Glass Half Full
I have been gifted with extra collagen in my body, specially in my joints and skin. My yoga classmates think it’s awesome but all pros have cons, all ying has a yang, just like the night and day, the moon and the sun, the black and white, the good and the bad, the bright and the dark, and on and on and on… everything in life has 2 sides and both sides can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which perspective you decide to focus on.
I was born with hip dysplasia, had hip surgery when I was 2 months old. When I was 8, I started dancing & practicing gymnastics, then added tae kwon do to the mix, I excelled in the flexibility department of all these disciplines and sports which made it look very easy for me, It wasn’t all the time since I had to work extra hard for strength and balance.
At 9 or 10 years old, my knee caps started to pop out, specially when I changed directions suddenly or when my friends came and pushed my knees from the back if I was standing in a hyper flexed way (with the knees pushed back), this happened to me approximately 20 times in 6 years. The last few times this happened, knee caps would stay “out of place” and I had to have people assist me with getting my knees “fixed” and back where they belonged.
The pain that came with this was unbearable, it is one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt in my life.
When I was 16 years old, I had arthroscopy knee surgery on both knees at the same time. Back in that time I was so sad that my legs would be scarred for life but the scars on my legs are not that bad anymore and I’ve learned to love them, honestly I do, I now understand that I have the blessing to have walking and functional legs that happen to be one of the strongest parts of my body.
4 months after my knee surgery, I was at my red belt Tae Kwon Do exam, and my knee popped out again. It was very traumatizing. The sadness, anger and frustration that I felt on the floor of my “Dojang” (tae kwon do studio) was extreme, I remember I went crazy with tears and screams. I was so confused, I literally learned how to walk again after having both legs operated at the same time and all for nothing… surgery wasn’t enough, my ligaments had the power to stretch over and over again.
I have a syndrome called Ehler Danlos, in my case it makes me have mildly loose joints which affect the connective tissues supporting the skin and bones.
This is the reason why I was born with hip dysplasia and I’ve had problems with my knees since I was 9. Also, the syndrome made my skin tear when my belly grew when I was pregnant. I thought it was going to have the exact opposite effect since I never had stretch-marks growing up but it was because my skin never experienced sudden changes in size and length, I am a proud 5’1” so I grew slowly and not a lot.
Good news is:
A) I only have the syndrome on my joints and skin.
B) people with Ehler Danlos age graciously and always look younger than they appear, at least that’s what I’ve been told.
C) with strength and muscles, joints and ligaments stay in place better.
I have struggled but I also have been blessed with flexibility. Like I said, It all depends on the perspective that you choose to see it and I choose the “glass half full” one.
All my love, thank you for reading.
I am Aliser, art lover and owner of Smallprint. I create custom silver pieces & host quarterly tea parties to celebrate mothers and daugthers in communities across Alberta. Reach out if you'd like to host one.