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Monday, July 17, 2017

GREAT EIGHT

I am overwhelmed! It's been eight years and you are every memory as joyous as you've been since the first second I knew about you! I know I say this very often but YOU ARE LOVED!!! Not just by me, Maama, your Daddy and family members but by anyone who meets or hears about you. And a lot of us do not have the chance to express or show the love as often as we might wish but for this day, YOUR DAY, we have come together to make sure you have fun, laughter, to make sure you feel loved and special. It is one short day we crammed as much of ourselves and emotions into so you feel you are in our thoughts every single day; near or far.

Joyeux anniversaire, mon petit-aime!!! 

This year started out for you on a very rough note; accident, death, injuries, trauma, hospitalization and grief but you have made it to this day by The Mercy of Allah and I am very, very, very thankful for that. Alhamdulillah!!! I am most thankful for I feel it brought us not only physically closer but also mentally and it created a little better understanding of each other.

So, this year we did the celebration a lot earlier than we usually do, we had it on Saturday 15th July, 2017 for so many family reasons which we are still thankful for. The day turned out beautiful mostly because you were happy and excited. the welcome run and hug I got from you *melts away with love* let all the days of stress-worrying and planning pay off. Alhamdulillah!

So, both aunt Amina (my sister and Mummy's sister) were present, their kids, aunt Zainab and Sa'a's kids too as well as my in-law from Amina's side, aunt Nasira with her kids. Tariq was there too, of course and Daddy's soldiers were present. Mummy made very tasty fried rice, snacks, drinks and salad to celebrate the occasion, to be honest, our tummy's were very much happy too *chuckles*.

Even though we had to rush the event due to late arrival and need to depart early for distance and safety reasons, we all had a great time; singing the Happy Birthday song, watching you blow out your figure 8 candle and cut the cake! You radiated joy!!!

Again, I love you. We all do. You bring us together, make us all happy and teach us how to remain strong even when it seems bleak. May Allah always be your strength, comfort and guide. May He always keep you safe, protected and guided onto the right path and may your Imaan grow daily as you grow and mature into a smarter and more beautiful young girl. AMEEN!!!!!




XOXO

Sunday, June 18, 2017

JUNE 19; IN SICKLE CELL DISORDER AND IN HEALTH

How did it get to be June 19 so fast? I mean, I'm not complaining, nooo I'm amazed and grateful that I'm here again. Another year and well. In fact, so very well I can hardly believe I've been suffering for the past year!

Yes, so, if you've read my last post, you'll remember I wrote about my experience and how I've been having constant bone pain aka sickle cell crises ... I can't remember, did I write on that or just the PTSD? Please don't make me read my post *BBM crying emoji* Anyways, I have been having recurring SC crises and I've been put on basically all the analgesics there is to be put on; from the ones that make me slightly dizzy and drowsy and sleepy to the ones that out right make me a drunken person who has never taken alcohol to point of being drunk. Yes please. I have taken alcohol, as a kid, when all those scammers would come to desperate mother's of sickle cell patients and tell them take such and such it will CURE sickle cell in three months and the poor blessed mother's would obey. Not being medical or scientific to understand that diseases of the genes can only ever be cured through the genes or never cured at all. But, again, I'm swerving *does Fast and Furious swerving back to original lane* ;) and some of those analgesics gave me severe stomach aches and I believe a bit of dependence on them for when I stop taking I get headaches. Headaches from Hades in the down under world! I think I need a new head, a new GI system or a new self, I wouldn't mind! Pretty please!? *Doe eyed*

The aches (crises) made me visit the accident and emergency of AKTH a lot and I got pricked a lot and my once very good and vibrant veins which used pink cannula began to disappear and then I degraded to blue and now I use the yellow and even with that, the Dr's complain that the needle on the yellow are much, much larger than any visible, useful vein. Word of advice, in your daily thanks to the Lord, be thankful for your veins! It started taking long hours and more than one Dr who gives it more than 3 tries to get a line. Sometimes we opt for IM analgesic before a line is set so as to ease my pain. It started to take a toll on me psychologically, I could feel it but no one could, I've become so good at masking my depression  it's a wonder I'm not fully ... Alhamdulillah! I hang on and find joy in distant love that is pure and will never die, hopefully. I think of how our beloved Prophet (SAW) endured so much but was a comfort to others and I say to myself "Girl! You whine too much! Appreciate what you have before that's gone too!" And damn right that's what I do! Plus I cry a GREAT deal, forget about the ones you THINK you've seen, you ain't seen NOTHING and you ain't gonna see too! It helps ease some of the burdens I feel I carry alone!

