Veteran Singer Shania Twain Reveals How Lyme Disease Permanently Changed Her Voice
Canadian singer and songwriter Shania Twain recently opened up about her battle with Lyme disease, an illness caused by tick bites that had changed her vocals permanently.
Mirror reports that the 54-year-old star spoke with Jane Moore, Charlene White, Coleen Nolan, and Carol McGiffin on Monday’s show.
Shania Twain said that the illness caused severe damage to her vocal cords, forcing her to undergo surgery which resulted in her voice sounding different than before, especially when she sings.
However, she is relieved to be able to sing at all as there was a risk of her losing her voice forever.
Charlene asked her: “You contracted Lyme disease, which had a huge impact on your voice. Was there a moment you thought you wouldn’t be able to sing again?”
There was a long time when I thought I would never sing again. It took years to get to the bottom of what was affecting my voice.
And I would say, a good seven years before a doctor was able to find out if it was nerve damage to my vocal cords directly caused by Lyme’s disease. I was simply out horse riding in the forest and got bit by a tick, a Lyme tick.”
Speaking about the self-consciousness that came with her different voice, the country singer said:
“You start avoiding speaking on the phone, you start avoiding going to places that have ambient noise where you have to speak over the volume of others.
It’s very debilitating, our voice is such a huge part of our self-expression. For a vocalist, a singer, or someone like yourself, it’s devastating in so many ways. Until I got to the bottom of why I was having a problem with my voice, there wasn’t really much I could do about it.
So it took a long time, I did believe that I would probably have to accept at some point that I was never going to sing again. Thankfully I persevered, and I’m making records again and putting on concerts.”
Shania revealed that her surgery was “scary” and the risks were worrying, adding:
“It’s an open throat surgery. They cut you open and they insert Gore-tex… And they stabilize the weakness in the vocal cord function. Apparently, I will have these little Gore-tex crutch supports long after I am buried in the dust. My voice has changed. My speaking voice is definitely the biggest effort.”