Yolanda Foster underwent surgery on Friday, Apr. 19, to remove a port in her arm used to treat her chronic Lyme disease. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star tweeted a picture of herself in the hospital and called it an "exciting day."
The Dutch model, 49, announced she was having the port implanted via Twitter in December 2012. "I need to start my treatment for Neuro Borellia Lyme disease," she explained. "I can't wait to get my energy back." (A port is a medical device implanted under a patient's skin that is used to administer frequent drug injections; it also draws blood for tests. The implantation and removal of the port are done under local anesthesia and mild sedation.)
Earlier this month, Yolanda accepted the Lyme Research Alliance's Star Light Award at its Time for Lyme Gala in Greenwich, Conn. "I went from being an outspoken, multitasking social butterfly to be trapped in a mentally paralyzed cocoon. Two and a half years ago, I started going to my doctors complaining about exhaustion, joint pain, insomnia, but most importantly, my neurological malfunctions," Foster told attendees Apr. 9.
Yolanda said she met with a series of doctors before she was given a proper diagnosis. "I was so exhausted. It was even hard for me to walk from the bed to the bathroom. My migraine headaches were unbearable," she recalled. "I had this unexplainable cough that lasted for months."
The Bravo reality star credited her husband, legendary music producer David Foster, for assembling "an army of the best doctors" to take care of her. "If it wasn't for David's perseverance, I probably would not stand here today," Yolanda said. "I had become a shell of the woman I used to be. I could no longer participate in my life. I was unable to read, process information, write, or do anything as simple as watch TV. I honestly stared at the ceiling for so many months that I still remember every light bulb in it."
When she spoke of her children Gigi, Bella and Anwar, Yolanda teared up. "My children's after school smiles at my bedside were the only bright spot in my days," Yolanda recalled. "It was for them and my husband that I found the strength to fight this lonely battle and continue to live and breathe in this body that once belonged to me." After her port was inserted, "My husband took charge and became my private nurse," Yolanda said.
Yolanda saw minimal improvements after 60 days of treatment. Heeding the advice of actress pal Suzanne Somers, she ended up spending six weeks at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Palm Harbor, Fla. "We must speak up for those who cannot be heard," the blonde star concluded. "We must restore hope for those who have given up."
People suffering from Lyme disease suffer from headaches, fatigue, depression and fever. In more extreme cases, it can cause problems with the heart and central nervous systems. If untreated, Lyme disease can be fatal.