On a very lovely Saturday or was it Sunday, I can't recall, Dr AD Waziri came to visit, and, yes I've mentioned it in my last post but, tough! He saw as far as his medical haematological expert eye would allow him see, that I was looking awful and needed help and he said I needed to start Hydroxyurea, I did. I have not regretted listening to him. I feel more energetic and probably less loco *LOL* could it be that it has effect on the psyche as well? That would be great, truly. Especially since its side effects are a lot. A very, very lot!

So, I'm on hydroxy and I haven't had crises in three months just one three days back (June 16) probably stress from exam or something. Twasn't so severe but it was aching and disturbing. Although I still experience headaches and that's another story for another time.

Is it a #Happy #WorldSickleCellDay or JUST a #WorldSickleCellDay? I really dunno and honestly don't care! Everyday to a sickle cell patient IS World Sickle Cell Day. We seem to be increasing in number in as much as we definitely are dying in multitudes as well. Sickle Cell is not on the top 10 list of Non-Communicable Diseases and yes, I know it's a Hereditary Disease but then...I'm tired of arguing!

Good night! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

THROUGH PAIN AND LOVE

I will start by quoting my dear friend of 14 years, Aluta Imam, who every year on a certain day would remind me that not only has a year been added to, but it has also been subtracted from my life. He would say "Fatum, you are a step closer to your grave therefore you have to prepare for it so while people will be crying for you, you will be laughing." Every 4th September I get this sermon, hopefully this year won't be an exception! *fingers crossed*

Alhamdulillah I am 34 years old, still a bit of a dream esp after all the hardship; physical, emotional, psychological, mental, financial, and social as well, I am still here, breathing, healthy and loved sincerely by a good number of very wonderful, trustworthy and dependable people. Alhamdulillah again, again and forever more! *Brown emoji praying hands*

So, I'm supposed to brag about how great, fulfilling, fantastic and terrific my life is/has been for the past year, right? About things I've achieved, dreams that have come true, wishes that have been fulfilled...you know, bore the living day-light out of you make you feel your life is less than mine. But I won't! I love y'all too much to do that! Plus my life really is a chore! *sips Pepsi* September 2016 right through to September 2017 has been hard and as you may or may not know, August has not been my month for a long time now! 

After all these years and stuff I have been through one would think I had grown wise in matters of the heart but hey, I am gracefully accepting my red, bold, uppercase letter L, taking a bow and waltzing off the stage!

A few happenings include;
Had so many sickle cell crises, my Haematologist decided it was time I started hydroxyurea, which I did and with much noticed improvement.
Registered and completed my first semester of the Masters programme I enrolled for last session but could not complete.
Started writing again, got my mojo back, Hallelujah!
Made new friends, THAT is something I doubt I can ever stop doing, even if it is just a single human being a year, it always falls into place. Watched movies solo, in pairs and even in groups they were all fun.
Cooked new foods.
Travelled to a new city, Maiduguri which is the capital of Borno state in North-East Nigeria as a result of an RTA which included family members Lost loved ones (may Allah have Mercy on their souls, ameen).
I hate Whatsapp, a social network. I know, very unoriginal. But I use it cos, necessary! Then something fantastic happened, journalofapetitediva.com sent me a link to our secondary school Whatsapp Group Chat! My Whatsapp has never been alive-r!!!
Got to celebrate my daughter's Eighth birthday with my sister and nieces present. Family is a beautiful blessing.
Had a reunion with some of the neighbors I grew up with back in Festac town, Lagos. It was a lovely wedding. Alhamdulillah.
Started seeing the psychiatrist again; forgetfulness, sleeplessness,  anxiety and panic attacks, headaches and feelings of worthlessness.
I missed the welcoming of @FuadXIV to Kano because I was attending to my man issues! I have man issues and it's disturbing!
I made it through August which is one of the hardest and saddest months for me.
But the most important thing that I consider happened to me was when I finally decided to take back my power. You see, when you love a person more than he/she loves you, they have all the power. They come and go as they please, treat you as they please and feel entitled to the love and everything you give along with the love. There's no thank you for trying it's always your fault any slight misunderstanding because why? You're not supposed to have feelings or opinions in that relationship. Apparently THEY'RE doing you a favor being with you so SHUSH! Feel nothing. Do nothing. Be nothing.
Maybe August isn't such a horrible month after all!
And when Allah said "ask Me" He means ASK Him for He provides for you from where you least expect it when you least expect. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

