Hi Dolls, Hope you are well. Lately, I’ve been in a constant state of fatigue, something that makes it difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning. No, it’s not because we are currently transitioning from summer towards winter, it’s because I’m living with Sickle cell Anaemia.
For those of you who aren’t sure on what sickle cell is? Sickle cell disease is a severe illness that occurs in people who inherit the sickle cell gene from both parents. There are three levels of sickle cells: SS, SC and SB. Each of these levels refers to a specific gene inherited from one’s parent. SC is the mild side of the disease (it’s the one I’m living with) while SB affects beta goblin gene production (Red Blood Cells) and SS is the most severe and those who have this form of disease are often in an out of hospital and tend to have blood transfusions as part of their treatment.
I was six years old when I had my first crisis, it happened when I was in Nigeria. I was on the steps of my school play fighting with a friend when she accidently pushed me off the steps. Although I felt a little bit of pain, it felt like something I thought I could shrug off. However, the fall trigged off my sickle cells. Before I knew it, I was in hospital, on drips and taking all sorts of painkillers. At that age, I wasn’t sure what was happening to me but it became clear to me when I got to London in October.
As we all know, it gets cold in October and since my body was still adjusting to the change in weather, it triggered off my second episode. During this episode, it felt like someone was repeatedly stabbing me on the same spot in my right arm, all for a period of time, all I could feel was excruciating pain. While I was still in hospital getting treated, my doctor sat my parents and myself and told them that I had been diagnosed with sickle cells – they told us all the information we needed to know on my disease and also gave us leaflets. Gobsmacked by the news, I went into a state of denial, refusing to take the medications my doctor prescribed me. This just results in further Sickle cell crises and more hospital visits.
That is, until three years ago when I decided to take better care of myself. So I learned how to manage my sickle cell by taking my medication as told, eating healthily, keeping warm and learning to avoid getting stressed out. Although I try my absolute best to avoid an episode, I can never predict when I could go into a crisis.
Even though it’s something I’ll always have, I won’t let it define me and stop me from achieving everything I want to in life. If you want to know more about sickle cell, please go on the website below. Until next time.. Ciao xxx