chat with a sickle cell warrior

Today I had a conversation with a colleague at work about Angina and I quickly jumped on an article online to refresh my head, when a young and remarkably pretty lady walked into the pharmacy with a prescription.

She looked rather pale and out of concern (not like the prescription didn’t give me a clue) I asked what was wrong with her. She replied ‘ I am a warrior’

For a second that didn’t sink, but it did eventually and almost immediately. It’s sickle cell and it’s been a little long since I met a patient that is a sickle cell warrior at the community level.

After attending to the patient, I asked myself why sickle cell patients are called warriors? I began another search on that to satisfy my cravings.

Why are sickle cell patients called warriors?

Interestingly, there may be no particular story behind why sickle cell patients are called warriors. However, it is a known fact that sickle cell warriors are powerful people with an indomitable spirit.

They are often in a constant fight on a daily basis to keep their head above water. They deal with a lot of pain, have financial scars and unending medical bills and handle the backlash, negative vibes and criticism that having sickle cell brings.

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Sickle Cell patients embody all that is strength and resilience; they are the toughest bunch that you will ever meet. Now that’s what WARRIORS look like isn’t it?

Exceptionality of sickle cell patients

Back in primary school we had a very brainy kid. He broke all the academic records of the school and down to the state level. He represented the state in most of her academic competitions.

However, he was always sick. Most times he would miss school for a couple of days. Eventually growing up, we found out that he was a sickle cell patient.

Being a pharmacist and knowing the extent of pain these patients (especially the males) can be on, I only could imagine what this poor kid felt those days.

Since then and all through my years in practice, I have always met sickle cell warriors and one thing is peculiar with them – They most times have some extraordinary potential. It just almost feels like the sickle cell gene comes with some awesome gift on it’s own.

Approach to sickle cell

Meanwhile, Amidst all the glaring medical evidence on our face, we still have people who willingly get married, irrespective of a contrasting and conflicting genotype.

I know a family that didn’t turn up of for their brother’s wedding because he went ahead to marry someone he had same AS genotype with. They wanted to distance themselves from the beginning.

Also, few months back, I was struggling to talk a friend (who fortunately or unfortunately is a pharmacist) out of entering into a conjugal union with a man she shared same AS genotype with.

According to her, there are enough technologies to check that now and the chances of having children who will have the SS genotype were smaller. I guess maybe for that second, she lost track of the country she was living in.

Some of these approaches to sickle cell make me wonder if we as a people really take this condition seriously. Are people really ready to sacrifice the health and well being of their children, on the altar of youthful exuberance?

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What more can we do, aside from advocating for the better and hoping that someday, people will begin to appreciate the importance of first seeking to ascertain a genotype match even before a first date is fixed.

What shall it profit you to marry the love of your life and deny your children the opportunity to enjoy maximum quality of life?

Truly, you don’t know the know the magnitude of pain sickle cell warriors pass through. No matter how you want to identify with the pain, you can’t fully understand it since you’re not feeling it directly.

Our world today is filled with much suffering already, please do not bring a child into this life with an additional suffering from sickle cell anemia. Take another genotype test if all you know about your genotype is what your parents wrote for you on paper. Some results can be wrong. Don’t take the risk.

What do you know about sickle cell warriors? Kindly Leave a comment below

About Ishima

Ishima™ is a Pharmacist with special interests in the management of chronic illnesses, gender studies, mental health and psychotherapy. He is the convener of #SaveTheBoyChildMovement which is geared at repositioning the place of men in the society and redefining masculinity . He is a writer, a crazy poet and a firm believer in making the world a better place.

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