ONE YEAR: PTSD, CHANGE, FORGIVENESS

Being in the bathroom at home in Abuja during the Easter break of April, 2017 brought back memories of a year ago when; getting to the bathroom was a race with myself, sitting on the toilet seat was the hardest task I had to do, getting up was an equally cruel task, peeing was painful, pooing was almost impossible and the only way I could get relief from all physical body ache was to literally empty the water heater! As a person who is not a fan of having a bath with warm water, I went all out to ensure I cooked myself as an analgesic so I could sleep at night without pain and have a day without wincing. I am so grateful to be alive to re-live the feeling through my writing! It's probably the best way I can do it without bothering the same people I've bothered it with for the past year!

The hardest part of the whole ailment was not having someone I was used to, yes I was with family but they had never experienced such with me and I felt like a burden. I missed my Mummy. I wanted the person I loved the most in the world to be there for me psychologically and as much as possible, physically. But I can't always have what I want, can I? I had all the care anyone could ever need and I will be the most ungrateful person ever if I say otherwise. I am forever grateful and thankful to Mama AA who took care of me probably better than any of my blood relatives ever could have, if they would have! Her entire family are a blessing to me. Thinking of it, I don't think it could have been better than what I got, Alhamdulillah!

I have tweeted about the situation, made a post on it and talked about it so much that my friend, Sophie, when telling her friends about me says "she's going to tell you about the Dr who nearly killed her!" LOL! I had gone around for a long time saying the same thing, pointing out the Dr when I had the chance to and just being in a state of mind I really had no idea how to deal with till I came across an acronym, PTSD, and I wondered, "whatever does it mean?" so I checked it out on line: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Again I thought "whatever in the world does this white man sickness have to do with us blacks?!" Apparently, a lot! First, we are all human beings; same basic physiological, anatomical and biochemical settings, we are all the same by default but we get 'customized' by family genes, environment and experiences and as such, we react to situations differently. Example is what I mentioned above. In Nigeria and Africa, we generally just tell a person to be thankful that they survived a traumatizing incident and try to shut the person up. You know, don't go all mushy and crying and stuff, say Alhamdulillah for it could have been worse. In the Western world, such a person is asked if he/she wants to talk about it, if they want to see a specialist for they have experienced trauma and need help in understanding why, how, when and the likes of it. There are even anonymous group meeting where persons who might have experienced similar traumatizing events meet and talk about it in earnest, where they get help from each other, knowing they are not alone.


I never felt more alone in my life than the past year but I am a fine person, have been, will always be! Carried on with my life as it has always been, drifting through people to end up alone, it is not a big deal, I told myself through tears and hurt. don't be sad and don't think much about it, your death will end it all! But I could not stop thinking about it and I wondered and worried why it gave me so much trouble; I was scared. I was alone. I could have died and my last memories would have been of my young in-laws rushing me to the hospital trying to get me the much needed medical  attention. Me crying in severe and utter agony even after a probable OD of opioid analgesics to help, nothing helped. I seemed to be getting worse, I could see/feel my heart struggling to beat, and finally of me being wheeled to the bathroom by a male attendant to pee and him offering to assist me stand from the wheelchair to sit on the toilet seat and stand from the toilet seat back to the wheelchair but me declining because, well because! That was precisely my last memory. I don't know which day of the week it was or what time of the day it was but I know it was a live living nightmare! And again, I was alone!

