I was born in Nigeria but reside in England. I discovered I have sickle cell disease at the age of 13.Before; I was always in and out of the hospital. No one in my family thought of this disease since I’m only the person in my whole family. Before coming to England, I’ve suffered unthinkable and unbearable pains in my life, pains no one can ever understands except the person suffering from it. Glory be to GOD, when I got to England things changed, thanks to the Medication I have access to though its not interesting because they are Medication you would depend on for the rest of your life.
I look back and still think about many of us like this in the Third world countries where most of us die like Ants due to non- availability of medication. This frustrates and takes tears out my eyes especially when I remember the pains one goes through. I sometimes imagine dropping into a pharmacy and grab all the penicillins and folic acids they might have and import them. I wish I won a lottery, I would have known what to do with it.
Talking about having a relationship with this disease is like adding salt to a wound, at my age I ‘m on my third boyfriend when most of my friends are having their sixth to tenth boyfriends. I used to feel ugly, pale and unattractive when it comes to men and to make matter worse they won’t even ask me out. I also discovered that when you tell some men you have this kind of problem, they would run and never look back or to avoid their ignorance, they make flimsy excuses to dump you. If this happens to you or any one closer to you, don’t think the worst but the best because this can happen to anyone!
I also noticed that many of us give up because doctors tell us that we might die at certain age, we start to engage ourselves in unthinkable acts such as flirting, drinking and partying, and over-doing these things to wipe away time that if eventually we die , at least we ‘ve enjoyed ourselves to the limit. I urge us that it is the most undermining mistake we could ever make. I used to blame people like this but not anymore because what many people are yet to understand is that been a sickle cell patient affect us psychologically. All we need are words of encouragement.
There is more to our lives than that. Focusing and believing that you can become whoever you want to become, it might not be for long but let us try to leave up to expectations.
When I was about to start my A’ levels, I chose law, politics and sociology (what hard Art courses could you imagine?). My G.P was not happy with the idea and at the same time did not want to discourage me. I did my best though not exceptionally but at least I was happy because I did what I always wanted to do. To add more headache for my G.P, I told him I m doing law for my degree, he was speechless, he tried to explain how strenuous and difficult (which I experienced during my A’ levels) but he was supportive and understanding. I loved to be a lawyer and a very good mother to my kids in the nearest future. Doing this course has been difficult. I also work part time, I don’t use my illness as an excuse or let it reduce my Self – esteem, I want to do what every normal child does.
I have no clue where the strength comes from but I give glory to ALMIGHTY GOD and with my determination , I do not see myself practicing law in future but definitely a degree holder in law, which is enough for me! . Please don’t let anyone bring you down especially when it comes to relationships. I used to keep my illness from any one I m dating but as times goes on I discover its better if you let your partner know beforehand. When it comes to marriage please try to be aware of your partners’ genotype, if your partner really loves you there are sacrifices you can both provide for each other for the Glory of love!
In my conclusion, I want to thank God, my family and better – half for their supports and understanding. I also use this opportunity to thank all parents and relatives who stands their ground to be by our sides when we face our crisis, I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE GREATEST! .PLEASE DONT GIVE UP, COS WE WONT GIVE UP!