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My Collagen Is Faulty – Not Me

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My collagen is faulty. It isn’t as strong as it should be. It doesn’t do its job properly and it causes me pain.

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

But that doesn’t make me faulty.

You see, my collagen is a part of me, sure, but it isn’t everything. I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a friend, a best friend, and most importantly, I am human.

I am different, but who isn’t? We are all individual and we are all flawed. It just so happens to be that my major difference is that my connective tissue is not as strong as most peoples.

So yes, I have fragile skin constantly injure myself. Yes, I am often fatigued and in large amounts of pain. Yes, I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and dysautonomia, and an array of other conditions.

But no, that does not mean you have to protect me or “wrap me in bubble wrap.” I’m doing the best that I can do with it all and although I know it comes from a nice place, I really don’t need your pity or sympathy.

I beg you, instead, to just treat me as you would anyone else for most of the time. I won’t deny I will probably need your assistance more than others, but I will ask for it when I need it. If you begin to do everything for me, it makes me feel less, like I am broken and incapable of doing things for myself. So, please, unless I need it to be otherwise, I ask you to see me as any other friend or family member.

There will be days where I cannot be “normal” because my pain levels have skyrocketed, but just think of these days as any day you are feeling a bit under the weather. Usually, my pain is because I overdid it the day before and perhaps my joints couldn’t take it, just as you would be tired and sore if you overdid it by say, running a marathon. It’s just that it takes me less to feel this way. But as you would, I will manage to look after myself and I will get back up.

Because I am not broken.

Like you, I have dreams and goals. Maybe I have to set myself a different standard, but I dare anyone  to try to find someone who has the identical dreams as they do. We all have different capabilities, that’s what makes us who we are.

Perhaps I have to cancel plans on you, but so does everyone at some point.

Maybe I go to bed earlier and drink less than you do when we go out, but everyone, no matter who they are, has different limitations.

I have passions and hobbies. Some of which I may have in common with many people, others which are unique to me. As does everyone else.

I am, essentially, just like everyone else.

Obviously, my life has had to be adjusted to accommodate my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, that’s no secret. But that doesn’t make me less in any way. It makes me me; it’s who I am. This syndrome is part of me and I am just learning new ways to handle it in the same way you would when you are given an obstacle to overcome.

This does not make me any stronger than anyone else or an inspiration for putting up with it. It’s my life and I’m just living it, like you all live your lives.

So the next time you go to think of me as different, remember everyone is different.

And just because my collagen is “faulty,” that doesn’t mean that I am too.

Thinkstock Image By: deniskomarov

Originally published: July 20, 2017
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