What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape. 

How does this effect my life?

Every person is different, some people don’t even notices that the disease is there and can live without feeling constant pain and some just can’t get away from it. Personally I’m the latter, everyday I feel pain and nausea but there’s not much I can do about it, except rest and take my medicine. But I don’t let this bring me down, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? I do have tons of limitations though, like I can’t fly, I can’t do any kind of sports and I cannot stand for long periods of time, I have to be cautious about drinking and smoking (which I don’t), and just life in general. For example, you guys could catch a cold and after a couple of days you’ll be alright, but if I catch a cold, I’ve got to go to the hospital. I’m not saying any of this to make you feel bad but to bring awareness and share my life experience.

Is there a cure?

Yes there is, there is a surgery called the bone narrow transplant. But we have to use stem cells from another person, and that person has to be compatible with us, kinda like a donor. But there are high risks to this surgery which could lead to… well death. After the surgery it requires months and months of recovery with chemotherapy which could also not end very well.

How do you know you have Sickle Cell Disease (or Anemia)?

Well usually parents will know at a very young age, the common symptoms on a baby are swollen hands and feet. But if the parents didn’t figure it out that early, the commons symptoms are that the white in your eyes will be slightly yellow or for some people VERY yellow, (that’s how I recognize my fellow sickle buddies), being absent from school or work too often, being extremely skinny (now I know that shouldn’t be a bad thing, but as a black woman, all I want is curves and I’m flat like a cutting board), and being kinda “weak” I guess.

Well that’s it for today lovelies, if you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask! Have a nice day!

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