How do you explain to someone something that they have never personally experienced? We use analogies but sometimes even that is not enough. Sometimes, until someone experiences what you are going through, there is going to be a void in the fullness of understanding. When I give a prevention talk or share my personal story with someone newly diagnosed, I use a lot of analogies to help make the connection to better understanding. Tick-borne disease is a very complicated disease and until someone experiences for themselves firsthand, there is going to remain a void.
Such is the case with prevention. I can talk until I’m blue in face about the importance of using prevention products on your skin and clothing and pets to protect against a tick encounter. I can educate that ticks are still active in temps above 32 degrees. But all that goes by the way side until someone finds a tick embedded on them, their child or pet. Then panic and confusion sets in. Add in the myriad of advice given to them by family and friends and that brings their fear factor to a whole new level. I anguish over newly reported cases knowing what they are potentially up against.
In support meetings, I find using analogies helpful. Regarding treatment, I talk about putting out a fire in a burning house. Enter the fire fighters to extinguish the fire and stay until the fire is out completely because failure to extinguish the fire completely gives cause for the simmering embers to flare up again, causing further damage. I always use the onion analogy. I liken treatment to peeling an onion