Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Disease Spirit Animals: HAWMC #26

I once was told my own Spirit Animal was a horse.  That fits me more than many might guess.  It seems fitting then that I would grow to have such a profound kinship with this powerful, sensitive animal.

When presented with this HAWMC #26 blog challenge, it was really simple to decide which spirit animals would go with the diseases and disorders I personally fight each day.

Lupus - the very name 'Lupus' means wolf.  The disease hides like a wolf in sheep's clothing.  Various stories tell that the name was derived from the appearance of the red rash/mask on a patient's face which are said to look like wolf bites.

Sjogren's Syndrome - It seems clear to me that the totem animal for this disease should be the raccoon.  This animal lives its life without any salivary glands.  In order to eat and swallow it must dunk its food into water to replicate the wet quality of the saliva most normal animals possess.  Fortunate for this animal, the salivary glands are its only weakness.  Its eyes and other glands and organs work perfectly.

Migraine - I choose the spirit animal Woodpecker for Migraine.  This animal has strength of body that Migraineurs do not possess.  They are able to spend their days pounding their faces against solid wood in their search for food, without getting a headache.  This is due in part to their specially built skeletal structure that minimizes impact during pecking.  Migraineurs suffer as a Woodpecker might suffer should their skeletal structure malfunction.  The rhythmic pecking also sounds like the pounding we feel in our heads during an attack.

Dystonia - The Alligator or Crocodile is the spirit animal for this disorder.  These animals have the world's most powerful grip.  They clamp down on their prey with a grip that cannot be loosened.  Then they do a death roll, twisting and thrashing about with all their might in their attempt to kill their prey with the mere force of their thrashing.  A Dystonic storm can be similar to the attack of an alligator or croc.  Held mercilessly in the clenches of the brain's malfunctioning signals, spasming patients are rendered helpless against its hold on their bodies.  

What is your health concern?  What animal would you choose to represent it?  Why would you choose this spirit animal?  Does the spirit animal resemble your disease, or protect against it?

Comment by Janeen on April 27, 2011 at 7:09am
Very well done, Ellen and very fitting.  I could almost feel that woodpecker pecking in my head.  Some days it does feel like I'm repeatedly slamming my face against a piece of wood.
Your description of the Dystonia spirit animal is very vivid.  As someone who doesn't have the disease but has only learned about it here on WEGO Health, it has given me a better understanding of how it "feels".
Comment by Julia on April 28, 2011 at 12:01pm
Ellen - I did not know that a raccoon doesn't have saliva glands! Excellent comparison. Whaddyaknow?

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