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February, 2005


I was diagnosed with arthritis of my spinal joints in a recent cervical MRI done at the pain clinic.  Since it was just a cervical MRI, arthritis was noted between C-5, C-6, and C-7.  It feels like the arthritis is also lower down in my thoracic spine.  The pain doctor wants to do a steroid spinal injection to help with my neck and back pain.  But so far, this is not moving forward.


Apparently, people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome are very prone to early onset of osteo-arthrits.  

EDS is a connective tissue disorder in which the collagen in the body that adds strength and elasticity to the skin, muscles, and ligaments, is faulty.  It is my understanding that I have EDS Type III, also called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.  For me, it was diagnosed when my surgeons noticed the ligaments in my spine are very loose/lax.  Since this decreases the stability of the vertebrae, it is understandable that it would cause pain.  Normally, you don't think of your vertebrae as joints, but they are, and right now, they are the part of me that is being affected the most by my Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, which is the reason I've been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis at the age of 21.


In other news, I've had another cardiac episode, so I'm looking forward to meeting with Dr. Grubb in April to see what he thinks about it.  My heart rate and blood pressure problems persist, and I use the wheelchair almost all the time.


Also, my headaches have been very severe on some days.  The best way to describe it is that it feels like my brain is trying to burst out of my skull.  I'm hoping to have a CINE MRI done soon to rule out Pseudo-Tumor Cerebri or another form of Intra-Cranial Hypertension.

Update: EDS is now categorized differently.  The three most common subtypes are 1) classical EDS, 2) hypermobile EDS, and 3) vascular EDS.  I was later diagnosed with classical EDS.