After reading much on PTSD, I got more upset because what I needed I knew I was never going to get in the way I desired and craved it. I could go to my psychiatrist but I was not sure I would get 100% we are just not into psychology without drugs! I was scared and alone and trusted the wrong person to understand and be supportive. With all those emotion and no comfort, I took a decision to never return to see any Dr in the hospital I attended for 15 years since they gave the impression I was extra work for them, I would stay home to receive treatment; worse outcome; death, but someone informed me of another hematology team I could see in the hospital. I had no idea haematology was divided into 2; Laboratory and Clinical Haematology. The latter is a unit under Dept of Medicine while the former is a department on its own. The person pointed out the greatest advantage I would have is access to bed space if and when the need for it arose no matter what. To be honest, that is a challenge the Lab Haem team face, the patient can get care during the day time in the Day Care which closes at the end of work hours to re-open the next day. Too much stress for a patient who is in serious pain and needs greater than 8 hours medical service/attention.

Met with a former neighbour who is now a consultant Haematologist with ABUTH, Dr. AD Waziri *claps and cheers* so proud of him! and his first reaction when he saw me told me I am in a whole lot of trouble and no medical expert who has known me long is honest enough to tell me that I need help. He was the first professional to say he thinks my condition is being made worse by psycho-social stress and he asked me to start talking...oh where do I start from?! We talked and he gave very useful advice, forever thankful *hearts*.

As part of my healing process, I decided I would need to talk to the Dr who saw me last when I returned for my follow-up before the whole Acute Chest Syndrome + Anaemic Heart Failure drama occurred. I did see the Dr today, Friday, 12th May, 2017! What a blessed day! Alhamdulliah for friends who motivate and, as we say in Nigeria, "take Panadol for another person's headache". I love you, Sophie *hugs*. So, I told the Dr everything...EVERYTHING!!! And I cried, of course I cried, it would not be MY story without some tears, duh! I'm glad he listened to me and he made me feel he DID listen because he thanked me and assured me he had learned and understood that it was not just a cry for myself (I mentioned to him I am among the blessed/lucky few who have people that know people that know...you get the gist) it was also for those who had no human power except that of Allah and that every patient deserves to feel special with their Dr. and know that they are as safe as any professional human can guarantee them with regards to their health and/or life.

We are figuratively at their mercy when it comes to our health; organically and psychologically. Believe me, I know how hard it is to be a medical doctor in Nigeria and I always, always sympathise with them BUT it is harder being a patient in Nigeria, much much harder, very much harder and I feel many of them do not see it that way for they are so very absorbed with themselves; I'm not saying they should be altruistic, no. Yet they have better chances due to being colleagues of each other so they get to Dr each other the way they would personally want to be doctored! Greater health advantage than an ordinary patient.

Like I always say, Health is Wealth! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

DOUBLE THREE, MANY DAYS

I actually never thought I'd make it to 33 years that's 12,045 days multiplying by 365, I dash those other extra days to Neptune. Alhamdulillah is the best, most and really most honest and worthy word I can say about this mercy from Allah! Maybe I'll live to see some more maybe I won't, but these have been a most wonderful, exciting; negatively and positively, fulfilling, disappointing, learning and growing days of my life.

I have learnt a lot from both personal and other's experience and I am very blessed that I know I have learned even if sometimes I don't put what I learn to use! I need to have a talk with myself, maybe over tea and cupcakes, soon!
Here are 33 things I have possibly learned over the years:

