When It Comes to EDS, I’ve Learned to Make Concessions

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by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Things just don’t slow down for me this time of year. Break? What’s that?

The school year is starting. It’s college application season for my seniors, competition season for me, and I’m teaching an additional class this year on top of my already hectic schedule. Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to squeeze it all in, but on the other hand, I seem to do better when I’m constantly moving.

I often feel like managing Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a constant stream of compromises. You have to keep moving, but you also can’t overdo it. You need to make sure you get a sufficient amount of sleep, but you still need to be an active member of the community. Sometimes I definitely overdo it: As I said in my last column, stubborn is definitely an adjective that most people would use to describe me.

This past week has definitely been a flare-up kind of week, but I don’t think I actually overdid it. Oddly, it was one of the quietest physical weeks that I’ve had in a long time. Rather, I think I slept in an undesirable position, courtesy of my cutest and naughtiest blind cat, Stuart.

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(Courtesy of Karen Del Vecchio)

You see, Stuart likes my pillow. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up completely off my pillow, with a tiny ball of adorable Stuart curled up in the indent left from my head. Most of the time, it’s not a problem, but occasionally I wake up stiff and twisted. Stuart does have his own pillow, but those of you who are cat people will know that piece of information is irrelevant to the conversation. He’s so cute and hilarious — he literally makes me laugh every day — that all I can do is roll with it. (Yes, the happiness of Stuart is clearly superseding my comfort here. Welcome to life as a cat mom.)

Saturday morning was one of those mornings, and I’ve been trying to put myself back together ever since. Thankfully, I already had a massage scheduled for Monday, so I just had to get through the weekend. The hardest part is that, when my neck stiffens up, so does my injured shoulder. They play off each other in a snowball effect that leads to a terrible headache courtesy of my angry muscles.

I don’t let it slow me down, though. I took some ibuprofen and kept on rolling. I tend to take an “If it’s not going to make it worse than it already is, why not?” type of attitude. Otherwise, I feel like I’d constantly be making concessions to my EDS. Granted, there are times when that’s both necessary and healthy, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Besides, when piglets escape, it doesn’t matter how I’m feeling — they need to get back in their pen (yep, true story from this weekend).

I know my massage therapist, Kim, will be able to get everything straight. It’s a good thing she finds my constant physical mess a hilarious challenge. If she didn’t, I’d be in big trouble!


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


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