Saturday, August 15, 2009


"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras"

I've been struggling to find a way to explain A's tendency to come down with intriguing medical conditions. I'd already been chastised for calling her "weird" and rightly so. It's not nice to call your child "weird" even if that's an apt explanation. Yesterday, I found the solution - she's a "Zebra Collector."

According to Wikipedia, Zebra is a medical slang term for an obscure and unlikely diagnosis from ordinary symptoms. A has had more than her share of zebras. Why? Who knows. What we do know is that if someone in our family is going to have a weird illness, it's her.

Yesterday's pediatric ophthalmologist visit resulted in a "Horses" diagnosis. We love those. Dr. S has known A since she was three weeks old. She'd just been diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome that is associated with eye problems. When I told him yesterday about A's recent diagnosis with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, he said "Wow, that's rare."

"So's IP (Incontinentia Pigmenti)," I replied. That conversation prompted him to look for the zebras, as he put it. I can't believe I didn't think of that term sooner. He's brilliant, as usual.

Looking for zebras shouldn't be routine, but in A's case it is starting to be. She's had repeated cases of having the diagnosis that one wouldn't expect. We had more cases than just the IP and EE. I can't decide which I hate more - looking beyond the usual symptoms or missing the diagnosis. For her, it's probably the latter. I just hope the other two continue to go easy on us.

Now, if I can just find a pink zebra to give her, life will be perfect.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend. - Cali Rae Turner

A brother is a friend given by Nature. - Legouve

A just told me that she's letting C put some things he wants on her birthday list "because I'm a nice person." When she went back into the next room to check on his progress, he told her how nice she was to let him do that and she said "well, I love you."

I need to remember this when the two of them are fighting like cats and dogs.