Me and Sickle Cell
Sickle Cell disease or Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disorder characterized by Red Blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid sickle shape. It was first recorgnised in 1910 by James Herrick. Sickling decreases the cells flexibility and results in their restricted movement through blood vessels, depriving downstream tissues of oxygen. The disease is chronic and life long, People like Myself are most often well, but our lives are punctuated by periodic painful attacks and risk of various other compilications.
The genetics of Sickle Cell may seem complex but infact are very simple. If two parents carry the sickle trait and have a baby, then that child will have a 1 in 4 chance of having sickle cell disease. Like in my own case, both of my Parents were carriers and only Me and my Last Sibling became affected (I have 6 siblings).I started coping with Sickle Cell since when I was in Primary 3 (that is 24 years ago), My parents raised me just like my siblings and other children without sickle cell disease, I used to be out of school for ~ 3 months or more, out of the year. But still I took First or Second Position in my Class. Yes, I has SSD but my Father allowed no excuses for Me. He used to say "Look Muhammadu School is important to you and I expected You to catch up with your classmates". He used to give us extra lessons after Isha'i Prayers on daily basis.
Not all my Sickle Cell crisis require hospitilisation, sometimes minor crises were managed at home. My Mother became a forced trained Nurse as a result of my frequent illness, She cries and gave-up about me several times. When I was admitted to a Boading School (Science College Gumel) My Mother looked at it as an End of the Road for me, but My Father encorages her and ask her just to pray for my success and she did. It was at Gumel that I learned so many things about taking care of Myself, I cover my body, I took my daily drugs and I rush Myself to Hospital whenever I feel abnormal.
This is how I coped with Sickle Cell crisis up to University level and now. I am now expecting a Baby by June this year but I am still suffering from THE SICKLE CELL......