Tag Archives: Lyme Disease

Episode XXV: If Shakespeare Used The Force

Episode XXV 

If Shakespeare Used The Force 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day.”

~ Shakespeare, Macbeth

 The Foda’s Take: For people with chronic illnesses (or Macbeth), it is so easy to anticipate the daunting doom and drudgery of days to come, fearing they will likely mirror the days that have past. Days filled with frustration and feelings of abandonment from the health and the life you once had. But I’m gonna go ahead and call it right now and guess that Shakespeare, although an epic writer, was a total bloody cynic who never had a Jedi Master teach him how to live in the moment.

 Hi everyone! Today I am obsessed with the topic of WARRIORS. Like blue Avatar lady warriors who swing from trees and let out guttural war cries. (Much like Ewoks, come to think of it. Say it with me: AaaaahhEeeeeeeYaaahhhhhh!!!!!!) And the reason why I’m thinking of this is because now that I have a beautiful dream I’m setting my sights on- (Yes, I discussed this in my last post, and no, I’m still not telling what it is. Tsk tsk. PUSHY.)- I have renewed my internal motivation to dedicate my daily choices towards doing all I can to honor and obtain this dream. A huge piece of this, of course, is putting the kibosh on this chronic illness of mine.

So what does this have to do with warriors? Well, my initial impulse was to strap on my blaster holster, craft up my double sided lightsaber (because, really, although The Phantom Menace was pretty hard to watch, that dueling scene with Darth Maul was quite spectacular. What color would my lightsaber be? So sweet of you to ask! I’m thinking cerulean blue. Or violet.) What color would yours be? Huh? Oh, right, sorry! Warriors. 

So yeah, I was all about to arm myself up, ready to give life a little one-two-three punch, when I remembered that scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke is about to enter the dark tree. He asks Yoda what he’ll find in there, and Yoda replies: “Only what you take with you.” Sadly, for those of you who know the story, Luke didn’t listen and brought his weapon, and so wound up battling his own inner demons. So this got me thinking. If I approach this illness blasters-a-blazing, who will I really be fighting? ME. The Lyme Disease is, after all, in my own body. And while I want more than anything to battle this chronic illness, there is a difference between fighting for myself: body, mind and soul, and fighting coup for my kidnapped health by inadvertently throwing my currently invaded body under the landspeeder. (So to speak.)

There are two types of warriors. There’s the kind, like Han, who will blast his way out of trouble. This is a very masculine type of warrior. And in some situations, it works- but not when your enemy combatant has taken sanctuary inside your own body! But there’s also another type of warrior. The one that fights for what she wants without shooting first. She sits back, sees the problem, and curiously, openly, observes the moment, and finds a way around it. Oh, I’m stuck in a compacting garbage disposal? Okay, let me find something to climb on top of. What was Han’s first reaction in this scenario, you may recall? Shooting up a magnetically sealed door. So I ask myself- how can I be this more feminine type of fluid, flexible warrior so that I can fight for what I want without turning the fight on myself? How do I stay fluid so that I’m fighting for a better tomorrow (is this not the longest segue to come back to the quote of the day I’ve ever made?) without getting angry when my tomorrows don’t immediately change?

Simple. Perspective. When Shakespeare wrote this quote, he obviously was thinking in terms of the past, or the future, but definitely not the present. After all, the present doesn’t “creep by” because it’s right now. Like I said. Bloody cynic.

So to be the warrior I wish to be, I must be sure to stay in my present moment, accepting things as they come, and slowly, curiously, find my way around the obstacles I face. Otherwise, I will be fighting blind, entering the dark tree with saber drawn, expecting a fight where there may be none. Or, as my vocal professor in college once told me, live Smarter, not Harder.

So let us close with a rebuttal to Shakespeare’s depressing prose: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… will never come a’creeping if you choose to live every day in today.

La Vie Boheme!

AaaaahhEeeeeeeYaaahhhhhh!!!!!! (Warrior Cry)

The Foda

P.S. Okay, so I knocked on ol’ Willie Shakes a little bit here, but in all seriousness, how beautiful (if not super melodramatic and depressing) is this passage?

 “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow,

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more.

It is a tale told by an idiot

Full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.”

 ~Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5

Episode XIX: And The Crowd Goes Wild!

Episode XIX

And The Crowd Goes Wild!

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You ain’t never gunna keep me down!”

-Chumbawamba

 The Foda’s take: First off, I inexplicably love this song. It’s one of those catchy tunes that doesn’t really say much of anything, but it gets stuck in your head. Secondly, I like to think of this as our American legacy- pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps. After all, everyone loves the underdog who triumphs through adversity… although the journey to get there can be pretty rough. Just ask Luke Skywalker. And his mechanical hand.

 Hi there! So good to see you again. Have you been watching the Olympics this week? I know I have. And wow, has it been exciting! The speed, the jumps, the Cinderella stories of athletes coming up from behind and crushing the competition! And then there’s the stories of the athletes who fall and have to get up and skate, sled, or slide on. We cheer for these people. We root for them. I was personally cheering big time for ice skater Jeremy Abbott, who fell hard on the ice after a quad, and then got back up, obviously in pain, and finished his routine beautifully. And the crowd goes wild!!!!

And then I think. He fell. He was hurt and stunned and in pain, and things were just not going the way he had hoped they would. But he gets up anyway. And the entire arena roars and cheers and spurs him to go on. And we eat this up. I mean, who doesn’t love an athlete who shows some serious moxie, regardless of whether they medal? I know I do! But then it hits me… what about the invisible people, the ordinary you-and-me people who fall down every day in bodies that won’t function properly due to illness?

Who’s going to cheer for us?

