Friday, September 11, 2015

I Am A Zebra

These pieces will be auctioned at the Periodic Paralysis International Conference next month. I will consider prints if there is enough interest.

In medical school, doctors are taught the metaphor that patients are horses. "When you hear galloping, think horses, not zebras." This lesson is designed to prevent doctors from wasting time and money on unnecessary tests in an attempt to diagnose patients with unlikely ailments.

Unfortunately for those of us with rare, serious diseases, we are too often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, and disregarded because we are not horses. That's why awareness of rare disease is so vital. Sometimes we have to speak out and make it known to the medical community and those around us that when you hear galloping, it is often a horse. But sometimes, it's a zebra.

The relevance of using lower case letters is to encourage everyone who sees this image to remember this: Yes, I am a zebra, but I am so much more than that. Please don't define me by my disease. It is painfully real and it demands to be acknowledged, but it is only a small part of who I am. Thank you for understanding.