Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Princess and the Pea!

When I grew up there was a fairy tale which I always thought might be about me. 'The Princess and the Pea' was a tale about a wee girl who didn't know she was a Princess. One night she is lost in the woods and turns up at a castle. The Queen somehow thinks she may be a Princess in disguise. So when she is shown to her bed chamber, the Queen has played a sneaky trick and put a pea under 13 (or so) mattresses. If she was really a Princess, in the morning she would feel black and blue from the pea pressing into her fragile skin under all those mattresses. The long and the short is.....she was indeed a Princess after all. Then I realised I didn't really know when EDS was first discovered. If you are lucky enough to ever read any Jane Austen books, there is always a frail, pasty character with a weak disposition, maybe they had EDS. So I have done a bit of research and this is what I have discovered.

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is one of the oldest known causes of bruising and bleeding and was first described by Hipprocrates in 400 BC. Then Tschernogobow from Moscow published his findings about the fragility of the skin associated with hypermobility of the large joints in 1892. Edvard Ehlers, in 1901, recognized the condition as a distinct entity. In 1908, Henri-Alexandre Danlos suggested that skin extensibility and fragility were the cardinal features of the syndrome. Edvard Ehlers (1863–1937), Danish dermatologist, and Henri Alexandre Danlos (1844–1912), French dermatologist, who separately reported it in 1901 and 1908. So there you are. If you were ever wondering where the name came from or when it was first discovered here is the short and sweet answer!

Love Rowena

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