EDSucation

You don't seem to be sick to me, kid.  Get back to work sweeping out my chimney!

You don’t seem to be sick to me, kid. Get back to work sweeping out my chimney!

It must be Friday, as I suddenly feel prodded and poked into another reader prompt like I was getting a meet and greet with the TSA.  My Prompt the Squirrel series is winding down with just three more suggestions left in the grab bag of fun… and the one I have chosen for today is going to be a little bit difficult because it requires me to at least somewhat keep a straight face through it, as the subject is not necessarily a laughing matter…

Not that there's much I don't consider to be a laughing matter.

Not that there’s much I don’t consider to be a laughing matter.

This week’s prompt comes from the reader who may very well hold the distinction of being the longest tenured regular follower of my blog who didn’t know me previously on my prompt logoMillionaire message board.  Cindi runs a blog that I got to know three years ago as “Dog For David,” which chronicled her life as a single mother raising two autistic sons.  But when she and both of her boys were also diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome last year, she changed the title to “Stripes and Puzzle Pieces” to incorporate education of the latter disease into her writing.  Naturally, her mission inspired her prompt…

Would you consider adding a new character?  A zebra with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?  Zebras are a mascot of sorts for EDS and although EDS is a serious condition, there’s plenty of room for having fun with the concept of a zebra with some of the symptoms (i.e. easily dislocates joints, bruises easily, very flexible, clumsy, etc).  I would appreciate at least a link that would lead your readers to more information about EDS if they’re interested, but other than that the zebra character can be a form of comic relief so to speak in the subject of EDS. 🙂  Just no dying.  Not talking about another Buster here. lol He’s on his own with that running gag. 😉 lol

Sniff!  Nobody sticks up for me!

Sniff! Nobody sticks up for me!

I have found that many people on WordPress use the forum their blog provides to educate the public about afflictions they suffer with that are not well known or even worse, completely misunderstood by most people.  In keeping up with my readers, I have learned about “invisible” physical and mental afflictions like fibromyalgia, depression, bipolar, PTSD, etc.  And with this cue, I took a little time to check up on EDS.  Here is the link to the page Cindi provides on her blog, and here is the Wiki page that goes into more detail about the symptoms and different mutations of EDS.

EDS is a disorder that messes up the collagen our bodies produce which helps keep our parts where they should be and in the shape they’re supposed to be in.  This collagen deficiency can not only cause deformity and elasticity… but leave the sufferer with chronic and sometimes debilitating pain due to its wonky effects on joints, internal organs, and even the blood vessels that provide the plumbing to keep our bodies alive.

I now turn to Stretch Armstrong in a desperate bid for comic relief.

I now turn to Stretch Armstrong in a desperate bid for comic relief.

If you want to know more about EDS, just click on those links I provided and check out what real experts have to say about it.  I am obviously not a doctor, nor should I ever even play one on TV…

Or even in the movies.

Or even in the movies.

Now, about that zebra…

Since my characters all pretty much started out as some combination of accidental inspiration and serendipity, I likely won’t be adding an explicitly suggested character anytime soon… and I have had many, many explicitly suggested characters thrown at me over the years.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t create one just for this post!

Of all the animals out there in the world, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever drawn a zebra before… and that surprises me!

Don't hate me, Zecora!

Don’t hate me, Zecora!

Actually, zebras account for two things which generally give me fits when I am trying to draw my one-size-fits-all-species critter renderings.  They have equine figures, and full-bodied markings.  But I gave it a shot, and drew an uncolored zebra outline before diverging into two different pictures.  First, here we have our Edlers-Danlos zerba with traditional markings and in an African setting…

eds zebra1

OK, the Serengeti it is not.

And naturally, I had to borrow some of the qualities of my more famous equine character for the second version…

Rainbow Zebra!

Rainbow Zebra!

And sure, the zebra may have EDS… but you can’t tell that from the outside, which further drives home the point about the condition’s outward invisibility.  We’ll keep him away from my gang, though, since it probably wouldn’t take him long to end up in a glue bottle or on a skewer over a campfire…

Especially if made a wrong turn on Dinkum Island.

Especially if he made a wrong turn onto Dinkum Island.

I do hope I addressed Cindi’s prompt in an appropriate fashion, while also allowing for some of my usual warped humor to come through.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to create some awareness for EDS while at the same time once again expanding my artistic boundaries.  I’ll have another reader prompt for you all next Friday!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to EDSucation

  1. I like the rainbow zebra, even the sun smiled as she saw your drawing :o) … do you think I should get such a bone-piercing on my belly too? it looks cool, but I probably would chew the whole day on that thingy :o)

  2. LOL I loved the Stretch Armstrong reference. And tell Buster that I just don’t want to steal his spotlight, that’s all. 😉

    Your zebra drawings were great too and I appreciate you giving it a try. 🙂 You’ve got a point about the zebra staying a safe distance though. Especially from Dinkum Island. haha

    Thanks for sharing information and for adding in humor. 🙂 I appreciate it. 🙂

  3. Ally Bean says:

    Rainbow Zebra is cool. Will now go read about this disease… with visions of multi-colored stripes stuck in my head.

  4. Mental Mama says:

    The zebra character came out nice, good job! Perhaps he can do special cameo appearances, for a small fee of course. 😉

  5. Thank you for the information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I’ve never heard of it before. Being a parent (and a person) is difficult enough so my admiration goes out to Cindi.

    I’m loving those Zebras – both traditional and rainbow. Cute cute cute.

  6. PigLove says:

    Rainbow zebra is pretty cool. I vote for him! XOXO – Bacon

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Aw, that was so sweet of you to do!

    Maybe you can commission special characters for donations to charities? you know, with all the free time you have already in life 😀

  8. goldfish says:

    The reason you rarely see zebras as recurring characters is that they’re a pain in the butt to draw. I’ve experienced that unique joy as well with my zebra drawing.

    This post has done its job since I read up on EDS. I’d never heard of it before.

    P.S. I think you should add a goldfish character.

  9. Thanks again ES for doing this post for me to help raise awareness. And thanks to everyone who has taken the time to learn more about EDS. It means a lot to me to see that. 🙂

  10. I once was literally attacked by a lady in the post office because I had a disabled parking permit but she didn’t think I looked disabled.

    MOST disabilities are invisible. Pain is invisible. A bad heart is invisible. Cancer is invisible. Actually, I can’t think of many disabilities that have an obvious “appearance,” yet people someone expect if you are disabled, it has to somehow “show.” This is part of the whole stupidity-is-sweeping-the-nation thing I’ve been promoting.

    • It’s that wheelchair pictogram on the parking spot. Everyone thinks you better look like you need wheels to get around, or park at the back of the lot.

      Now when the kids hop in the electric scooters in Mecca on non school night and play demolition derby, I also assume they have an invisible disability…. one called stupidity….

  11. Trisha says:

    Thank you for the reminder to learn about EDS. I had heard of it and meant to learn more about it, I just hadn’t done so yet. Now, thanks to rainbow zebra, who is adorable, I have. 🙂 I also got a good laugh out of the nipple piercing comic. Critters are definitely at a disadvantage there!

  12. Many humans have a lot to put up with and Rainbow Zebra highlights how invisible they can be. Plus he is really CUTE! ❤

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