Claudia Has Lyme Disease

Claudia just came down with Lyme disease. It’s a horrible disease because it’s difficult to diagnose. It has about 100 different symptoms and they pop up at random and are easily confused with other diseases ranging from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to severe arthritis, to various neurological or cardiac-related disorders.

My friend, Cody, had it while he was host of his own TV show. Literally, his symptoms appeared WHILE he was on the show. He came down with a co-infection related to Lyme called Bell’s Palsy. In other words, half his face became paralyzed while he was on TV. He went from looking like a normal human being to looking like TwoFace from the Batman series while he was live on the air. They almost had to shut down the show while it was airing. He spent the next month recovering in the attic of a house I had upstate, afraid to walk outside and show his face. His mom flew across the country to cook his meals. My kids were scared to look at him. By the time he recovered his career had almost been ruined but that’s another story.

Claudia has the Chronic Fatigue version. She sleeps about 20 hours a day and has a hard time moving the other four. She also has pains in her joints. Anti-biotics should cure everything.

(normally a very active person. horrible she came down with this but will be better soon.image links to book.).

So Josh Brown IMs me and says, “We’re arranging a happy hour. A bunch of bloggers writers from the WSJ, Yahoo, FT, Reuters, will be there. You in?”

I looked over at Claudia. She was reading but trying to stay awake. “Claudia, maybe you should take some sleeping pills just to make sure you sleep and the anti-biotics kick in.”

“You’re right,” she sort of half muttered. I got the water and the sleeping pills and the anti-biotics. “You’re so nice to me,” she said, and then she fell asleep for what I assumed would be about a 14 hour period.

“Ok,” I wrote Josh back. “I’m in.”

Claudia tells me every time I go into the city something happens. “There’s always a story around you.”

I arrive in the city and pass by this scene at the new York Public Library. Eight kids were standing in a line.

Apparently, once the performers raised $50 in contributions someone was going to jump over these eight kids.

Two things I noticed right away:

A)     Some of the kids clearly were accompanied by parents that were now sitting on the steps of the library. What parent would let their little kid stand in a line like this? I would not let anyone jump over my kid. Then add in 7 other kids they would have to jump over. Then add in that I had no idea who these people were, where they were from, how I could sue them if there was a problem, what their insurance was, etc. Kid safety comes first!

“Oh sure, here’s my kid. Jump over him and if he gets hurt or paralyzed from this then no problem, see you later.” Who would do that?

B)      I recognized the main ringleader of the performers. You’ll see him in the video below. He put on a yellow mask in the video while he was walking around getting contributions.

For 25 years I’ve seen him perform in the streets of New York. I even saw him performing on the streets of Boston when I visited there once about ten years earlier. There were two tricks he’d always do. He’d be smoking a cigarette while breakdancing. Then, without touching the cigarette, he’s turn it around in his mouth and look like he was swallowing it. Smoke would be coming out of his mouth and nose. Then, again, while doing dance moves with his hands and feet, the cigarette, still fully lit, would come out of his mouth and he’d continue smoking it.


The other move he always did was that he’d make his stomach really fat and then really thin, while he was moonwalking around.


But now he has white hair and he was walking around making jokes raising money.

Oh, there’s a third thing I was thinking while I was sitting there waiting for the event to start. Were we all sitting there because we wanted to watch someone jump over eight kids? An amazing feat of physical sportsmanship, endurance, and training that would be impressive to see so we can see the utter limits of human capability?

Or were we all sitting there because we wanted something completely disastrous to happen. The guy would fail, break his neck, land into the kids, who would get damaged in some way, kids paralyzed, heads spines shattered, and everyone would be crying and screaming. A total shitfest.

What was the show truly about? Seeing something amazing? Or seeing complete disaster. Maybe the audience would be satisfied with either outcome.

Above’s the video. It’s 4 minutes 50 seconds even though the jump is only a few seconds. I just started it going because I had no idea how long it would take for them to raise the $50 they needed to start the jump.

