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i am sick, i have to cancel morrissey, and i am sad.

(cross-posted to patreon, i’ll read comments on both sites as usual: https://www.patreon.com/posts/2991172)

hola comrades….

well, i wish i was writing on a cheerier topic, given that the past month has already been a barrage of posts about death, grief and mortality, but it appears that we’re still in the woods together. this has been one bitch of a summer.

you may have noticed i’ve been pretty quiet on the tweeting/blogging/facebook front and you may have assumed it was because neil and I went off, as planned, for what was supposed to be a relaxing week of family vacation in maine. well, kinda.

on wednesday night in boston, before leaving for maine the following day, I got a weird feeling in the night, woke up, dragged my pregnant body to the bathroom to pee, felt a chill in my bones even though it was 75 degrees out, thought “that’s odd, must be some weirdo pregnant thing” and went back to bed. on thursday neil and i drove up to maine, and on thursday night I had a fever and a chill. neil made sympathetic sounds. on friday, he saw the back of my arm and noticed that there was a giant bull’s eye-shaped insect-bite. we took a photo and sent it to doctor dan, our wonderful family doctor. doctor dan phoned in some antibiotics and told us to keep him updated.

on friday night, i sweated through the sheets and moaned and groaned with a chill so bad I had to ask neil to wrap my feet, which were like ice blocks, in a hot washcloth. then my icy feet would turn to burning logs, and I had to ask neil to put a cold washcloth on them to cool them down. i was delirious. he fetched all the washcloths. he’s a really, really, really good husband.

we were worried about the baby. i’m seven, almost eight months pregnant. this was not good. we went to the emergency room on saturday morning. it was a half hour drive to the closest hospital. neil was careful going over the bumps. i oozed and gurgled.

if you ever need to go to a hospital for any reason, i highly recommend mid-coastal maine in the summer.

it’s beautiful.

i was admitted and wound up staying for three days and nights in miles memorial hospital, in damariscotta, maine, where a team of really lovely maine doctors and nurses and OB-GYNs took over and made me feel really safe. i must add this one detail now, because it was truly the highlight of my three shitty days in there: THEY HAD LOBSTER ROLLS ON THE HOSPITAL MENU ON MONDAY. i ate a lobster roll.

we even got a summer lightning storm, which i watched from a semi-perpendicular position.

despite the meteorological delights and fine cuisine, it was all pretty unpleasant. they gave me two spinal taps (the first was unsuccessful, and I’ll tell you, nothing’s more disheartening than a doctor poking around with a giant needle in your back and telling you it was, no pun intended, pointless) to rule out meningitis, they hooked me up to bags of fluids and antibiotics, they kept a close watch on the baby’s heartbeat, and I lay there, feeling pretty scared and powerless, and not wanting to say anything to the world because I didn’t have it in me.

our cousin judith spent the first night with me, and then she and neil tag-teamed back and forth between being with the family and being by my side while I beat the fever. we got the blood tests back eventually: acute lyme disease. and the best news possible: early stage lyme disease, which means they caught it in time and it hopefully can’t linger, and most importantly, it can’t hurt the baby.

i don’t know what fucking tick ruined my week, but fuck that tick. the tick bite may have happened the day outside near the woods at anthony’s memorial, or i may have been punished for rollicking around on the grass in upstate new york the week before. i’ll never know. i don’t care. i forgive the tick. the ticks are hungry. i am food. we are all one. whatever.

i was really, really, really, REALLY looking forward to opening for morrissey. the gig of a lifetime, basically, and if you know me, you know why.

i got out of the hospital on tuesday, i crossed my fingers, stayed in bed, drank all the fluids, took all the tylenol, wished all the wishes, and hoped that i would recover quickly.

no such luck. it seems it’s not even the lyme disease itself which is holding me back: it’s the fucking spinal tap.

(insert spinal tap joke HERE).

in the hours after getting the successful tap on sunday, i developed a debilitating headache, which they say is normal, especially for preggo ladies.

but it doesn’t FEEL normal, it feels like i’ve got the world’s least-deserved hangover. when I lie down, i’m relatively fine.

when i sit up or walk around for longer than about thirty seconds, it feels like I spent the night raging with a half bottle of tequila, plus a few wines, plus jager shots.

plus jello shots. plus grain alcohol shots. plus everybody’s cigarettes. plus snorting mystery powders.

like, the kind of night where everything blurs and you just start consuming whatever substances happen to float your way.

