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This is one of the suggestions from the Cushing's Awareness Challenge post: "Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!" Our "Official mascot" is the zebra. Our mascot In med school, student doctors are told “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras“. According to Wikipedia: “Zebra is a medical slang term for a surprising diagnosis. Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so “zebra” is the broader concept. The term derives from the aphorism 'When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra', which was coined in a slightly modified form in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, a former professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Since horses are the most commonly encountered hoofed animal and zebras are very rare, logically you could confidently guess that the animal making the hoofbeats is probably a horse. A zebra cup my DH bought me By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles.” Why? Because those of us who DO have a rare disorder know from personal experience what it feels like to be dismissed by a doctor or in many cases, multiple doctors. Many physicians have completely lost the ability to even imagine that zebras may exist! Cushing's is too rare - you couldn't possible have that. Well... rare means some people get it. Why couldn't it be me? Although one of my signature images has a zebra, many have rainbows or butterflies in them so I guess that I consider those my own personal mascots. I posted this in 2010 in 40 Days of Thankfulness: Days Twenty-Two through Thirty I have a special affinity for rainbows. To me, a rainbow is a sign that things are going to be ok. Years ago, our little family was in Florida. I felt guilty about going because my dad was terminally ill with his second bout of colon cancer. I was worried about him and said a little prayer for him. I was lying on the beach while DH and our son were in the ocean and I looked up and saw a rainbow. It was a perfectly clear, sunny afternoon. I even called the people out of the water, in case it was something I wanted to see that didn't really exist. They saw it, too. Where in the world did that rainbow come from, if it wasn't a sign that everything would be ok? Butterflies are something else again. I like them because I would like to think that my life has evolved like a butterfly's, from something ugly and unattractive to something a big easier on the eye. My Cushie self was the caterpillar, post-op is more butterfly-ish, if not in looks, in good deeds. From July, 2008 For as long as I can remember, I've loved butterflies for their beauty and what they stood for. I've always wanted to shed my cocoon and become someone else, someone beautiful, graceful. One of my first memories as a kid was knocking on the back door of my house and when my mom answered, I'd pretend to somehow be an orphan, looking for some kind person to take me in. And I would try to be that different child, with new habits, in the hopes that my parents would somehow think better of me, love me more as this poor homeless kid than they did as their own. The butterfly was trying to emerge but it never got too far. Somehow, I would slip into my original self and be a bother to my parents. Hope springs eternal, though!
The Cushing’s Awareness Challenge is almost upon us again! Do you blog? Want to get started? Since April 8 is Cushing’s Awareness Day, several people got their heads together to create the Fifth Annual Cushing’s Awareness Blogging Challenge. All you have to do is blog about something Cushing’s related for the 30 days of April. There will also be a logo for your blog to show show you’ve participated. Please let me know the URL to your blog in the comments area of this post, on the Facebook page, in one of the Facebook Groups, on the message boards or an email and I will list it on CushieBloggers ( http://cushie-blogger.blogspot.com/) The more people who participate, the more the word will get out about Cushing’s. Suggested topics – or add your own! In what ways have Cushing’s made you a better person? What have you learned about the medical community since you have become sick? If you had one chance to speak to an endocrinologist association meeting, what would you tell them about Cushing’s patients? What would you tell the friends and family of another Cushing’s patient in order to garner more emotional support for your friend? challenge with Cushing’s? How have you overcome challenges? Stuff like that. I have Cushing’s Disease….(personal synopsis) How I found out I have Cushing’s What is Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome? (Personal variation, i.e. adrenal or pituitary or ectopic, etc.) My challenges with Cushing’s Overcoming challenges with Cushing’s (could include any challenges) If I could speak to an endocrinologist organization, I would tell them…. What would I tell others trying to be diagnosed? What would I tell families of those who are sick with Cushing’s? Treatments I’ve gone through to try to be cured/treatments I may have to go through to be cured. What will happen if I’m not cured? I write about my health because… 10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without. My Dream Day. What I learned the hard way Miracle Cure. (Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer) Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual! 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories. The First Time I… Make a word cloud or tree with a list of words that come to mind when you think about your blog, health, or interests. Use a thesaurus to make it branch more. How much money have you spent on Cushing’s, or, How did Cushing’s impact your life financially? Why do you think Cushing’s may not be as rare as doctors believe? What is your theory about what causes Cushing’s? How has Cushing’s altered the trajectory of your life? What would you have done? Who would you have been What three things has Cushing’s stolen from you? What do you miss the most? What can you do in your Cushing’s life to still achieve any of those goals? What new goals did Cushing’s bring to you? How do you cope? What do you do to improve your quality of life as you fight Cushing’s? How Cushing’s affects children and their families Your thoughts…?