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Episode XXXVII: Knowledge Is Power

Episode XXXVII

Knowledge is Power

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You see, knowledge is power, and the more that you know, means the more you’ll be able to get strong and grow!”

~ Kaitlyn G. Guay, “Once Upon A Lyme”

 The Foda’s Take: This quote is an excerpt from the newly created children’s e-book entitled “Once Upon A Lyme” which discusses how to prevent Lyme Disease using whimsical rhyme and prose. Tips include how to recognize a tick, what to do after playing outside, and what to do should one be found on you. Coming soon to a galaxy near you! As in here. Right here. This galaxy. Likely within the next week or so. And get this- it’s FREE and 100% shareable. How. Cool. Is. That.

 Hello, dear friends! I hope you’ve all been doing well. I, myself, was lucky enough to have some fabulous visits last week- one from two ladies who are working tirelessly to advocate and improve policy for people with Lyme Disease, another by my sensational sister known to you as Fumbledore, and another by a few of my lovely ladies from the years of yore (aka college) who may or may not have joined me in doing a dramatic reading of the first four acts of Shakespeare’s “Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” by Ian Doescher. (And yes, if you’re a fan, this is a must have for your library. And you must get your friends together and read it. In costume. With voices. Also known as what I call getting your geek on.)

But I digress.

I’ve been really excited about this children’s book, because when I was teaching, every spring I would find several ticks crawling across the floor of my classroom and in the auditorium where I taught chorus, undoubtedly having hitched a ride on an unassuming child. I noticed right away that most of the children were terrified because in an effort to keep them from thinking a tick bite was no big deal, some had been told that if you get bit, you will get Lyme Disease, and it will EAT YOUR BRAIN!! <Pause as you gasp in abject horror.> The other half thought it was just another cool bug and wanted to touch it. <Pause as you gasp AGAIN in abject horror.> Which is when I realized- even with the topic of Lyme growing exponentially, especially in the area where I live, many people still have no idea what it is. And it doesn’t help that when it’s mentioned on any medical TV shows or in movies, they always poo-poo it and say “oh, a few weeks on antibiotics and you’ll be fine.” So if parents don’t know what it really is and teachers don’t know… how are the kids supposed to know?

Hence, the creation of this children’s e-book. This book gives children the information they need to recognize a tick, tells them what parts of their body to check after playing outside (ticks like warm places, so if you check right away, it’s likely they’re still traveling to get to that prime real estate, which means you can get them off before being bitten) as well as what to do if you find one already on you. (I’m pretty sure those kids who were told it would “eat your brain” would panic and just rip it out. Releasing the bacteria right into their bloodstream. Not good.) And because it’s designed for kids, everything has been phrased in Dr. Seuss-like rhyme, all with a dash of humor, and in a very non-threatening, non-fear based kind of way.

You see, I do believe that knowledge is power. But I also believe we sometimes need to be very careful about how we use that power to make sure it doesn’t spread fear. (Like “eating your brain.” That’s fear.) Which is also why I don’t discuss my symptoms or medical journey on this blog. Because it can be scary. And the last thing I want is for someone to come to this blog, searching for hope and understanding, and then be smacked with fear, wondering if what happened to me will happen to them. I should know. Before I created this space, that’s what happened to me as I reached out to the world wide web for hope and validation. And instead, I found people wanting to tell the world how horrible Lyme is, because there’s still such a huge battle going on politically about whether chronic Lyme even exists. Noble, yes. Necessary, yes. What I needed? To quote Luke Skywalker before his final duel with Darth Vader: “NEVAAAAA!!!!!”

So in conclusion, I’d like to combine two idioms together to make a complete package. One one hand: they say that “Knowledge is power.” I believe this is true. But on the other hand, Spiderman’s uncle also said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” So let’s put those hands together, people!!!

Or, as they said on the TV show “Heroes,” “Protect the children, protect the world.” Oh, that’s not right? It was protect the cheerleader? Well that’s not nearly as inspiring.

Yours Truly,

The Foda

P.S. Want more information about “Once Upon A Lyme”? Comment, Tweet me @thefemaleyoda, or email me directly at TheFemaleYoda@gmail.com.

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