1- All things happen exactly when Allah has willed them to happen; not a millisecond sooner or later than its appointed time.
2- Mother's are the best gifts Allah has given. Some are lucky to enjoy them, some are not. Some mother's do things in a way that makes you feel unwanted but they love you, so much while some mother's spoil their children rotten which is pretty much worse than the former. We must learn to be patient with them as they get older and as we mature.
3- A father is a very important part of a child's life esp a girl.
4- Blood does not make family but your blood family are your God-given family and no matter how bad, we must accept and love them as much as we can.
5- It is very important to show/tell all the people you love and care for how much you do care for them NOW! Later is not promised.
6- Health really is wealth!
7- Death makes you remember all things, except to Whom we're returning to, end.
8- Being generous does not mean you have to be extravagant. Moderation helps you live better and happier.
9- Money you work for and earn in a legal Halal way is always full of Baraka (blessing) no matter how little.
10- Saving for a rainy is never a bad idea for those who help you today may not be around tomorrow.
11- Love is all-encompassing. Take it how you wish.
12- Sometimes sharing your problems with a trusted person does help.
13- Spoil yourself; sew a new dress, buy a new shoe, shampoo your hair so it smells sweet on your pillow, go see a movie, cook a new food and invite someone or two over. Make yourself happy. I know most of us are under double opportunity cost system but this life is filled with worries once you're an adult, so once in a while, indulge.
14- Fall in love. It may work out, it may not. It may change your perception of love, it may not. You may do it again, you may not.
16- Learn a skill; there's never only one way to make good money and self-reliance is the best.
17- Don't just go to school, let school go through you as well. You learn better and it lasts longer that way.
18- Sincerely appreciate every effort people around you put in keeping in touch with you, even if they do so because they need your help, it was an effort.
19- Learn your place around people, because you're close does not give you the right to "do your village tinz". We're humans and everyone has their limit. Know when to start and when to stop, when to leave and when to stay. All these considerations endear you to the people around since they don't feel you're a burden.
20- Ladies, take very good care of your bodies; how you treat it today will determine how it treats you tomorrow! If you're not sure, ask. Asking never killed anyone!
21- Gentlemen, be gentle and civil, respect every lady as you would wish other men to respect your sister, mother and female relatives. You should be a blessing to us not a curse!
22- Alone time is a good time to reflect and resolve, a good time to make/reaffirm a resolution.
23- A clean environment is a happy healthy place.
24- Some problems may last your whole life time but Allah still gives you the means to get by, despite the problem. Believe and be faithful in your believes, it will always keep you afloat!
25- Faith is not a constant thing we have; we rise and we fall, the most important thing is we rise again and again and again no matter how many times we fall.
26- As hard as it is, learn to accept people as they are; yes faiths, believes, life style and a lot of things may differ but maybe your act of kindness can be Allah's way of leading them right. You must know however that by "learn to accept" I mean to accept they're human like you and I and treat them how you would love to be treated no matter what!
27- Everyday you're alive and healthy is a good day. It's a day to love who love you and be kind to the less privileged, elderly and kids.
28- Forgiveness. It's even harder than accepting but believe me, it makes you face other problems in your life with less weight.
29- Nobody except YOU is your greatest enemy. Procrastination, down playing your strengths, waiting for validation from others to feel good about yourself...all these are things we can personally handle to the degree we desire.
30- I know they say "happiness is a self decision" I  do agree but many-a-times in order to be happy we need other humans, even if it's just your one person. Man is not an island, they also said.
31- We can never have it all but we must be grateful for what we already have because somebody else is looking for it!
32- Always say the truth even if it costs you, that doesn't mean we have to go about hurting people and their feelings. We can be tactical about telling people what needs to be said even though there's no easy or kinder way to break the truth.
33- Again, love! Love your neighbor as yourself that's a universal religious teaching. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc have all been taught this and until we LEARN and UNDERSTAND the TRUE meaning of this statement we will never be able to practice it or know peace in the world!

There! Thirty-three! At Last! And just like I've come to the end, one day my life will come to an end and I pray it's a good one and will be remembered with great fondness and love. Like I'm always reminded every year this day "a year has been added and subtracted form your life today" so Alhamdulillah and I'm grateful to all who have stuck around with me since they've known me. Thank you *blows kisses with imaginary $100 bills*

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

15 YEARS AND A LETTER FOR THE DEAD

#WCW #NeverForgotten #AlwaysInOurHearts #WeSayALittlePrayerForYou #BurningBright #Friendship #Heartache #Sisterhood #SecretKeeper #SmileThroughMyTears

It's been 15years since I heard of your demise and even though it has gotten easier to talk about and accept sometimes I still shed those tears because I miss you and I wonder how life would have been with you around.