THAT KIND OF HANGOVER.

in a nutshell, it’s really painful. and it doesn’t seem to be abating very quickly.

i made the call yesterday. i can’t do the gig. it’d be ridiculous. i can barely get out of bed, i don’t know how i’d get on a plane, and even if neil was a hero and let me sleep prone/supine on his lap the entire trip, i’m literally not sure i’d be able to make it through the show.

i also feel really scared about this poor little kid in my belly. he’s already been through so much. watching his heartbeat waver up and down while i had a fever was frightening. i felt like i was already being a bad mother, and i haven’t given birth yet. the kid’s been infused with more strange emotions and drama in the past few months than any fetus really should have to endure. i should be like, nesting and gardening and knitting and pickling things, whistling cat stevens to myself while i patiently wait for the arrival of my bundle of joy. instead this fetus has been dragged from hospital to deathbed to hospital. he certainly hasn’t gotten the rose-colored version. this is life, kid. people get sick and die. welcome to earth, baby!

so i am doing the Totally Adult Thing. i’m canceling the morrissey gig, i’m staying in bed, and while i’m pretty fucking sad about it, it’s also a no-brainer.

for any of you who were traveling from afar to see the AFP/morrissey gig…for all of you who have been looking forward to this moment as much as me….i’m so, so sorry.

they can’t refund tickets (as i’m the opening act)…i hope all you still go, and i hope the moz blows your heads off with his great mozzy epicness, and i hope you forgive me if this wound up screwing up your life at all.

i’m especially sad you guys won’t get to see the great liv bruce in action, on the drums. he has already flown out to the west coast and was primed for action to take the stage with me. we’ll have to make it up to you, somehow.

i’m especially sad you guys won’t get to see the great liv bruce in action, on the drums. he has already flown out to the west coast and was primed for action to take the stage with me.

we’ll have to make it up to you, somehow.

i wrote a nice apology letter to morrissey. i feel sad. i hope he isn’t angry. i was looking forward to this so, so much.

and that’s the weather.

i’m hoping to make a full recovery within the next week…i do have a whole new exciting recording project to announce (and….record) for patreon.

and i had a special august surprise for the new yorkers. it should be fine. i hope. i don’t like being sick. i hate it.

i love you all so very much. in the midst of all of this, i’m grateful to have all of you, to have neil, to have my family and my team, to be surrounded by concerned and caring people who aren’t amy-winehousing me to death. i’m really lucky, and i know it.

and i really hope no more morbid dramatic shit happens this summer.

enough, for fuck’s sake….enough.

xx
a

p.s. i am 32 weeks pregnant, and the baby is the size of a “large jicama”. which i had to google. images of jicamas aren’t very inspiring.

but according to the same website, he does have fingernails, and toenails. so that’s something.

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  • Sarah Larsen

    I have Chronic neurologic Lyme and i have had the wicked headacheb that comes with spinal taps. Three high dose caffeine pills made it so that I could finally do more than crawl around my apartment after three days of debilitating pain. Ask you doctors if you could take some of those safely with baby. It normalizes the fluid pressure in the your skull. I am the mama of three and Lyme Disease hard. You have all my prayers, Amanda.

  • Juliet Schneider

    So sorry you’re feeling so poorly – but glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself & your baby! You are an astoundingly hard-working, brave, generous, artist and one of the more fantastic humans around. Wishing you a speedy recovery – and an easy rest of your pregnancy! xoxoxo

  • little bird big chip

    Lady! Stop beating yourself up so much! All your fans love you, they were coming to see you and they will understand. Girls gotta look after herself. I think you’re pretty fantastic so take care and I wish you a speedy recovery. Xxx

  • Annette Martini

    If the headache doesn’t let up within a week or if it’s debilitating, see about getting an epidural blood patch. Rarely, those headaches can become chronic or lead to cranial nerve palsies if not treated. Hope you feel better.

  • http://lenski.com/ Tammy

    Ack, Amanda, what a crappy thing. Thank goodness for lobster roll (well, except for the lobster). Most of us who live in northern New England have really begun to fear ticks. Please be really vigilant about the lyme — it can be a disease with lingering effects, even when caught early (like it was for you and me). We all want you healthy and happy!

