Canadian singer Avril Lavigne has revealed that the unnamed health issue she discussed in December is an ongoing case of Lyme disease, which had kept her bedridden for months.
"I felt like I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk and I couldn't move," the 30-year-old artist says in the new issue of People magazine, being published Friday.
Although she estimates she is now "80 percent better," there were times, she says, when, "I thought I was dying . . . I was scared for my life. There were definitely times I couldn't shower for a full week because I could barely stand. It felt like having all your life sucked out of you."
Lavigne, whose hits include "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi," says the lingering, debilitating disease first became acute in October while she was in Las Vegas with friends celebrating her Sept. 27 birthday. "I could barely eat, and when we went to the pool, I had to leave and go lie in bed," she tells the magazine. "My friends asked, 'What's wrong?' I didn't know."
She had felt poorly for several months, but as often occurs with Lyme disease, whose symptoms mimic others, doctors did not diagnose it until months after she had contracted it. "I had no idea a bug bite could do this," she tells People. "I was bedridden for five months." The singer believes she was bitten by a tick last spring and says she began feeling ill last April.
Her mother, Judy, moved into Lavigne's Ontario, Canada, home to care for her, People says, and her husband, Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger, 40, visited when on a tour break.
Lavigne told the magazine that even though she is recovering, "It's really up and down -- you get better, then you get worse, then better."
Reports of health concerns for the multiplatinum artist began in December after a Twitter direct-message exchange between the singer and a fan in which Lavigne addressed health concerns was posted publicly. "I feel bad because I haven't been able to say anything to the fans to let them no [sic] why I've been absent," she wrote. "I'm torn as I'm quite private . . . I'm not feeling well. I'm having some health issues. So please keep me in your prayers."