many nights I wished to die, and prayed I would just be free of the pain. If it weren’t for my children, I don’t think I would be here today,’ she admitted. ‘It’s so important we learn to listen to people, as many of us are suffering in silence. We should learn not to judge how somebody feels by the way they look on the outside.’ 

Yolanda, who has been public with her health struggles, revealed in 2015 that her youngest two children — Bella, 24, and Anwar 21 — also suffer from chronic Lyme disease for which there is no known cure. 

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. 

The most common early symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash called erythema migrans, which appears as a bullseye appearance around the bite area. The disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics. 

Family fight: The former Real Housewife's two youngest children, Bella, 24, and Anwar, 21, also suffer from chronic Lyme disease for which there is no cure

Family fight: The former Real Housewife's two youngest children, Bella, 24, and Anwar, 21, also suffer from chronic Lyme disease for which there is no cure

Family fight: The former Real Housewife’s two youngest children, Bella, 24, and Anwar, 21, also suffer from chronic Lyme disease for which there is no cure

Looking back: Yolanda said she isn't sure how she and her children contracted the disease, but she noted that they all spend a great deal of time outdoors and riding horses

Looking back: Yolanda said she isn’t sure how she and her children contracted the disease, but she noted that they all spend a great deal of time outdoors and riding horses 

However, doctors sometimes use the term ‘chronic Lyme disease’ to describe situations in which a confirmed case of Lyme disease is treated, but the patient still has non-specific symptoms, including persistent pain, joint and muscle aches, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness.  

Yolanda has described Lyme disease as being an ‘invisible disability’ because sufferers appear to be healthy on the outside.

‘It’s much easier for us to have compassion for somebody with visible external symptoms,’ she explained. ‘Most people still don’t seem to believe that chronic Lyme disease even exists. As the saying goes: you don’t truly get it until you get it.’ 

The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star said she isn’t sure how she and her children contracted the disease, but she noted that they all spend a great deal of time outdoors.  

Horrible: Yolanda, pictured after cavitation surgery in 2017, suffered from severe fatigue and swollen lymph nodes, among other symptoms

Horrible: Yolanda, pictured after cavitation surgery in 2017, suffered from severe fatigue and swollen lymph nodes, among other symptoms

Recovering: Yolanda, pictured with Bella during a treatment in 2016, has described Lyme disease as being an 'invisible disability' because sufferers appear to be healthy on the outside

Recovering: Yolanda, pictured with Bella during a treatment in 2016, has described Lyme disease as being an ‘invisible disability’ because sufferers appear to be healthy on the outside

Lessons learned: Yolanda said her 'decade-long journey was an absolute nightmare,' but it taught her valuable lessons about survival and loving her 'authentic self'

Lessons learned: Yolanda said her ‘decade-long journey was an absolute nightmare,’ but it taught her valuable lessons about survival and loving her ‘authentic self’

‘My children grew up on a farm in Santa Barbara, California, riding horses and spending a lot of time in nature,’ she said. ‘We never noticed any ticks or bullseye rashes on us, but we’ll never know for sure.’

The mother of three’s health started deteriorating in 2010 as she struggled with mysterious symptoms, including muscle weakness, memory loss, and joint pain. 

‘My body sent me early warning signs, but my type-A personality didn’t leave me much room to be vulnerable with myself,’ she admitted. ‘I fought tooth and nail to keep things together in front of my family and friends, but as things got progressively worse, there was no hiding from the truth anymore.’    

A Belgium doctor diagnosed her with Lyme disease in 2012, but her recovery was an uphill battle. Yolanda told British Vogue that her ‘decade-long journey was an absolute nightmare,’ but it taught her valuable lessons about survival and loving her ‘authentic self.’ 

Healthy: Yolanda, who is in remission, said she now keeps most of her chronic symptoms at bay by prioritizing sleep, eating organic foods, and practicing yoga and mediation

Healthy: Yolanda, who is in remission, said she now keeps most of her chronic symptoms at bay by prioritizing sleep, eating organic foods, and practicing yoga and mediation

Lots of love: Yolanda became a grandma in September when her daughter Gigi had her first child

She recently celebrated her two year anniversary with her boyfriend Joseph Jingoli

Lots of love: Yolanda became a grandma in September when her daughter Gigi had her first child. She also recently celebrated her two year anniversary with her boyfriend Joseph Jingoli

Centered: 'The emotional and spiritual part of healing is equally as important as the medical diagnosis,' Yolanda said

Centered: ‘The emotional and spiritual part of healing is equally as important as the medical diagnosis,’ Yolanda said

Yolanda said she now keeps most of her chronic symptoms at bay by prioritizing sleep, eating organic foods, and practicing yoga and mediation. She also sleeps with the Wave 1 frequency emitter by FREmedica. 

‘It communicates with your cells through LED light for wellness management,’ she said of the $750 device.  

Yolanda, who divorced her second husband, David Foster, in 2017, is in a happy relationship with her Joseph Jingoli, her boyfriend of two years. She also became a grandmother for the first time in September when Gigi and her boyfriend Zayn Malik welcomed their daughter Khai.  

‘The emotional and spiritual part of healing is equally as important as the medical diagnosis,’ Yolanda said. ‘My heart is very full. Life has blessed me with an extraordinary partner who has made me believe in love again.’

WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks.

The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash called erythema migrans.

The disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics.

But if left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous symptoms and be deadly.  

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE INFECTED?

During the first three to 30 days of infection, these symptoms may occur:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Erythema migrans (EM) rash 

The rash occurs in approximately 80 per cent of infected people.

It can expand to up to 12 inches (30 cm), eventually clearing and giving off the appearance of a target or a ‘bull’s-eye’.

Later symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional rashes
  • Arthritis with joint pain and swelling
  • Facial or Bell’s palsy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Nerve pain 

Source: CDC


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