I’m a Zebra! Ehlers Danlos, Horses and the Lottery

I’m a zebra; I am one in a half million. I am rare which is more of a problem than the condition itself, Ehlers Danlos. People will buy lottery tickets in which the odds of winning are 1 in 42 million. It is accepted and that’s the design of the system. Medical students are taught “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra.” It is accepted and that is the design of the system. But, what if it is zebras? 

Over the years, I started to suspect something unusual. I try to find a corner in yoga class to practice in peace; foot to head, knee to armpit, heel to butt, no problem. I am in my happy place on my mat, oblivious to shocked faces around me and teacher comments like, “I’ve only seen that in books.” Thankfully, a friend looking at my photos asked, “how can you do that and not have Ehlers Danlos?”

A quick google search was an “aha” moment. To make sure I wasn’t diagnosis by Google, I followed up and got an expert medical opinion that confirmed Ehlers Danlos. Everything made sense, random dislocations, rolling ankles and my propensity for boots. Individual Ehlers Danlos conditions are dismissed and not taken as a whole; therefore conventional therapy for one thing will wreck havoc for another. I am not a horse. I am a zebra, smaller, more agile and unpredictable.

Monday, 31 January 2022 is the Day of the Zebra and a reminder that there are times that the unlikely is likely; hoofbeats can be zebras.

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