Sometimes when you hear hoofbeats, you need to think Zebras, not Horses.

Sometimes what seem like inconsequential annoying things all add up to one big thing, or as I put it to my doctor, sometimes what appears to a bunch of random, isolated stars turns out to be a constellation, when you stand back and look at the whole picture.

Well, today I have officially joined the ranks of people who have “invisible chronic illnesses.”  I don’t look unhealthy.  Heck, most of the time, I don’t even feel unhealthy, but there is a problem, it’s genetic, and at times, it can be painful.  You just can’t tell by looking at me.

Think zebras

A while back I saw the doc for a suspected abdominal aortic aneurysm.  One of those “probably nothing, but better safe than sorry” type situations.  I noticed that I could feel something pulsing strongly in my abdomen, and so did my doctor.  It was clearly my abdominal aorta, but it’s unusual to be able to feel it so easily.  She ordered an ultrasound, and thankfully, my aorta turned out to be normal (just easily felt).  Big sigh of relief!

*However*, while I was waiting to find out if I had an old man’s disease, I was reading on reasons why a young(ish) woman might have an AAA (esp. with family history), and saw that in young people it’s often a sign of a connective tissue disorder.   One was Marfan’s Syndrome (easily ruled out), and the other was Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Continue reading “Sometimes when you hear hoofbeats, you need to think Zebras, not Horses.”