I would like to focus on our attitude and behaviour; what I mean by that is, for someone with Sickle Cell, I need a lot of care and rely on the people around me to support me when I am down having a crisis.
I have come to realise that what someone with Sickle Cell needs in their lives amongst other things is a close support network of people. Due to the unpredictability of Sickle Cell Anemia, one can fall sick at any time and it is most important to have people around you or have people that you can call on at very short notice.
I also know that people who suffer from Sickle Cell can be proud and not ask for help when it is needed. Please don’t suffer on your own, in pain, when you can ask someone for a helping hand. I am fortunate to have a close network of friends and family, who would drop what they are doing at the drop of a hat, in order to come to my aid in my time of distress with Sickle Cell.
In order to receive help or get help when you are having a crisis, then on your good days, you also need to lend a helping hand to someone else. They say ‘in order to receive, you must give’. This is so true, I cannot just be taking from loved ones’ and not give something in return.
One should not sit around and say ‘woe is me, I have Sickle Cell’, I have nothing to give and I need help. No! Look within, there might be someone around you that you too can lend a helping hand to. In order to receive love, you too must give or show love.
Sometimes, we can get self-absorbed with our issues and think, we are the only ones’ suffering. However, that is not the case, other people too are going through various challenges, and it is called ‘life’. I want to encourage us to go out of our way to help other people. When I say this, I am not just talking about the ones’ who are helping you. Of course, you will need to show your appreciation, gratitude and also love to those who look after you or take care of you when you were sick.
People who go through pain can sometimes be grumpy and short tempered; I believe it’s because of the excruciating pain that we go through. But I have come to realise, that I also have to give back one way or the other when I am well and able to do so. Action they say speaks louder than words; if my people can come to my aid at very short notice when I am unwell, then I should be able to equally let them know how much I value what they have done or are doing for me, when the occasion presents itself.
Life does throw us curve balls from time to time; so there will come an opportunity where you too can be there for your friend or family member/s who helped you through your difficult times. I try to do what I can, in terms of helping my people and others when I am able to do so.
Of course, life can be hard on you, because of Sickle Cell, I mean one can go to bed happy and stress free and wake up in the middle of the night with pains. Nevertheless, have you paused to say ‘thank you’ to those who have and are still helping you along the way? I am telling you this because when I am sick, I can lose patience quicker than normal and snap at a loved one. I therefore make a conscious effort to also repay the love extended to me when I am able to do so.
Showing gratitude comes in so many ways: it could be in the form of a gift or giving your time; the point is do not just receive without making an attempt to also give back. You can also to be there for your friend or family member, as they were there for you.
Sickle Cell is a lifelong sickness that will stay with one for life; except if you get healed supernaturally or go for one surgery or the other, available for people with Sickle Cell.
Bearing that in mind, it would therefore be a nice thing for you to also be a blessing in someone else’s life when you see a need. I am hereby urging you to be kinder or more generous by being aware of how you sometimes come across towards your loved ones’.
Don’t forget to always carry a bottle of water with you, in order to not be dehydrated and most importantly, eat good food.