Bacterial Disease, Not A Crayon
This does not cause Lyme Disease:
Lyme is not a big bug that you can see.
That tick is one delivery agent of this:
It is a spirochetal bacterium called Borrelia Burgdorferi. It can only be seen under a microscope. It invades tissues throughout the body.
I wish we would stop using the tick image as almost the logo or branding for Lyme Disease. Certainly, knowing about ticks is key to prevention. But it is not the tick which we fight when we fight for our lives. It is a bacteria. A very serious bacterial disease. I think people lose sight of that when we associate so much of the discussion of Lyme with the images of ticks.
I’m also a little dismayed by the trend of late to associate diseases with cute colors. I know it seems natural since this disease was originally identified in Lyme, CT to use the lime color for PR and awareness. But there’s is something about the whole idea of this which diminishes the gravity of it all. Besides, if I had to pick a color for having lived with the ramifications of this disease, it would be grey. My life has gone grey. Not even the sharpness of black. A dull, neutral grey. A grey fog of cognitive issues, physical pains and the mystifying world of our broken medical system. I lie in wait to get my life back. That said, even grey is still associating a disease which can imperil your life with a crayon. Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to get the world to pay attention to how serious this is by being so cutesy.
I have seizures. Sometimes I can’t see. Some days my fingers don’t work or I can’t walk. I am being driven insane by the sounds of the everyday world due to hyperacusis. I don’t want people thinking about the cheery lime green color and feeling that you can deal with Lyme Disease by swiping ticks away.
I want people to realize that we need research. Lots of it. I want people to see the admitted opinions – not evidence-based science – of the conflict-ridden IDSA are being used as de facto law in such a way that thousands of people are suffering due to their self-interests. So, can we stop using a crayola color and macro-sized bug to represent this disease. How about a microscopic image or a photo of someone with Lyme Palsy? How about videos of shaking patients or people struggling to walk? Or interviews with folks who can’t remember their names or how to get home from next door?
Its not a pretty scene, living with Lyme. Its not a cheery green color. Its not cute. Lets start making that clear, shall we?
Just my little rant for the day. Thanks for indulging.