In Bed with hEDS: A Primer on hEDS

Addi gives you a primer on their disability, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a disorder that affects somewhere between 1 in 600 to 1 in 20,000 people, depending on the source you read. They cover what a genetic disorder is, how hEDS affects the body’s collagen, and some of the effects weak collagen can cause.

Addison Smith
7 min readNov 2


Since completing my first run of Ask Addi, I have turned to raising awareness for the disability that affects me and my child, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). This genetic disorder weakens the connective tissue in the body, causing myriad effects. This limited video series, filmed on the days I have to call off from work due to hEDS symptoms, examines those effects.

Hello, Humans!

Welcome to the first episode of In Bed with hEDS! As you can see, I am in my bed, and less obviously, I have hEDS, h.E.D.S., hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. In this limited series, I will use myself as a case study of hEDS so that you can know what I, and by extension, what others have to deal with when they have this hereditary genetic disorder.

Is that a redundancy? Hereditary genetic. If a condition is hereditary, then it is genetic, but you can have a genetic disorder that is not hereditary. Mutations and environmental factors can cause things to go wrong with your genes, so it is not redundant because it defines what kind of genetic disorder I have. So there you go.

There will be plenty of asides like that.

In this first episode, I’m going to explain just one thing — what my disorder, hypermobileEhlers-Danlos Syndrome, is and how it works.

It doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a lot of information there, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail. Future episodes will take one topic that I mention here and elaborate on it, hopefully in an entertaining and informative way.

Okay, so we know what we’re doing here; let’s get started.



Addison Smith

I’m an LGBTQ+ DEI educator, activist, and writer living in the Midwest with my cat. Call me Addi. They/She. Booking and more info at