Then I went off to the bar. I have a really hard time socializing. I really want to make more friends and I liked all the people there. But once there were more than ten people there I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was like the wicked witch of the west and I felt like I was starting to melt. And I wanted to get back to Claudia anyway to make sure she was okay. So I was the first person to leave.

On the way back to Grand Central I get a call from CNBC. “Steve Jobs just quit,” Ben Thompson, a producer there, told me, “what are you doing right this second?”

I was about two blocks from a TV studio. I thought of Claudia at home suffering from Lyme disease.

“I’ll be right there,” I said.

So I went over to the studio, spewed my Apple vomit on NATIONAL TV for a few minutes in the media vomitorium then caught the train home. (Here’s link to that video).

An hour or so later I climbed in bed. “Anything happen in the city?” Claudia, half sleep, said.

“Nothing special this time.”



How I Met Claudia


  • cindyluwho

    So sorry to hear about Claudia. I remember when that happenend to Cody. I was a fan of his show. What a good friend you are to have given him a place to recover.  At least you have some experience with treating this disease. I hope Claudia gets well soon. My best to you both as she recovers.

  • This is all about lymes disease  It’s pretty interesting

    • Syren

      Did this show mention the origin of Lyme Disease was a US Army bio weapons lab on Plum Island?  Couldn’t watch the whole thing to find out.

      Best wishes and healing thoughts to lovely Claudia.  Why is it bad things happen to good people and not to the people who so dearly deserve it.

    • Well, that movie was certainly depressing and enlightening.  It’s truely amazing that the human species has managed to survive as long as it has.

      “Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse.” – Philip Zimbardo

  • Sooz

    Okay that just stinks!!
    J.A., I know you will take good care of Claudia. Somehow I can’t picture her down and out. I sure hope she feels better soon. Please tell her that I will send  a bunch of positive thoughts/ vibes her way.

    Be safe this weekend

    Side note: when we visited NYC this past summer these guys were performing in Battery park. I think they made way more then 50 bucks. I believe I chipped in a Hamilton. The guy that did the jump was probably 5’5″ tall.  Like ..bionic boy! 

    • Sooz

      another quick side note:
      many years ago, before I settled down to have a family, I volunteered for Hospice doing respite care for terminally ill most of which battled, suffered and  died from cancer.

      Oh boy…:(

      • Sooz

        pheew..good choice removing. 
        thanks J.A. 

      • Sooz, thanks so much for volunteering at Hospice! I lost a family member to cancer and I really think that the hospice volunteer was the only way we managed to make it through it ok.

        Thank you so much for your care, people like you definitely make the world a better place.

        • Sooz

          Oh Jay..thanks!!
          someday I will have the time to devote to Hospice once again. Three teens 14,15,16yrs respectfully keep me too busy at this time.
          someday they’ll ‘Fly like the Wind’ and I’ll have all sorts of time ..:)

  • Anonymous

    Awww…sorry to hear about Claudia.  My friend in Berlin just had it too.  Makes you wonder how safe it is to be out there in nature.  I saw you do the Apple thing and thought: he must live really close to the CNBC studio to get there so quick. Apple vomit, heheh.  I thought what you said was a bit off the cuff. Curious what it’s like in those studios with those folks.  In the radio business myself.

    new york new york

  • Anonymous

    Very sorry to hear of Claudia’s illness. Hoping for a good recovery for her.

  • Anonymous

    James… this is not good. People just don’t understand the
    devastating life changing fatigue and other neurological symptoms from
    Lymes.  Will medicine cure the disease?
    Maybe . then maybe not. or a life of struggle with devastating fatigue, mood
    changes, cognitive impacts and struggle with countless symptoms as the doctor
    may only tell Claudia sorry you’re okay when in fact just not true. Hope I’m
    wrong. Lots of lousy doctors that are ignorant 
    and just don’t care to continue their studies to improve.