It’s really hard to live in a body that won’t match up to what our minds think we’re capable of. When you have a chronic illness, it can feel like every minute of every day is you falling on the ice after attempting to jump. And what makes it worse is that since so many people with Lyme or auto-immune disorders or chronic depression look completely normal… who’s going to cheer us on, give us that pat on the back, and tell us with complete confidence: you can do it!!!

Not a screaming arena, I can tell you that. But think of it this way- we are the true fighters. The true Cinderella stories. The unseen, unrecognized battle-hardened warriors. And while I would love to have a room of strangers cheering me on during my toughest moments when I’m having a hard time finding hope… it will mean just that much more when I get there.

I’ve learned things I never could have hoped to know at this age if my body was healthy. I’ve learned faith, and patience. I’ve learned humility and perseverance. I’ve learned that there are two ways to view every situation, and that how I react is a choice. And I know- I KNOW– that when I get up again, I will not mess around. I will not get stuck in the mundane problems of life. I will not complain over sniveling little colds, or because I’d rather sleep in than go to work. I will be PRESENT. I will be a WARRIOR. And I will NOT apply to the phrase how “youth is wasted on the young” because I will be wise and mature beyond my years.

There isn’t a whole gaggle of strangers cheering for me to get back up from the stands. My struggle is not all over the nightly news. But just like Jeremy Abbott, I WILL get back up. And when I do?

The crowd goes wild!!!!!!

Even if that crowd is just a few close family and friends.

Join me, won’t you?

Go Team,

The Foda

Episode II: Escaping the Quagmire of Anxiety

Episode II

Escaping the Quagmire of Anxiety

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” 

-Every Star Wars character ever

The Foda’s take: That bad feeling? Not an omen of doom. Just the uneasy state of being that accompanies not knowing what’s going to happen next. And that not knowing? Feels horrible, it does. But a predictor for the future, it is not.

Welcome back everyone. This week I got some bad news. A new flare up has decided to wreck havoc on my system, putting up a big giant STOP sign in its wake. This has given me plenty of time to sit alone and think about every little thing that’s happened to me along my lengthy Lyme journey, and painstakingly try to piece it together in hopes I’ll solve the puzzle, like the petite little Foda I am. This deep reflection has brought me to one resounding conclusion: I may never know the answers I so diligently seek. Which in the world of me? Drives me CRAZY. Therefore, in an effort to stay sane, I of course picked up the phone, ready to share my questioning woes with the smartest lady I know. Let’s call her… Fumbledore. That’s right. The Female Dumbledore. Anyway, I’m spilling my guts to Fumbledore, and she lands this little nugget on me: “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” Oh, my mistake, what she really said was: “You’re never going to get all the answers you’re looking for.”

OUCH. Harsh, right? Read on. Because then she body slams me with this:

“When I’m anxious and turning something ‘round my brain over and over, I fill my thoughts, my actions, my days, with something I love. When I catch myself getting caught in the quagmire of endless worry, I redirect that energy into something I love. I invest myself so much in the things that bring me joy, that I want to think about them all the time, letting the brain obsess over THAT instead of the problems out of my control.”

Okay, that wasn’t exactly a DIRECT quote, but that really is what she said.

It’s all about love, people. Huzzah!

So naturally, wise little Foda that I am, I immediately pulled out my moleskin journal I take with me everywhere and made a list of the top things that I love, trying to limit it only to the real, meaningful things. Like family, singing, and shoes… you know, stuff like that. And while I’m not too thrilled to be bested in the words of wisdom department, I’m totally fine with being her Padewan learner…. this time.

So this week, I’m giving it a shot. Taking control over what I can, and redirecting the quagmire to focus on something I love. So in closing, I ask you: What is it you love?

Go Green,

The Foda

Episode I: Overcoming Chronic Illness: A New Hope

Episode I

Overcoming Chronic Illness: A New Hope

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” 

-Yoda, Episode IV

The Foda’s take: So, like….. don’t….. start.

 Hi there! Come on in and welcome! Welcome to Words of Wisdom on hope and overcoming illness from the Female Yoda. The Foda, if you will. Now I know what you’re thinking. Yoda was a tiny green puppet who dissipated into thin air on the swampy planet of Dagobah. (And if you didn’t know that, really, why are you here?) Thus, the birth of The Foda. I’m tiny, long winded, and rarely say anything in the most direct way possible. Also, I’m wicked wise. And three years ago, I started turning green. Lyme green. Oh, I heard that! Your inner dialogue going: say WHAT?! You heard right. Three years ago I started my journey towards becoming a Lyme-a-been. (But “been” pronounced the British way, like “bean.” As in, one day I will have become a Lyme-a-been, as in, am no longer now…. having…. the Lyme.) Told you speaking oddly I do.

Sidebar- by what percentage would you say a play on words gets less funny when you have to explain it? 

Moving on. Yup, me and my bad self had a tangle with a microscopic woodland creature (sorry, can’t speak four letter words here) and it changed my life forever, putting me into the Lyme light (too soon for puns?) and giving me a condition called Lyme Disease. But, silver lining, it also has gifted me with a journey chock-full of character building experiences. And the green exterior really helps me pull off the whole Foda thing.

So here I am! Spouting off wisdom and finding silvery linings through combating chronic illness- and no, it’s not just the smoke coming off of the murky swamp R2D2 fell in upon arrival. And while I may be slower, more reclusive, and generally living 40 years beyond my age bracket, when all is said and done, no one will be able to say my life wasn’t interesting.

This is my journey. Maybe it’s your journey too. Easy, it is not. But, hey. As Kermit the Frog once said: it’s not easy being green. So come one, come all, fellow Lyme-a-beens and Star Wars fiends. And welcome to the wonderful wise world of the Female Yoda.

 Go Green,

The Foda