The most common reaction, though, is not reacting at all. A lot of medicines, particularly the morphine and opiate derivatives that help manage pain, simply have no effect on EDS patients. I don't feel Vicodin, which would've been awesome to know before recruiting it to battle a gnarly case of E. coli. And if I catch poison ivy, it puts the lotion on the skin, but the lotion doesn't do shit. A friend mine also has EDS. She doesn't react to the anesthetic lidocaine, and if you've never gone to the dentist and stayed awake feeling absolutely everything, you lose the right to complain. Also, the epidural they gave her during the birth of her daughter did absolutely nothing.
Admittedly, it's hard to think of a good use for that superpower. Maybe there's like a drug-themed villain who puts all the other heroes to sleep, and it's up to the EDSquad to take the Mighty Morphine Power Ranger down?
The Mandatory "Hero Loses Their Powers" Story Arc
Every decent superhero has a weakness that can drain them of their powers. Superman has Kryptonite, Green Lantern has the color yellow, Wonder Woman gets tied up by dudes, and EDS people have arthritis. Some weaknesses are sexier than others. With non-EDS patients, arthritis over-stiffens joints. In our case though, it pretty much brings them up to normal levels. Suddenly, our joints actually join together for once, and our limbs finally start behaving like proper limbs instead of rebellious noodles.
Alliance/iStock/Getty ImagesI'll take joint pain over falling apart like Ikea furniture any day.
Here's a sentence you won't read often: arthritis has already started in on me, and so far it has been a godsend. I can finally grip a pencil without dislocating the end of my finger. Chronic pain can develop, but eventually I hope to get to the point where I can clap my hands without devolving into a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubegirl. That being said, time won't steal away all my powers. I'll still have stretchy putty skin (combined with Grade-A grandma wings perfect for swinging all those grandbabies), and my eyesight will be as shitty as ever -- probably moreso with the normal ravages of age. I'll still be clumsier than Dick van Dyke in a room full of ottomans, and I'll still have the healing powers of Glass Joe. Plus I'll have to continually remind myself that bones can break and dislocations hurt like crazy. But that's okay -- every great hero has to overcome great obstacles. It makes for dramatic storytelling.
Dagger9977, via WikimediaBecause apparently the visual aids aren't dramatic enough.
What do you say, Justice League? Are you going to start working on my spandex leotard yet? I wear a 32 waist, 38 inseam. Yes, 38. What do you mean you don't have one? Look in the back, goddammit.
Author's note: I also wish to recognize that there are also several terminal forms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and my experience isn't the same as that of people with those forms. Also, invulnerability to pain meds has actually led to suicides, because the disease becomes impossible to handle, leading some of us to self-medicate. Sorry to save all the bummer for the end.
Stephanie spends her days holding it together and fishing grossness out of vacuums and pursues a Masters degree in English by night. Please direct hate mail (or accolades) to Facebook or Twitter where you can also see brain-ramblings and pictures of her dog. Jason Iannone writes columns, edits articles, does layout, and interviews people, very few of whom call the cops on him. He Facebooks and Twitters like a man possessed by a really apathetic spook.
For more insider perspectives, check out 4 Things Nobody Tells You About Food Allergies. And then check out 23 Horrifying Diseases You Won't Believe Existed.
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