    I’m posting these comments because my life slowly crumbled
    with MS and Lymes symptoms are similar to MS. The only benefit with MS after
    the doctor tells you’re crazy and begrudgingly orders an MRI  he will apologize. Lymes can be more difficult
    diagnose and therefore frustrating. I only hope the symptoms disappear after the antibiotics.
    But don’t be so quick to brush off further complications as it may be more the
    just lymes.  People will tell her oh you
    look fine when in fact she is struggling . An MRI might be in order after the
    antibiotics if the symptoms are not gone.

    James not to scare you but a lady at work went around
    telling us she had Lymes. Then after treatments failed it was determined to be  Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). She has passed  in her 40s after a several year struggle. My
    reason to telling you this is don’t assume it’s all  in her head if she continues to struggle.

    Thanks for helping and understanding Claudia.

  • Anonymous

    Last week at Covent Garden in London, I watched a street performer juggle heavy knives above the face of a prone volunteer. It’s incredible how readily people abandon all common sense in the presence of a self-appointed ‘professional’.

    Very sorry to hear about Claudia, hope the symptoms ease soon.

  • Well wishes to Claudia.

    Stay on top of it, but don’t freak out.  I had no idea Bell Palsy was related to Lyme.  I suffered from that when I was in middle school. It was short lived but terrifying none-the -less.

    Have a restful weekend and stay out of the city.

  • I would totally let my kid get jumped over.  I would probably say, “try to get in the middle, you have less chance of getting smushed in the middle.”  I don’t even know if that’s statistically true or anything, but it sounds like it would be.  More likely to get a shoe to the face if you’re on the end and the guy misjudges the distance and lands short, right?  Actually I don’t know why a kid would want to be jumped over in the first place, because we got to see that great flip-jump-spectacle, and those eight kids were looking at their shoes the whole time.  Well you can do that anytime without half of Manhattan staring at you.  I would probably say that first.  But anyway, I don’t have kids and don’t want any, which is probably for the best.

    I hope Claudia gets better soon.

  • Jason Wetzel

    I had Bell’s palsy and it is super scary but turns out to be nothing (mostly).  How many other things can you get for no reason? it’s like an unlimited list! yikes?!  I hope your wife is better soon!

  • you look like a dork on TV. big fucking deal he resigned. nobody should work at the same job forever. i honestly care more about him being alive than the apple company. i hope your wife gets better. i am sure she will.

  • A friend of mine has been battling Lyme’s disease for years because she wasn’t given the antibiotics when she was initially infected. It went dormant and then cropped up as mono. She has spent thousands on treatment and is constantly sick.
    Not to scare you but if your suspicious that things aren’t getting better quickly enough, get on seeing a specialist and getting help ASAP. The longer it is in her system the better chance it has of hiding somewhere and cropping up later.
    I hope she gets better and she is very lucky to have you. My friend has had to have her parents take care of her at times since she is single.

  • Take care of Claudia and I hope she has a speedy recovery.

  • not the real bob barker

    Hi James,

    Before this website, I had never heard of you or even saw you on TV, in fact I know nothing of financial markets, bulls, bears etc… I’m more interested in horse racing truth be told!  

    But I found your website and started reading your stories and at the same time got more interested in markets and found out that its just horse racing done on a bigger scale… eg doubling down on next race, using 10% of your fund for each bet, DONT TRUST TIPSTERS.

    I found your stories and honest way refreshing so now I have this as my home page,
    anyway I would like to say to Claudia if she reads this, is to keep the chin up, dont let it get to you, and as you have a yoga background it will be even better for you even if it doesnt feel like it now.  I might not know finance but I hold a honorary degree from the university of hard knocks and our motto is, what doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger………..
    best of luck in the recovery process….

  • Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Kevin M

    Get well soon Claudia. You do lead an interesting life JA.

  • glad your wife finally got diagnosed… not knowing what was wrong had to be stressful. I hope her antibiotics kick in soon.

  • Get well soon Claudia!

