You will have noticed the zebras on my blog, maybe you just thought “whoa that girl sure likes zebras!” or maybe you’ve wondered what the connection was between beauty and zebras or ‘bendiness’ (my way of referring to the hypermobility aspect of EDS) and zebras.
Well wonder no more because now I shall explain the connection! People with EDS identify as either ‘bendies’ or ‘zebras’ and the zebra is the EDS mascot because:
“When you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras”
In America medical school students are often taught this phrase. The phrase is a way of saying that the most common cause of those symptoms is likely the culprit, don’t take bets on diagnosing rare, weird, or wonderful diseases just because you want it to be that. Most of the time this approach works really well, but sometimes a genuine medical zebra comes along and is then misdiagnosed with something common – even a whole collection of unconnected common ailments – or worse, left completely undiagnosed and untreated.
Through awareness of Ehlers-Danlos we hope that one day doctors will be able to see the signs that they’re no longer in Kansas, but rather out on the plains of the savannah where a zebra is the one most likely to be causing those hoofbeats.