Moving Past the Unknown Causes of My EDS Pain and Injuries
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. As part of my job as a college counselor, I’m working with high school seniors to help them make college decisions. As someone who lives and works on a farm, spring is, of course, when chores multiply. May is always exceptionally busy at school, so as a teacher, I will continue to have a lot to do over the next several weeks as the school year starts to wrap up.
I don’t feel like I’ve had more than a few minutes here and there to relax recently, but that’s not totally uncommon for me. I’m always busy and on my feet; as I’ve previously noted, I tend to manage my pain best with physical activity.
Why is any of this relevant? Because Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is weird. I can wake up feeling pain in seemingly random places and for no obvious reason. Usually, the source of my pain is my back and badly damaged shoulder. Recently, though, my hip injury means I’ve had pain elsewhere, too. My peroneus muscles in both lower legs are sore. And while my feet rarely bother me, despite how severely flat they are (a common EDS symptom), in the past week or two they’ve been quite uncomfortable.
I can’t explain why I’ve been sore in these areas. When speaking with my massage therapist, Kim, she asked if I’d done several different activities or movements that commonly can cause pain in these spots. I’d done none of them. My best guess is that it’s still some type of compensatory pain, but I don’t truly know.
Being unable to pinpoint the cause of soreness or injury can be frustrating. How can I prevent issues if I don’t know what causes them?
I also have two painful bruises on the outside of my left knee and the back of my right arm that I have no recollection of receiving. Obviously, I must have hit something, but I have no idea what. With EDS, it can sometimes be so minor that it wouldn’t even register with me.
These types of situations used to really bother me, and while I can’t say I’ve completely moved past it, I try my best to be better about it. Getting frustrated doesn’t change anything. Working myself up mentally can actually make things worse, as increased stress and anxiety often result in increased pain levels.
Rather than ponder the cause endlessly or get upset because I don’t know what happened, I do my best to acknowledge the injury, recognize my feelings, and then pick up and move on.
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