Spoonie: A chronically ill person. This term (and its accompanying product placement – just google “spoonie stuff” and see how many spoon adorned t-shirts, water bottles, and more you can buy!) was created by Christine Miserandino, author of the amazing www.butyoudontlooksick.com. Christine has Lupus, and she created “The Spoon Theory” to explain to her sympathetic friend how energy is expended differently for Chronic peeps. You can read the full story here: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ You can be a spoonie no matter what your illness may be, and you will probably reference your spoons 9 times a day once you are familiar with the theory, so make sure to share the above link with others so they know you aren’t talking about silverware!
Zebra: Someone with a rare medical condition. In medical school, future doctors are told, “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras,” meaning that it’s more likely that your patient has a standard illness, not something rare that has a one line mention in your medical textbook. Ergo, if you have a rare medical condition, you are the Zebra in this equation. Technically, there are a lot of zebras out there, but the EDS community has publically claimed the zebra as its mascot.
Frogs: I have no idea why frogs were chosen as the mascot for the Dysautonomia Youth Network of America (DYNA), but they were. You can read the cutesy inspirational story here: http://www.dynainc.org/content/high-jumping-dizzy-dysautonomia-frogs
Turquoise: As in, “Make some NOISE for TURQUOISE,” the rallying cry of Dysautonomia International. The color turquoise has been adopted as the color of choice for dysautonomia awareness- whether in the form of ribbons on lapels or the color of the light show DI has set up for the month of October at Niagra Falls!
October: The official Dysautonomia Awareness month.