  • Meg61

    Amanda. My partner has lyme disease and knows a lot about it. She says you need to go see a Doctor that specializes in lyme disease. You need to be tested for coinfections. The coinfections can be as bad or worse than the lyme bacteria itself. Common coinfections are Babesia, Bartonella, and Erlichia. Please follow up and make sure you are completely free of infections. Much love and hugs. The baby needs to be tested after he is born too because the lyme and the Babesia can be transferred to the baby. It will be OK but you need to do much follow up testing and make sure all is good. Get a doctor that is well versed about Lyme and all the coinfections.

  • Mary

    When I got the spinal tap headache, my sister told me to drink caffeine. I made a disgusting mix of instant coffee that was the consistency of a smoothie, but the headache went away. However, I was not pregnant, so the blood patch is probably a better solution. I did not know about that, so it was not an option for me. Good luck. That headache sucked. I hope yours goes away soon.

  • Theresa

    If you get a chance to get in some acupuncture for the Lyme regroup I highly recommend it, especially if you feel lethargic. It’s such a hugely good thing you showed signs so quickly so they could treat the Lyme asap. Ebsom Salt baths are also amazing if you need a quick RnR remedy, with a bit of essential oil if you like. Hope you have a restful weekend!

  • Jennifer

    Oh darling!! So sorry there are no words!! Most docs will tell you that three weeks of antibiotics are enough but for so many people (including Kathleen Hannah and Karen Allen the actress) it wasn’t enough! Specialists in the know say 4-6 months of antibiotics and you will be lyme-free for sure!! Please get it all the way and don’t end up like me!! Sending you ALL the love there is!!!

  • Lopsided Lindsay

    Ah Amanda, you take all the time you need – and yes, listen to Jennifer below – TAKE all the anti-biotics etc NOW , fight for the proper treatment – a lot of what they give is inadequate. You need to ”pulse” medications too. So sorry you missed your gig, but you n baby are much more important than Morrisey – and there will be other chances. Hey, your baby chose you and Neil… so he knows . He also feels the Love all around. Rest up! xxx There are many ‘alternative therapies’ for this too – dont underestimate Lyme, please – it can ruin your life. Youre so lucky to have early d/x.

  • Holly Maddocks Lounder

    I don’t want to give unsolicited advise, but your symptoms sound like you have babesia as well. You won’t get better unless its treated. Tests are unreliable. I have had Lyme, babesia, and bartenella undiagnosed for 30 years, I almost died in 2013 when I finally was diagnosed. I recommend http://www.ilads.org for information on tick born illnesses. I also recommend Dr. Hecht in Portsmouth NH who can help you make decisions on treatment and how best to ensure these diseases aren’t passed to your unborn child. I passed Lyme and babesia to both of my daughters. I’m so happy you got treatment so quickly! A Lyme litterate doctor can ensure you get 100% better and also have a healthy baby! God bless! The RR is a great Lyme support group in the midcoast area. I can’t remember the exact name, but Paula Jackson Jones helps run it! You can Google midcoast Lyme and a website will pop up quickly.

  • A Little Bit of Everything

    Listen to the women below re Lyme. As for the baby, they really are much stronger than we give them credit for. You’re going to drs, you’ve got a loving husband/family/friends. I get that you want to work, but I’m sure your fans will understand you taking time off — especially now. As my grandmother said to me, “if you don’t take care of yourself, how will you take care of your baby?”
    Blessed Be

  • http://www.denverpost.com/ Laura Keeney

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, Amanda. Add my voice to all those wishing you a speedy recovery. I know you’re worried about your kiddo right now, too, but please take it from a mom who had a similar experience when pregnant: He knows you love him and he will be okay. We judge ourselves so harshly for things we can’t control. I don’t know anyone who has ever had the perfect Martha Stewart pregnancy. Kids are resilient little buggers, and if anything, this will make you more connected and will make him more aware of the world. xoxox

    p.s. If SubLyme ever gets off the ground, I modified the lyrics of “What I’ve Got” for you: http://bit.ly/1CXnyfG

  • Joseph

    It’s amazing that this disease is taking over the whole country, is the fastest growing disease in the world, and the U.S. continues to mock lyme patients as if they’re crazy.