  • Thank you gals and guys for the suggestions and well wishes. James keeps me laughing and that is good, but I am taking it all very seriously nevertheless and researching the disease.  
    I am also thinking of it as a field of new possibilities to learn new things and practice my yoga in a different way. Gratitude to you all :)

    • It’s amazing how hard staying positive can be. I went about 2 years with an untreated “idiopathic” condition that was really draining. I can’t imagine having a lifelong battle, it’s extremely hard.

      I’m glad you and James have each other! The thing that made the 2 years get by fast for me was my wife.

      If it gives you any positive energy, I’ve started to do yoga when I have an opportunity and my wife is now doing it fairly regularly – all because of you (and then James writing about it).

      Good luck, stay positive!

    • Bilal Ahmad

      after reading this blog Miss Claudia i can tell you that disease will run away from you you have got great great company of James. LYME will know that james love you more than me and the last thing he really care about wishes

  • Steven L Goff

    yeahhhhhh…here honey take these pills and go to sleep while I go get drunk and chat about writing. Thats the most POS (peice of shit) thing I’ve ever read. So not exspected coming from you James.
    If you are bailing on things like this….cant wait to see ya cower and run when something really serious and shitty comes along (like this aint fuckin’ something BTW). Seriously, if I was your wife > I would put you on “pussy cutoff” until I was better (months) for even suggestion to go. I wouldnt even give ya blow jobs!

    I equate this to stopping for a beer with your friends on way to hospital after phone call of someone you love being in car accident or something.

    I cant wait to read your blog one day entitled : wHY i THINK Claudia LEFT ME!

    • Don’t worry. It was all ok. 

      • Steven L Goff

        Are you even aware of interactions w/ other meds and the interaction w/ her symptoms of the illness? Some sleeping tablets cause a degree of respiratory depression ya know (slow your breathing). Why would you hinder her recovery with them?

        It must be cause you are BRILLIANT!

        • Well, there you go then. 

        • Sooz

          Who pee~peed in your cheerios this morning?
          lighten up a bit there Kujo.

          Perhaps the low pressure,Irene, is making you feel on edge? Be safe,Steve!
          You should be worrying about that rather than J.A. killing his wife with sleeping pills..come on!

          • Steven L Goff

            I aint on edge! Far from it actually. I have a 1/4 oz of some killer smoke, a fridge full of food, electric generator, and an air card for Internet. I also just got back from beach. Can you believe they wont let us surfers out in this. My boy is even a beach lifeguard and they wont let us. The waves aint even that big and no rip tides (yeah…you’re right I am on edge….lol)

            What? I cant express my disapproval with what he did? I’m sorry I am not the normal “suck ass” here.

          • Sooz

            Always enjoy your opine!
            Take care of yourself and the wizonator..:)

          • Sooz

            Biscuit(wizonator) . cuttest little shit!!

          • Sooz


  • Steven L Goff

    “Claudia has the Chronic Fatigue version. She sleeps about 20 hours a day”

    Here’s some sleeping pills honey cause you are not sleeping enough. America….solves everything with pills.

    Are ya trying to catch her a pill habit James? It makes them more controllable ya know! When ya string a girl out, so to speak. TRUST ME I KNOW

    What a POS

    good luck James….I look forward to that post!

  • murali


    Wish you a speedy recovery!


  • Steven L Goff

    “If you were in an accident  wouldnt have stopped for a beer on way to hospital”

    ….”and if you were in an accident I wouldnt have stopped for red lights”

  • Scott Thomas

    Great job on CNBC, by the way. The CNBC hosts respond to every 3 point dip in the DOW with shock and awe and run around like chicken little. They’ve been doing the same with the (almost expected) Jobs’ announcement. You were the only one I’ve heard who responded with a level head and the smart insight that Jobs has probably already planned ipad, iphone, etc 1-20 and now will allow Cook to execute. 

    Great insight.

  • It does seem like there is always a story around you. People have said the same thing to me before. It gives you something to write about though, so I’m glad. 

