Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of eighteen. She couldn't put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an off-Broadway play. But now, Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain; everything from joint pain, to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog. A doctor in the psych ward was finally able to give her the answers her and her family had desperately been searching for, and the diagnosis that all the previous doctors had missed. She learned that she had Lyme disease-and finally had a breakthrough.
What she didn't know was that this diagnosis would lead her down some of the most excruciating years of her life before beginning her journey to recovery from eleven years of misdiagnosis and physical pain. She would need to find her courage to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally, and become the survivor she is today.
Set against the backdrop of the fast-paced fashion and entertainment industries, BITE ME shares the heartbreaking and hilarious stories that moved Ally forward on her journey from sickness to health. Its themes will be familiar to more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, many of whom, like Ally, wondered for years what was wrong with them. BITE ME offers readers hope and ideas for how one can transition from victim to survivor, and shares the spiritual principles and actions that have contributed to her wholeness as a human, mother, and international spokesperson against Lyme disease.
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
ALLY HILFIGER is a producer, actress, artist,fashion designer, writer, and Lyme disease survivor. As a producer, she created and starred in Rich Girls for MTV, produced the feature film Proud, and was featured in Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's and the documentary Dressed. As a designer, she spearheaded the women's clothing line NAHM. Ally is the daughter of fashion mogul and entrepreneur Tommy Hilfiger and sits on the board of the Global Lyme Alliance. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Foreword Tommy Hilfiger xi
1 A Bite of Crazy 1
2 Fashion Fairy Tale 9
3 "Off to See the Wizard…" 15
4 Scared Heart and Growing Pains 27
5 To Pee or Not to Pee 39
6 Valium and Helicopters: "Ze Doctor Vil Zee You Now" 47
7 The Green Lollipop Excuse 55
8 Painting, Chanting, and Pitching Films to Famous Actors 65
9 In Angel's Wings… and Handcuffed 79
10 Deal with the Devil 93
11 Wilfred and the Burrito Incident 103
12 Turning to Judaism in a Karaoke Nightclub 115
13 From the ER to Bungalow 8 121
14 Commencing Countdown, Engines On 127
15 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 141
16 The Purple Goddess 151
17 Nights in White Satin 161
18 The Battle Begins 173
19 In the Blood 181
20 Brain Fog, Herxing, and Don Hill's 189
21 Dad, Light the Nag Champa 199
22 Straight to the Heart 207
23 Smelling Like Garlic and Loving the High 217
24 Head, Shoulders, Knees and.… Fingernails? 223
25 Happy Birthday, Ally 227
26 The German Protocol 235
27 The Man All in Black and a Wide-Brimmed Hat 247
28 East Meet West and Closes the Door 255
29 Highway to Heaven 271
30 Not at All What I Was Expecting 277
Appendix 1 Two Doctor's Opinions 283
Appendix 2 Focus Wheels and Written Intentions 291
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Bite Me' is one of a growing group of celebrity memoirs about their terrible experiences with Lyme disease. Some commentators have wondered how so many people rich people are getting Lyme disease, to which the answers might be 1) poor people get it too, they just can't get diagnosed and the rest of society is more than happy to go on ignoring them, and 2) having a country house in Connecticut is a major risk factor. In any case, leaping over the whining and complaints from a certain sector about all the attention given to (mainly female) celebrities speaking out against Lyme disease, as if it's okay to be a misogynist jerk to desperately ill people as long as they're "privileged" in certain tick-the-box ways (not having a terrible illness is *also* a privilege, ladies and gentlemen, maybe the most important one there is), it's nice to see Ally and others like her speak up about their experiences. If it takes a bunch of reality tv stars and other incredibly rich and good-looking people telling their stories to raise awareness, so much the better. Perhaps the most depressing thing about Ally's story is how difficult a time she had getting diagnosed, despite having rich and powerful parents who did everything they could think of to help her. She was probably infected at the age of seven. Her mother not only saw the tick but saved it and took it in for analysis, but they were told that the results were "inconclusive," as was Ally's bloodwork, so obviously it couldn't be Lyme, despite the fact that the Hilfigers spent a lot of time in suburban Connecticut, the epicenter of the epidemic. So when Ally started experiencing such severe joint and muscle pain that she could no longer sit still, and lost the ability to do basic math after previously being a stellar student, she was diagnosed as "learning disabled." It was clear that something that was very wrong with her all throughout her teens, so much so that she ended up being institutionalized for drug addiction (she was constantly smoking pot for the pain), but it took 11 years of illness and months of institutionalization before she was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease, plus co-infections. And then came the saga of treatment... Hilfiger tells the story of her Lyme disease mixed in with the rest of her life, so there's plenty there about her acting and her fashion designing, which would probably be of more interest to other readers than to me. This is more a personal story than it is a story of Lyme disease as an entity, but there's plenty of information about the disease too, as well as the unpleasant decade of treatment Ally underwent following finally getting her diagnosis. Hopefully Hilfiger's celebrity will bring in readers who might not otherwise be interested in the disease but just want to read about what was going on behind the scenes of"Rich Girls," and who might learn a thing or two in the process. Like what to do and where to turn if your previously active and intelligent child develops a mysterious problem that leaves them confused, exhausted, and in pain for years on end, and everyone keeps insisting it's ADHD, learning disabilities, oppositional-defiance disorder (!!! How is this even a diagnosis!), anxiety, depression, an "aversive personality" (one of the diagnoses I received), etc. etc. etc.
I read this book in 4 days! It's such a great balance of authenticity, information and inspiration. A must read for anyone with chronic Lyme, or anyone supporting a friend or family member battling this insidious disease.