Kris Kristofferson’s Wife Talks About Misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease

It Took Integrative Doctor to Connect the Dots

For years, country music icon Kris Kristofferson thought he had Alzheimer’s disease.

But earlier this year, a new doctor came up with a new diagnosis: Lyme disease.

In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Kristofferson’s wife Lisa said she’s relieved to finally have answers that make more sense.

Even though his doctors were good about his care, she says of his misdiagnosis, “Nobody was finding the cause or connecting the dots.”

“The neurologist suggested anti-seizure medications for passing out, the fibromyalgia doctor was giving him antidepressants for his body pain, his cardiologist gave him a pacemaker for his cardiac arrhythmias, his knees were sore, so he got annual shots from his orthopedist,” she said. “It wasn’t until I took him to the integrative doctor, Dr. [Mark] Filidei, that he looked at everything and said, ‘This looks like Lyme disease.’

“I’m just so grateful that he is so much better now. And I feel really lucky that our doctors are willing to work with our Lyme-literate doctor. I know that is not always the case.”

She admits that at 80, Kristofferson is not immortal and that they both have their deficits they can laugh about.

“But there’s not that big black void ahead of us anymore,” she said. “He is so much better now than he was three years ago.”

Still, they know this new diagnosis is no picnic.

“We make the best of it because Lyme is so tragic that if you don’t have something to counterbalance the sadness of that, it’ll take you down. The more we can get Kris to laugh, the healthier he is. Being on the road, the laughter, the music,” she said. “It’s great medicine.”

Kristofferson currently has concerts scheduled through the middle of November.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.