In 2004, Kelly Osbourne had no idea that a tick bite she suffered during her father's 56th birthday celebration was going to change her life. Her mother, Sharon, had surprised her father Ozzy with a deer sanctuary in the backyard. Ozzy burned the tick off of Kelly with a match, and they forgot about it. Ten years later, the middle Osbourne child finally realized it was the reason for a decade of pain.
In her upcoming memoir There Is No F*cking Secret, Kelly talks about this period of her life for the first time, about how undiagnosed Lyme disease turned her into a shell of her former self, depressed and anxious about health issues no one had an answer for.
"The doctors kept changing my prescription, trying to get the dosage right, and it turned me into a zombie," she writes in an excerpt published on Us Weekly. She was given Ambien for her sleep issues, then Trazodone, then antacid for the acid reflux the Trazodone caused. She took cranberry extract and antibiotics to fight the UTIs she was prone to thanks to another medication. She was also given painkillers — something she used to be addicted to — to help with the body aches. To top it off, she was also given pills to help with the anxiety she had about taking all these pills.
"When I got yet another prescription that left me barely able to speak, I was reduced to a lump on the couch, and that was my breaking point," she writes. "I took my bag of pills, and my fiancé drove me to my mum’s house. I sat them all out, one by one, until they lined up the length of the counter. 'I can’t live like this anymore,' I said. 'I’m a vegetable.'"
During this time, she had been researching her symptoms, and was fairly certain that Lyme disease was the culprit. She met with an alternative medicine practitioner who confirmed her suspicions and attended his treatment centre in Germany.
"For the first time, someone listened to me, and I got tested," she continued. "The results were positive: I had stage III neurological Lyme disease. I was relieved to finally know what was going on, but I was also scared shitless."
The treatment centre strengthened her immune system so it could eliminate the disease without additional medication.
"I stayed for two weeks," she writes. "I was experiencing emotions and feelings again. I’d been in a diseased and doctor-approved drug-induced haze for so long that I didn’t know what it was like to be happy or sad or in pain."
The star says this incident has taught her to advocate for herself when it comes to her health, as well as trust her gut when she thinks something's wrong — and, of course, stay away from reindeer.