  • FLDA

    I am so sorry you are struggling Amanda, but thankful they caught the Lyme Disease early (our family was not so fortunate). While many doctors do not recognize it, there are many case reports showing congenital transmission of tick borne infections from mother to baby during pregnancy. http://lymediseasechallenge.org/pregnancy-children/ With your inability to regulate temperature and headaches, you may have a common tick-borne infection, Babesia, which is a parasitic infection that antibiotics would not cover (you need anti-parasitics). The tests for Babesia are woefully inadequate, which means you truly need a doctor who is well trained in tick-borne illness, a well vetted ILADS trained doctor. Most Lyme specialists recommend treatment for a minimum of 4-6 weeks with early localized Lyme Disease, longer if it is disseminated (i.e. the infection reaches the central nervous system as evidenced by the spinal tap). If you need guidance, you may contact me through the Lyme Disease Challenge website. My own babies have suffered terribly due to misinformation. As a huge Morrissey fan, I am sorry you are missing out on this rare opportunity. I have suffered many years of debilitating symptoms that derailed my own career as an attorney. I have also watched my children suffer. I cannot stress enough the importance of knocking out the infections early.

  • http://tinylaughs.tumblr.com Stina

    i’m so sorry you are going through this amanda. sending you all the prayers/healing vibes/etc. i’ve had lyme since ’09 and just now finally – finally – feeling alive again. no one deserves this shit, especially a lovely soul like you. the only people i’d ever dare to wish it on are doctors and insurance/pharma industry freaks who make it hard for sick people to get treated properly.

    sorry, soap box. you and baby jicama are in my thoughts – i hope the quick treatment was enough to fix you up and you’re feeling better soon.

  • Dorothy Kupcha Leland

    Amanda, I hope you’ll read the following article about proper treatment for a pregnant woman with Lyme disease: Healthy Mom Best Prescription for Healthy Baby. It’s from The Lyme Times. https://www.lymedisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Image23-Corson-Healthy-Moms.pdf

  • Independent in NY

    Get to a Lyme literate doctor ASAP. Watch the documentary Under Our Skin on Hulu That will make you RUN to the nearest specialist

  • Karen Durm

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. The very best thing you and Neil can do is to educate yourself because tick borne illness is by far the most mishandled, misunderstood, and neglected disease in our world. Watch Under Our Skin, read Why Can’t I get Better by Dr. Richard Horowitz, and check out #lymediseasechallenge. There are 10’s of 1000’s of us out here yet our CDC, NIH and IDSA have no interest in healing us. They simply want a vaccine regardless of what damage that will do to those already infected. Without reliable diagnostic testing for any of the tick borne diseases, adding a vaccine would be like putting gasoline on a fire. #Bartonella #Babesiosis #notjustlyme #lymeiseverywhere

  • princessmedusa

    Sorry you are going through shit.
    Re: bad-parent guilt:
    If it helps, when I was in the womb my family also went through shit. My dad was bouncing from job to job, we were BROKE poor with one car that sometimes failed to work, and there were several (note several) deaths in the family during those 9 months.
    I turned out okay. Maybe a little more accepting of death and difficulty than most people, and probably happier because of it.
    Little kiddo will be fine.

  • http://www.popmythology.com/ PopMythology.com

    Amanda, Neil: Please go see a Lyme-literate MD (LLMD) as regular doctors or general practitioners often aren’t up on the most current research and treatment methods. The sooner the better because once Lyme becomes chronic, it is *so* much harder to treat.

  • drgeek

    I will repeat the same advice. I was diagnosed with Lyme last week, and many of my symptoms are coming from co-infections – babesia and erlichia. I found a very good doctor fluent in the Lyme, and he has me on 3 different antibiotics for a MONTH. Don’t half-ass this. This is serious.

  • RL

    Spinal taps have such negative consequences. I truly hope that you are able to heal properly and please please please do your own research on Lyme disease. Yes, you caught it early (Bulls eye rash= Lyme 100%!) with proper dosages and length of treatment, you will be able to keep the disease at bay. However, ticks carry other diseases known as co-infections. They need to be highly considered and properly evaluated when it comes to getting a bite. Most if not all ticks that carry Lyme, carry co-infections. Check out this website for accurate information: http://www.ilads.org

