Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me is memoir by Ally Hilfiger (daughter of Tommy Hilfiger) that chronicles her twelve years of undiagnosed Lyme Disease. The book is educational, and would be worth reading just to learn more about Lyme disease; each year, 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC, but many, many patients go undiagnosed. Hilfiger’s Lyme disease not only gave her painful physical symptoms, but it also affected her mental state, which contributed to her briefly landing in a psychiatric hospital.
Besides learning about how Lyme affected Hilfiger, the reader also learns about Hilfiger’s personal life, career, and spiritual beliefs (which include a mix of Hinduism, Buddhism, and spiritual healing). Though we see that Hilfiger lived a life of wealth and privilege – she was producing a movie at the age of 16 – we also see how no person is immune from suffering, and that there is definitely a dark side to fame and fortune. Another factor that led to Hilfiger’s stay in the psychiatric hospital was major stress from starring in the MTV reality show Rich Girls and being perceived by audiences in a negative light.
This book was definitely hard to put down. If I had enough uninterrupted time, it is the kind of memoir that I would have read in one sitting.