    • Sooz

      Glad about what?

      • Sooz

        There’s not much to be glad about this post!

        really..seriously, Brooke.

      • I’m glad that James always has a story around him. 

        I am not glad that Claudia is ill or anything like that. I’m glad that his life lends itself so easily to writing.

        • Sooz

          Sorry Brooke. I guess I read it the wrong way.
          yes, J.A. always has a story around him some of which, I assume, he would prefer not to have.

  • To Claudia:  My best wishes for a speedy recovery (and thank you for providing James with fodder for another post).  –Jeff in Houston, Texas

  • Mike Weiss


    Wish Claudia and you a speedy recovery.

    Your posts make me wish I wrote some of them myself.
    Jealousy is sometimes a GOOD thing.


  • My condolences to the both of you; my ex contracted Lyme’s shortly after we met, but it took us six months to get her a proper diagnosis. She had a lot of trouble with chronic fatigue as well – though hers was certainly exaggerated by the lack of medical care. Catching it early makes a tremendous difference. Hang in there.

  • My condolences to the both of you. My ex contracted Lyme’s shortly after we met, but it took us six months to get her a proper diagnosis and she’s had a lot of problems with chronic fatigue as a result. Catching it early makes a tremendous difference in treatment, though it can still be a lengthy process; I wish you both luck.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, the human spectacle.  Will it be disaster or triumph?  Which is more satisfying?  Would Evel Kneivel be Evel Kneival if he hadn’t wiped out jumping the fountain at Ceasars (his first nationally televised jump)?  If we could get gladiatorial games legalized, do you think we’d be able to fill the stands?

    Look deep enough into that pit in the human psyche and you may not like what you see staring back at you  ;  )

    (Sorry to hear about Claudia. She seems like a very special human being)

  • Greg

    Bummer about Claudia.  Hope she recovers sooner than others due to her good habits.  Also, I had Bell’s Palsy when I was a kid–about 50 years ago.  It attacks facial nerves.  I thought Lyme disease came from the bite of ticks.  I was living in the Pacific NW when I got Bell’s–shortly after water skiing in a cold spring wind.  Think they may be different altogether, although both are a real drag.

  • Mr. Tuxedo

    I have several tick bite scars on my lower legs. I needed 2 doxy doses (60 days) because the first dose offered no relief from the fatigue.
    Cats and country life don’t mix very well.
    So it goes.

  • conductorchris

    I too offer my prayers for Claudia.  

  • Patrick Moynihan

    I’ve seen many friends struggle to recover over many months…a few have not recovered after years! in Mt Kisko would be my reco 1st thing Monday morn and its very close to you! My bud is driving 5 hours to go there this week in fact!
    Lyme is not something that’s worth taking ANY chances…
    Good luck

  • It crossed my mind when you came on CNBC the other night that you might have actually been doing something more interesting beforehand. No way you were just trolling a television station hoping to get on air. Glad the truth was a bit more interesting than I thought.

    Good wishes to your wife in getting well soon.

  • Anonymous

    best wishes Claudia, Lyme disease is so often misdiagnosed and goes untreated.

  • Steven L Goff

    hey….where is the post where you drug the kids with Benadryl because you want to go out for evening….did I miss that one ? Loser

  • Kjp712

    Get well soon,Claudia.

  • Subvertednation

    funny joke:

    how do you get a jew in the oven? throw a quarter in it

  • Heard you on CNBC from the audio feed, enjoyed your opinions. Everyone else seemed to be talkin out of their asses, except you.

  • C Pennybrown

    Lucky Claudia! It’s great that she caught it earlyl.  This is nothing to mess around with  – I’ve heard of people landing in a wheelchair from untreated cases.

    I’m guessing that being into yoga gave Claudia great sensitivity to what she was feeling and probably lead to a swift diagnosis. 

    I’m just curious how quickly the doctors realized what was wrong.  I know blood tests can spot it but it takes the right doctor do the right test.

