(USA TODAY) Pop star Debbie Gibson has been living with a painful and debilitating condition for more than a year, and is just now publicly revealing her struggles.
In a blog post from earlier this week titled, WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU A LEMON … OR LYME!!, the '80s teen queen describes her battle with Lyme disease, which caused her to lose a considerable amount of weight and experience extreme pain.
"The first symptoms came in the form of food sensitivities. I found I could not touch sugar, starch, caffeine, certain oils, etc., without having a severe reaction that felt like jolts of electricity running through my body. I felt like a live wire. Talk about Electric Youth!" she writes, alluding to her hit album of the same name.
She writes that once diagnosed, the disease wreaked havoc on her ability to keep food down, and she lost so much weight that her boyfriend knew something was majorly wrong.
"I was not absorbing water properly and could not drink enough of it to stay hydrated. Because of this, my appearance was pretty harsh. I was self conscious about the deep lines on my forehead. I got a call right at that moment to do a cameo in the 3rdMega Shark installment. I hated the thought of appearing on camera looking so gaunt and depleted."
After a bad bout with Botox, more scary symptoms and a difficult emotional journey, Gibson writes that she's feeling optimistic and working every day to feel better.
"I am still in this process and undergoing treatment. But, beyond just 'glimmers of hope,' I actually feel like 'ME' again. These last round of shows have been therapeutic and uplifting. We all face challenges and I am learning much from the ones I am facing. No disease in the body can keep the spirit from soaring, the love from pouring, and, nothing can stop the music!"