HAPPY RARE DISEASE DAY!!! 👊🏼
It’s only fitting that I tell you what is actually wrong with me today, right?!? I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers - Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
**OK- hold up! We need to talk about disease versus syndrome before we go any further. DISEASE: A disease is classified as a pathophysiological (patho: disease state, physiological: the function of a living organism) response to some factor; that factor may be environmental, genetic, internal, external, etc. Disease has a clear reason for malfunction. SYNDROME: A syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms and you may not know what is causing them. Or, it may be many things contributing to one symptom. & BREAKING NEWS, PEOPLE…those signs and symptoms can range from person to person while having the same disease. What? You mean all of our bodies process things differently? No way! YES, way! Ok - I’m done being sarcastic for now. Remember, we are all different. Something that may work for one person may not work for the next.
Back to EDS!! EDS, as I stated earlier is a connective tissue disorder. I was born with it but it wasn’t found until my junior year of high school after undergoing a double knee surgery to stabilize my patellas. They were so loose, I was unable to drive because simply lifting my foot from the gas pedal to the break pedal would cause a dislocation. OUCH! Connective tissue is quite literally exactly what it sounds like; it is the glue that holds your body together. The only place it is not found is within bone.
It’s quite obvious having faulty connective tissue is going to cause some problems right? While everybody’s illness is different, here is how EDS has affected me. Dislocations…lots of them! On a daily basis I can pretty much count on a right shoulder and a left hip dislocation (on our way to Missouri for Christmas in 2015, we had to stop 4 times during our 3.5 hour drive to put my hip back in simply due to gravity). I can also count on multiple finger and rib dislocations throughout the day. Keith has become a professional rib adjuster. (Someday I will share our method.)
While the dislocations aren’t what I would consider fun, they are manageable. Manageable, maybe because I don’t know any different. We all have to make adjustments to our life as new obstacles are thrown our way. It’s just what we do.
Lately i’ve had some new obstacles thrown my way. If you have a chronic illness, you probably know that when you are diagnosed with one, a bunch of others get together over coffee & donuts and talk about how they can inter-web their hands and show up at your doorstep to knock you down all at once. I would sit here and list off all the illnesses i’ve ben diagnosed with, but I think that would defeat the purpose of this post and I feel like they deserve their own glory. So for now, I will just say all of these other illnesses are caused by that one pesky leech called EDS.
Yes, this is where I leave the most annoying cliffhanger. You’re welcome!
I’ll see you in a few days!
Remember, "Count your Rainbows, not your Thunderstorms"!