'I saw a tick fall off me' - Shania Twain reveals her secret battle with Lyme disease
Singer Shania Twain has spoken about her Lyme disease diagnosis for the first time and said she feared she would never perform again following her diagnosis.
Speaking on the Sun's Bizarre Life podcast, Twain revealed that she lost her voice for several years after contracting the tick-borne infection.
The Come on Over singer revealed that she began to experience dizzy spells and fatigue soon after being bitten by a tick in Virginia, USA.
"I saw a tick fall off me.
"I was on tour, so I almost fell off the stage every night," said Twain, who is mum to son Eja (15).
"I was very, very dizzy and didn't know what was going on. It's just one of those things you don't suspect."
Lyme Disease is a serious infection which is passed to humans through a tick bite. The bacteria has the ability to penetrate the body’s tissue, and causes a number of chronic symptoms. In serious cases the disease can cause paralysis and death.
In Twain's case, the condition had an impact on the nerves surrounding her vocal chords, which left her unable to sing, which she said was "depressing".
"I lost my voice for several years and I could speak but I couldn’t yell. I could never yell for my dog or my son or whatever.
"I also felt that I was never going to make another album — that was probably my truth. It was devastating. I really grieved about that. It did bring me down and I struggled with it every day.
"It was very depressing and I was really sad about it but I still had my writing and my writing is my first love, really, over everything.
"I was only going to be a writer and not the performer."
The Canadian singer is preparing to release her new album Now, which she said is particularly special as she feared she would never sing again.
"This is a specific type of tick. It more commonly attacks the vital organs.
"It’s a very debilitating disease, very degenerative. So I was very lucky at all that it affected the nerves on my vocal cords, not the vocal cords," she said.
In recent months, Love Actually actress Martine McCutcheon also opened up about her battle with Lyme disease, which she said made her life a "living hell" for years.
Speaking to The Star, Martine said: "I've had the worst seven years ever. Life felt like a living hell every day. It has just been one thing after another. I have not been in a nice place financially nor with my career."
The former EastEnders actress said her illnesses drove her into a dark depression, but said welcoming her son Rafferty (2) with husband Jack McManus has been the "best thing" to happen to her in the midst of her turmoil.
"When your health goes, you just lose so much which is why I put so much work into staying as well as possible.
"I absolutely love motherhood, it's the best thing in the world," she said.