  • RL

    There are some really GOOD suggestions in these comments. Please take heed! <3

  • Briony Cadwallader

    Hello I’m a midwife and also 32 weeks pregnant with my first. Remember babies are so tough! They carry on growing and kicking and wiggling and sorting out their poking-mum’s-bladder-manoeuvres while we suffer and stress. I’ve had a rubbish time of it this pregnancy too so I totally and utterly sympathise with you. The guilt and worry about your little wiggly uterine dweller! You’re doing a brilliant job. Recover, refresh, renew and know that all will work out just fine. Sorry about Morrisey though! Although I hope he sympathises too and sends baby a Meat is Murder babygro or something.
    Hugs x

  • Annalisa

    Please make sure you take antibiotics long enough to make sure you can rid the infection since you caught it early. Please see if you can find a Lyme Literate doctor. It is imperative so that you can regain your health in its entirety. If they only give you antibiotics for the CDC recommended 28 days, IT IS NOT ENOUGH…I have been dealing with Lyme for 4 years, and it is a long road! Get better soon! But please don’t listen to doctors who aren’t Lyme literate. They don’t understand it at all!

  • Chelsea Noble

    Hope you are healing well and in less pain! Sending all the good vibes your way. Lyme disease, acute or not, is scary.

  • TrishFr

    It’s bad enough when a person gets infected, but when a pregnant woman gets the infection it is very serious. Many people have given you really good advice here, one being to find yourself an LLMD and make sure you tell them you are pregnant so they don’t put you on a 7 month waiting list. The other thing is to get tested for co-infections. The ticks carry many more diseases than just Lyme and many people get infected with multiple pathogens. Also, I would echo others to watch the free screening of Under Our Skin on Hulu. Contact iLads . org and lymediseaseassociation . org for a physician referral in your area. Also join some of the Facebook Lyme groups. Lyme Disease Group is a great closed one and then there is Lyme Disease Awareness. You can learn a lot just from reading other’s comments. Good luck and prayers to you and your baby.

  • http://www.miseryXchord.com Misery

    Please, please find a Lyme literate / ILADS doctor who can evaluate and treat you for potential co-infections, and suggest treatments that will help protect your baby from a gestational lyme or babesia infection. I got 4 different tick borne infections from one bite (Lyme, babesiosis, Ehrlichia and anaplasmosis) and they can have more serious consequences in the short term than the Lyme alone is. They also require completely different medications to treat, and co-infections require you to be treated longer for Lyme than you would otherwise.

    Your night sweats sound like classic babesiosis… I remember well the soaking night sweats and alternating chills. http://www.ilads.org/

    I’m happy your lyme was caught so early, and hope you and the little one will be able to make a full recovery with no complications.

  • Franz Martin

    If we are talking about the shit, that is transmitted by ticks, “Borreliose” in German, just for the worst case: a friend of mine got it some years ago. They couldn´t diagnose in time for giving him the antibiotics. He felt completely exhausted all the time, got a lot of other diseases and had to stopp his regular life. After some years without changes he (better to say his village and his friends) could afford a stem cell therapy in India (not allowed in Germany) which helped him to come back to normal life! Hope the antibiotics will already help. Get well soon.

  • Katrina

    Babesia duncani (the test is called WA-1) get it done fast!!! the babesia is like malaria and yes it can pass to the baby. please get tested. love and light to you, from one Lyme and coinfected patient to another…also, Avril Lavigne knows this drill FYI

  • carolina alegre

    It is a miracle, praise the lord, praise the lord, praise the lord. My name is Carolina Alegre from London UK, seven years ago I was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Idiopathic Hypoglycemia, life was frustrated with that condition. I could not do anything thing on my own, I could not move, I was just on one place. I was on medication for straight seven years but the condition was still the same. I gave up hope, I was preparing myself to die until a friend of mine in USA called me and introduced me to synagogue church of all nation[scoan]. He told me that I don’t have to travel to the church to see prophet TB JOSHUA, he gave me the ministry email that I should request for anointed water which can cure the disease. I contacted them and the anointed water was sent to me through ups courier service nearest to my location. Lol and behold immediately I took the drop of anointed water I was made whole, my life was restored back and I was healed after seven years of the diseases. To crown it all, a friend of mine that have suffered for hivaids for nine years was healed immediately she took the anointed water. HALLELUYAH HALLELUYAH HALLELUYAH, my friends why not visit the email; Anointedwaterscoan@hotmail.com and request for your own water and be healed and secondly the water can protect you from every evil and also make your business to increase.