Christie Rampone looks like the epitome of health. She is the captain of both the U.S. women’s national soccer team and her professional team Sky Blue FC.
She is also a wife, world traveler, and mother to two little girls. She looks fantastic and has energy for days.
Yet, she suffers from Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can cause joint pain, flu-like symptoms, a rash, and neurological problems. Christie has been able to take charge of her health however, and is now even more efficient and productive than ever.
Read Christie Rampone’s exclusive interview with EmpowHER:
How did you find out about your Lyme disease diagnosis?
In the fall of 2011 for several months after the birth of my second child Reese, I was feeling very tired and run-down. I was not sleeping, I was hallucinating and knew there was something wrong. I went in for some blood work and that is how I found out.
How have you been able to maintain your elite athlete status even after your diagnosis?
Balance is key for me. The importance of doing my job as a soccer player, a mom and a wife is predicated on doing them all well. If I am unable to fulfill any of three roles, I end up being unsuccessful at all of them. But when I am able to do all three well, everything falls into place.
I feel that getting balance is less about putting a measured amount of time into something but more about making the time you put in count. For example, my workouts now are much shorter than when I was young.
But I am so much more efficient and productive because of my experience and knowing how to maximize my time.
How does being a mother influence your decision to focus on your health?
It’s key for me. I need to stay healthy to manage the kids and my busy life. In addition, the commitment I have made to eat healthy has rubbed off on the entire family. The kids understand that I am able to play professional soccer because I exercise and eat healthy.
Christie Rampone has successfully rebounded after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. It is possible to overcome Lyme disease, but early diagnosis and treatment is important. Christie was diagnosed after feeling run-down.
It is important to note that she did not have an obvious tick bite or rash.
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. Left untreated, a variety of neurological and orthopedic symptoms may persist.
Christie reported she had two rounds of antibiotics once she was diagnosed. She continues to be careful with her diet, drinks a lot of water and tries to support her immune system by taking supplements.
Some people may still experience symptoms after being treated with antibiotics. The Mayo Clinic reported that some experts think that certain Lyme patients may be predisposed to a type of autoimmune response, which accounts for their continued health problems.
The bottom line is that if someone thinks he or she was bitten by a tick and shows symptoms of Lyme disease, they should get tested by their doctor immediately and be evaluated for Lyme disease.
A recovery like Christie's is definitely possible but it does take vigilance and ongoing attention.
Emailed Interview, 16 November 2014.
Epicorimmune.com. Web. 16 November, 2014. “Why Christie Rampone heart’s Epicor.”
Mayoclinic.org. Web. 16 November 2014. “Lyme disease basics.”
Meet Olympic Gold Medalist Christie Rampone, Lyme Research Alliance’s Person of the Month. Lyme Research Alliance. Web. 17 November 2014.
Reviewed November 19, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith