Round and Round – My Zebra Journey #SoCS

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Round and round, up and down.  I seem to be moving along in my life but never getting anywhere!  When I look a bit closer I am travelling on a merry go round – round and round, up and down, a never ending circle that just doesn’t reach my final destination.  Others around me are on the travelator – the kind that you get in the airports or new supermarkets – and seem able to see their destination and even to jump on and off en route.

But my journey continues round and round, up and down as the ride continues relentlessly day in and day out.  When I look down I realise that I am not even seated on a brightly coloured galloping horse decorated in golds and silvers like the others accompanying me – yes there are others who seem to be at a stage in their journeys of being on a hamster wheel, unable to reach a destination.  Instead I am seated on a zebra – a stunning animal admittedly, and not so dissimilar to the horses around it in shape and size.  He has a mane, a tail, hooves and he can gallop at great speed.  To hear him coming you might mistake my trusty steed for a horse – but he is not, he has stripes and he is a zebra.

My companion on my life journey is different and I am unable to jump off the merry go round that he is firmly bolted to.  I raise my hand at fellow travellers passing by and the others joining me on my ride….every so often another zebra joins us and we continue our journey together. Up and down, round and round.

This is part of Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness – pop over to her site, read the rules, take the prompt “Round” and start writing….then link up!

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Why the Zebra?

The Zebra has been adopted by the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome community as traditionally medical student have been taught throughout training that “when you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras” – think of the obvious conditions first, rather than the exotic and rare.  Thus in medical circles, the term “zebra” is used to describe a rare disease or condition and we EDSers are referred to as zebras!

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May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month – Why the Zebra?

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I warned you yesterday that I will be going totally overboard with the EDS awareness posts and zebra pictures this month.

To kick us off here is a quick explanation of “Why the Zebra?”

Medical students/junior doctors have always traditionally been taught to look for the simplest explanation when diagnosing a patient in order to prevent misdiagnosis of rare conditions.  If it looks like a horse and it sounds like a horse……if you hear hooves, think horse…..etc!

In medicine the term zebra is used to describe a rare disease/illness/condition, but often it can feel that medics forget that whilst rare, zebras do exist and can struggle to get a diagnosis and treatment.  This is frequently the case for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome patients, and so we have become known as medical zebras.  This has been adopted by the worldwide community now as the identity for EDS and through the use of social media helps to unite us.

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