Rampone adds a new story to US women’s world cup quest

Excerpted from  SI.com  ( Posted: 07/16/2011 ) 

FRANKFURT, Germany — As the captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team, Christie Rampone has the chance to be the player who receives the Women’s World Cup trophy if the U.S. beats Japan in the final here on Sunday (2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN3.com). Few players in the history of soccer, men or women, have had that opportunity, but then again, there’s not much that’s ordinary in her life.

Who is Christie Rampone? She’s a 36-year-old mother of two — the only mother on the team — whose daughter Rylie lost her first tooth the other day. She’s a lockdown central defender who has been terrific in her fourth Women’s World Cup. She’s a remarkably fit player who, despite being the team’s oldest member, has the No. 1-rated fitness level on the 21-player squad (based on the eight tests everyone has to complete).

And, as I was stunned to discover on Saturday, she’s doing all this despite having Lyme disease.

A sometimes debilitating infectious disease spread by ticks, Lyme disease can cause fatigue, headaches and fevers. Rampone noticed that she was exhausted last year, and finally in December she took action. “It was bad enough that I got blood work done and got tested for Lyme disease,” she told me. “It never removed me from training, but it was something that I knew had to be taken care of.”

Rampone has been on medication, she added. “I have my good and bad days, but when it’s tough I just push through it,” she said. “I’m still going through the process. My numbers are still the same, but I’m feeling so much better.”

For the complete article:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/grant_wahl/07/16/wwc.final.preview/index.html?sct=hp_t12_a1#

~ by Rob on July 17, 2011.

7 Responses to “Rampone adds a new story to US women’s world cup quest”

  1. As someone who has battled lyme disease for 10 years, I am blown away to see Christie who is playing World Cup Soccer while on treatment! I am amazed and in awe of her. She is my new hero and an inspiration to all who battle this most nasty and sometimes relentless disease. Today I am going for a long walk thanks to Christie. Lizzie

    • Lizzie,

      Christie certainly is an amazing person.

      We know the side-effects of her treatment (e,g., fatigue, abdominal problems, etc.) yet her training and athleticism are major deterrents to the progression of the disease. I believe this to be true because her body’s lung capacity is much greater than the average person and Lyme spirochetes do not do well with oxygen. I think this is why hyperbaric chambers are so effective.

      In the article, she is quoted as “pushing through the bad days.” I know several semi-pro athletes that have Chronic Lyme disease because they refused to complain or seek help when symptoms arose. I for one am a marathoner who did much the same. I went 10 years before my symptoms became so bad that I could no longer walk. This is essentially why I advocate getting treatment early even if you are unsure. Waiting to be treated can be detrimental, crippling and often irreversible.

      All the best,

  2. Rob, I was also an athlete pre-lyme. Not exactly a marathoner like you but I was always involved in playing sports. I played on a woman’s softball league, enjoyed running 10k races or doing long walks, snow and water skiing. I knew I had lyme 4 days after I was bitten but the Dr would not believe me. I was able to convince him to test me only 2 months after being bitten by a tick and was treated right away but never recovered. I am certain not knowing about co-infections played a part in going chronic.

    Year 3 of lyme I did HBOT for a month straight-2 dives a day and instead of feeling any better I got sicker and never recovered. Also as a result of HBOT my eyesight was permanently damaged. I had perfect vision before HBOT. I was told by the owner of the chamber that this “side effect” would resolve but it didn’t. That was 7 years ago. I met several other lyme patients who were doing dives with me in the same chamber and not one of them improved or if they had an improvement it didn’t last. Some returned for more dives but always had a return of symptoms. Others also had ruined eyesight.

    Have you tried HBOT and did it help you?

    • Lizzie,
      I am very sorry to hear that you had damage from the HBOT treatment.

      You being athletic is yet another example of how hard LD affects active people. You did mention that you were unsure whether or not you had co-infections. If you don’t mind, can you recall if you had any tingling in your toes or fingers, vision problems, and/or unusual stumbling prior to your tick bite? I’m asking because as you know, if you don’t get the tell-tale signs (i.e., rash, flu-like symptoms) the infection festers in your system until symptoms become too extreme.

      It is unfortunate that you were treated rather quickly and still have such an extreme case. It seems possible that you were infected much earlier and were unaware.

      Once we all find a cure for this nightmare, we’ll field one kick-ass coed softball team.


  3. Interesting question Rob.

    6 months prior to the actual tick bite, in Jan 2001 I did get very sick with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. The Dr told me my thyroid titer was the highest he had seen and that it would take approx 6 months to feel better. I was bitten that same year in March by a tick, than again in July. After that I have been bitten and reinfected 2 more times. Ugg………..

    Was I bitten prior to the first tick bite that I saw?? Perhaps. I do know that many times thyroid will go out in lyme patients. I remember pre Hashimotos diagnoses I was too sick to walk and developed bronchitis twice which I never had before in my life. I was extremely weak and chilled. These symptoms came on months before I finally crashed during a walk. I could barely return to my car and drove straight to My GP’s office where I had my thyroid tested the first time.

    I was tested positive for Bartenella and Babesia approximately 3-4 years after I was first bitten by a new LLMD. This was after HBOT.

    I was told by this LLMD that babesia thrives in oxygen and that was why I got sicker during HBOT.

    I was recently tested again for babesia and it was positive and I also have a positive for Q-fever Phase 2, as well as a very high Chlamydia pneumoniae titer.

    If we have that softball game…shot-gun first base!

    Thanks Rob!

    • Liz,

      Frist base? You must be a south paw. We have so many ex-athlete Lymees that we will need several teams. We’ll call it “The I.V. League”.

      Your health history is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      Nearly every chronic Lyme person I know can trace unusual symptoms back long before being diagnosed or treated. That is why I advocate prophylactic antibiotics to be safe. As you know, if treated very early on, LD is rarely problematic. Of course, getting a prescription before positive test results is a challenge.

      Yes, overuse of antibiotics is dangerous to the public, but, overuse has been going on for decades. This is most likely why we have these super bugs in the first place.

      I am working with a group of people on a low-cost non-pharma treatment for Lyme. We have had excellent success with reducing Lyme counts and eliminating many Lyme symptoms. But, for patients with severe neurological and/or psychological symptoms, the recovery process is painfully slow.

      All the best,

  4. LOL, No I am not a south paw! I have always enjoyed playing first base but when I played on any league I was put in left or center field. I could catch a softball like my life depended on it! I sure do miss playing softball. After my lyme diagnosis, I continued to play on an age 40 and up team but had to quit. I simply didn’t have the steam and my eyesight was toast after HBOT.

    I hope your treatment is a huge success. Lord knows we need something non-pharma that works. I begin treatment for Q-fever tomorrow. Yup, more antibiotics, 10 years and counting….. 😦

    Your website is excellent. Glad I found you and I will continue to check in and read all the interesting information.

    Lizzie from Ca

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