"Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune"

This is what EDS looks like. Well, at least one tangible aspect – most of EDS is impossible to capture on camera, being an invisible illness and all.

An example of bruising in EDS.

That is Em’s left big toe, bruised and swollen at the joint for no apparent reason. (The picture really doesn’t do it justice, but I am sharing it anyway.) Em doesn’t always bruise easily, not like many EDSers, but every once in a while, she will end up with a spectacular bruise from some minor contact or, seemingly, no reason at all. This one isn’t really spectacular but the swelling is fairly unusual for her.

It doesn’t hurt but does feel a little looser than normal. She has no recollection of doing anything to it – nothing that would have made it look like that. Maybe she dislocated her toe, walked around with it out for a couple days and didn’t notice. It is entirely possible that she simply brushed a blanket across it, ending up bruised and swollen.

When she showed me the bruise, I said what I always say. “Are you sure that isn’t dirt?” She responded like she always does: she tried unsuccessfully to wipe off the bruise. At which point, we try to figure out where it came from, finally shrugging our shoulders and giving up when we can’t.

As injuries go, this one doesn’t even count. Any injury that that doesn’t make her feel like throwing up from the pain, ranks pretty low on the scale. Since most of her real [read: painful] injuries don’t bruise and don’t swell, there is usually nothing to see. This one is a bit more visually interesting, so we snapped a couple pictures and I decided I would record it for posterity.

Yes, if you are wondering, Em is positively thrilled that I have posted a picture of her toe for the world to see.

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Comments on: "A picture of EDS" (4)

  1. Ahh, finding relics of invisible illness. Signs that it’s really there! I know I often wonder if I’m insane when I’m in pain and there’s no visible sign. Finding little things like this is like finding the Ark of the Covenant – signs of truth!

    • It is strange isn’t it? Things that hurt can be invisible and an ugly bruise can be painless. EDS is a goofy thing sometimes. And a little validation goes a long way!

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Argh yes, it drives me NUTS that I can do major damage and (a) there was no trauma involved, and (b) there’s almost always no swelling or bruising! It means that the ONLY signal of the damage is the pain and I’m so accustomed to ignoring or downplaying the pain that I have been known to do things that in hindsight were Really Stupid, because I had not realised that it was a Big Deal Injury and not just the everyday kind!! It’s an endless learning experience :/

    • It is crazy, isn’t it? And doctors just don’t quite get it. Em has reinjured her toe several more times simply by walking barefoot. It is amazing what you can get used to, but that is not always a good thing!

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