Reprinted with the kind permission of Christina. To read the original blog, click here.
Lyme Ninja Radio – Interview with Mackay Rippey
I was one of those people who were way behind on the game with discovering podcasts. I knew that they existed, but I didn't really dive into my little "Podcast" App on my iPhone until a few months ago. Once I realized how incredible it was to lie in bed and be able to learn and be entertained by the wealth of shows within the app, I was hooked. This is also when I found Lyme Ninja Radio, and it was an instant love affair. I binge-listened (is that a thing?) to podcast after podcast, and found myself laughing, learning, and really enjoying the natural ability of Mackay to host the show so perfectly.
Lyme Ninja Radio was created by Mackay and his daughter, after being affected personally by Lyme Disease. They have the most incredible guests on and talk about every topic imaginable, all over the spectrum of a chronic illness; Diet, meditation, treatments, Physician interviews, etc. It is also very easy to access, either via iTunes, SoundCloud, or LymeNinja.com. It is so worth clicking "Subscribe" & getting your weekly dose of learning and entertainment. But don't just take my word for it! I recently got to turn the tables a bit and interview Mackay, and we chatted about what makes Lyme Ninja Radio special.
1.Lyme Ninja Radio is special for a lot of reasons, but one of which is that it's a father/daughter duo working together. What inspired you to create this project together?
Mackay: Desperation – I started Lyme Ninja Radio on my own and was quickly overwhelmed. Luckily for me, Aurora was home at the time and was willing to jump in and learn the ins and outs of podcasting.
2. What has been the best thing about working with your daughter?
Mackay: It’s great to be able to interact with her as a partner and as an adult and not in the normal father/daughter or parent/child roles which always seem to boil down to, “Have you cleaned your room yet?!"
3. When did you start the Podcast? And how many episodes have you created together thus far?
Mackay: I started Lyme Ninja Radio as a way to learn about Lyme disease for my acupuncture practice in Clinton, NY. I figured it would be a great way to learn and share that learning in the process. We started in the Summer of 2014 and are up to about 101 episodes! (See Ep 101: here)
4. Has Lyme Ninja expanded from Podcasts to any other projects?
Mackay: We are working on a number of ideas, from a line of supplements to online training. Last year we held our first Ninja Training, The topic was the Healing Power of Emotions. My partner in that project, in addition to Aurora, was Erin Murphy, who has an amazing Lyme story and who’s healing was jump-started with an emotional breakthrough.
5. What are both of you stories regarding Lyme Disease? Have you both been affected by it? Is it something which affects other friends/family members close to you?
Mackay: I was bit by a tick in the Hudson Valley in Ghent, New York. A few days later I felt like hell and a day after that developed a bullseye rash. THANK GOD! Even though I only had 2 weeks of doxy, I followed it up with some herbals and acupuncture and am more or less OK. My wife noticed I lost about an inch off my hairline and I think my energy is not quite what it should be. That was 12 years ago. So I’m basically OK. Again, Thank God.
6. What do you feel is the biggest lesson you've learned through the journey of creating this podcast?
Mackay: One afternoon I was all upset because I produced an episode and NOBODY listened to it. She said, “Calm down. Don’t even worry about any of that until you have been doing this for two years. Than you can make an assessment and be happy or upset.”
What she taught me is “Just Keep Going.” It’s really the same message that the Lymies teach. “Just Keep Going. Don’t Stop."
7. Who were some of your most interesting guests? Or what are some of your favorite episodes?
Mackay: This may sound like a total suck up to my guests. But I love them all. In fact, I choose guests that are interesting to me. My mind can get interested in some quirky things and sometimes I worry that I lose my audience because of that. But I figure the worst thing in the world is to have an interviewer who is bored by his guest.
I have to say my favorite episode was a Halloween special we did early on with Author M. M. Drymon. She wrote a book called Disguised as the Devil and makes a very compelling case that the Salem witches were actually suffering from Lyme Disease. It’s fascinating stuff. One of the signs of being a witch was the “devil’s kiss” which wait for it….is a bullseye rash!
I also love Eva Sapi, the researcher from University of New Haven. She is doing groundbreaking original research with Lyme. I love her.
And of course talking with people who are battling their way through Lyme is always humbling and inspiring.
8. I love this podcast because it is incredibly informative and a wealth of information for patients and caretakers, which is so needed in the Lyme community. What is the one message you would like to share as a takeaway to those who are reading this now?
Mackay: We live in connected world. What and who you need to heal from Lyme may not be in your circle at the present moment. But through resources like Lyme Ninja Radio, Facebook, Skype, you can find the people and the information and the hope you need to get through this. It is possible to heal, and sometime you have to let go of expectations, disappointments, anger, grief etc, to move forward. At that heart of most Lyme healing stories is a moment of surrender and inner peace that allows the path forward to show itself.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers/future listeners?
Mackay: You can find Lyme Ninja Radio on iTunes, Sound Cloud, Facebook, and our website www.LymeNinja.com
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I want to thank Mackay for taking the time to chat with me! I linked the episodes he spoke about in the interview above if you want to click and listen yourself. The Halloween special really is incredible, and fall time is just around the corner, so I recommend that listen for a crisp fall day treat 🙂
Christina is the founder of Lady of Lyme, a blog chronicling her journey to find health with Lyme Disease.