    I hope Claudia will write about her experience (when she feels up to it) so that the rest of us can learn about this disease and how to spot it.

  • That was a pretty impressive jump.

    I hope Claudia makes a similarly impressive recovery.

  • Sandra

    A friend of mine is currently being treated (antibiotics) for Lyme’s disease.  She grew up on a commune in Northern California, so she’s had it for years. I’m sure by now you both know this, but one thing to watch for is the effect of the antibiotics on the liver. Big plus, imho, that Claudia is a yoga practitioner.

  • I hope Claudia is doing well and continues to do so until she completely rids herself of that stupid spirochete (not you, the actual microbe).

    When we had lived in Westchester NY my oldest son came down with Lyme on 3 occasions. Luckily, we always caught it early and oral antibiotics were sufficient. How I grew to dislike deer and their furry vector buddies.

    Naively thinking that moving to Maryland nearly 20 years ago would vacate the risk, he did come down with it a fourth time, but this time requiring antibiotic delivery through a central line for more aggressive treatment. Luckily, I was at an academic Children’s Hospital and my co-workers took his disease as a personal affront.

    Equally naively, when working in a Bronx Hospital in the 80’s, the head of the clinical laboratory believed that they would never see a case of Lyme in their population. Despite every Westchester parent being apoplectic over the possibility of getting the diseae, it wasn’t even remotely on the radar screen of Infectious Disease people just minutes over the border.

    How things have changed.

    Keep making Claudia laugh and defeat the bugger.

  • Michael3223

    do they know how she contracted it? was she hiking in the woods or something? Or do you live in the country where there are a lot of deer? 

  • cupofjoe

    Definitely look into “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy” (aka HBOT) for Lyme Disease.  My wife was successfully treated with it for a different disease.  Definitely look into it.  Best wishes.  

  • Lily

    Hi, I’m a brand new reader & was interested in Claudia’s story (among other things), being as I’ve read a bit about this nasty disorder and know how devastating it can be in so many ways. But it doesn’t have to be this way, it can be treated simply, directly, and without a MD. Proper diet & detox (ridding heavy metals such as dental amalgam) is essential, proper ph (neutral or even slightly alkaline is best), plenty of vitamin D3 (plain old sunshine when possible), vitamin C, tincture of iodine, adequate purified water and plenty of rest.

    As to foods, avoid anything boxed, bagged or canned (unless you can for yourself), try to stick to organic foods whenever possible, avoid starchy foods, stick to mostly uncooked or undercooked veggies (lots of green stuff is ideal). The produce aisle is truly your only friend in the supermarket!

    Here’s a helpful, informative video with disorder historical background & healthful options: (starts at about 5 1/2 minutes into vid).

    For more assistance, see:
    Dr. Leonard Coldwell @
    Dr. Raymond Francis @
    DMV Joel Wallach @
    Jon Barron @
    Edward Group III @

    Don’t forget to do your own due diligence with regard to everything I’ve stated. I picked it all up in bits & pieces over the web, so you will need to verify on your own what suits your particular situation.

    To your health! Cheers!

    My best,

  • Guest

    I, like your wife, have Lyme Disease.  Before Lyme Disease I was a vibrant and career driven 28 year old.  My life has totally changed since….it’s hard to be vibrant and career driven when you have extreme fatigue all the time.  October will be my two year anniversary with Lyme Disease.  

    I was treated with antibiotics right away and felt fine for about six months after treatment but then it all went downhill again.  The fatigue is so extreme that I continue to take large amounts of sick leave at work just to sleep 14-20 hours a day.  I think I was living in denial with the thought that one day I would get better if I just got enough sleep and tried alternative methods.  I’ve tried everything so I wouldn’t have to take antibiotics again (acupuncture, sauna treatments, etc.) but nothing really helps.  I’m now starting treatment with a infectious disease specialist…I wish I had seen one right away. I hope the initial round of antibiotics helps Claudia but if she starts having symptoms again take her to a specialist and don’t delay like I did.