|OVERCOME THE ONE CHALLENGE OF SS PATIENTS.|
YOU TOO CAN OVERCOME THE ONE CHALLENGE OF SS PATIENTS…
Writing a book about living with sickle cell anemia had always been my dream ever since I was a child.
The truth is many people are not aware of the severity of the condition. This was the main reason I so badly wanted the world to know what it felt like to live with the disease.
I remember I always had to explain myself at school. Why I needed to be exempt from physical education, why I was often absent from school and sometimes for extended periods of time.
Multiple times my mother had to come to school with documents from doctors so I could not participate in sport activities or simply because the teachers did not believe I had sickle cell because I did not look like a typical sickle cell patient.
One of those days, my physical education instructor forced me to take part in a running competition sporting activity. I tried to explain that running was prohibited because it could lead to low oxygenation of my red cells when I run out of breath and could cause a crisis. But he did not listen. I was forced to take part in the activity and ended up with a crisis and several weeks of being admitted into the hospital.
At the university, I remember failing a course because I had been so ill that semester. When I asked the instructor if I could be given a chance to retake the exam, he simply replied that I was a bad student and he did not have time for poor students like me. I was not even given a chance to explain myself.
At school some of my classmates made fun of me even nicknaming me “delicate” and family members thought I was faking being sick all the time because I was lazy and did not want to do house chores. In all of this, I felt misjudged and misunderstood.
I remember asking to be prayed for at church one day and a fellow church member complained about me always being sick. It made me feel really bad as I thought I was becoming a burden and people were tired of hearing about my health issues. I vowed to myself that I would keep my struggles to myself and not share them. So as I grew older, the dream of ever writing my story down seemed to Elude me. Even when I was looking for a job I was always afraid to talk about my health condition for fear of not being given the job.
These are just some of the challenges I have faced in my struggle with sickle cell and thanks be to God, I overcame them.
Please leave your comments below on what challenges or misunderstandings you’ve faced in your education, career or relationship because of your health?