I remember my 1st major crisis, returning home from the ER with chest pain and barely being able to breathe. The Dr. that saw me was unable to determine the source of my pain. “She must have just had the wind knocked from her!” Life went on. It was years later in the early 2000’s, at the age of 18, that my pain was given the name Sickle Cell. Today the pain is just a part of my life. It is as familiar as family, it is always there and I don’t know life without it.
Until 2015 I had been bounced around between Primary doctors, Hematologist and Oncologist that never quite knew what to tell me. “Take plenty of iron and Folic Acid”, “Eat lots of red meats and green leafy vegetables” grew to be redundant when my health began to progressively worsen around the age of 21. After doing my own research I learned to hydrate, get plenty of rest, and avoid extreme temperatures. No amount of education has been able to help me with the unpredictability that comes with Sickle Cell.
Though the source has been identified sadly to this day doctors still occasionally dismiss my pain and operate without a wealth of knowledge on how to treat me. Sickle Cell continues to wreak havoc in the homes all over. In many cases the disease creates debts, leads to prolonged hospital stays, creates medicine dependents, leave children parentless and parents childless. Though the disease causes an abundance of damage and affects approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. it is still one of the least funded and under advertised disease.
After my last hospital stay I’m sure I thought of a 100's of ways to help raise awareness. A dream became a goal followed by a plan backed by actions. I introduce to you The Sickle Life.