I am always thankful for those many hours we spent at night talking about our friends in school, neighbors and yes, our "Silly big sister" Amina. For those hours we each spent trying to comfort the other through our sickle cell crises, actually feeling and understanding the pain.

I'm so sorry I didn't become a medical doctor like we planned I would be so no sluggish doctor will leave you in pain for hours since I'll be there. I changed my mind and wanted to study Biological Science so I could later branch into Genetics; you knew our disease is genetically inherited, I wanted to get to the root of it and not just stop the pain when it arose, I wanted to completely eliminate what caused the pain. Again, I'm sorry I haven't been able to follow up on the plan. I can openly let you know, I'm a failure and not just in this aspect. I want you to know yet, I've never stopped working hard and striving to overcome my weaknesses and faults to improve in what I can as much as I can. Alhamdulillah I think I'm progressing, slow and steady.

I have so many fond memories of you and I love them all like I loved experiencing them with you. I would live that aspect of my life all over again if there is the chance. I can only pray and work hard that I make Jannah and pray and hope that you're already in there. Our last meeting still plays clearly in my mind, how you followed me round the house begging me to stay in case it was the last time I ever saw you. I still feel the unease and I feel guilty till date for not staying. Nothing was as important as me having to have stayed with you...I don't why I didn't want to stay. I am so sorry I didn't stay.

I love you. Mummy misses you so much Mona and she asked me to give Sadaqa on this your 15th anniversary. May Allah accept it from us and give you the full reward and blessing for it. May your plate for collecting your food never run out of Dua, no matter how little. May you be smiling and not ever be alone or lonely. May your companions keep you glowing till The Day of Resurrection. May you not be in darkness or hardship. May Allah forgive every single sin you committed knowingly and unknowingly, in secret and open, those you asked forgiveness and those you didn't. Ameen thumma ameen thumma ameen!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#PAIN #CHANCES #DEATH #WSCD2016

In Loving Memory of Muhammad Nura Abdullahi whom I met once and my sister Mona Umar, who both died of sickle cell related complications, may Allah have mercy on their souls and cause the pains and worry they struggled with on earth to be a source of joy in their hereafter. Ameen.

Another June 19th and it's World Sickle Cell Day #WSCD2016 and I'm (probably) alive (written on 14th June, World Blood Donor Day 2016) and I feel so, so very blessed especially after my own very critical episode of a sickle cell related complication that I somehow managed to scale, again and in the words of my very dear friend, Zeeman: "You are really not giving sickle cell chance to take you. You're a fighter!" I am Titanium! Just kidding, it's not my power, I usually have no idea where I am when sickle cell decides to attack in any of its forms. I have been blessed by Allah through my usually awesome medical doctors, the prayers of my parents, friends and loved ones, the thought of my daughter and maybe my will to live, sometimes. This year has been a very tough year and it's not over yet and I really wonder, if I make it till the end, what else will be in store for me?! I know one thing, even though a lot of times it is so hard to remember and believe, no matter what or where or how my next adventure, drama, comedy, sci-fi, tragedy, thriller or horror event may happen, Allah's promise never breaks and for as long as I can remember, He has been Faithful (AL-MU'MEEN). Sadly, many-a-times I am blinded or deafened to the forms in which He has kept His promise and He still keeps it.

But, on to the main issue; WSCD and all the hash tags being done in favor of this day and I hope every single day for as long as Sickle Cell Disorder remains a disease with no cure...*pause*...When I say no cure I mean not everyone with the disease can be rid of it due to many factors. Not that there is no cure, after all BMT has worked for quite a number of persons who have suffered from this ailment! Some of these hash tags include #OneWord which is organized by Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) Nigeria and #DoYouKnowYourGenotype organized by Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation check out their pages on Twitter @SCAF_nigeria @ssscfoundation and on Instagram @scafnigeria @ssscfoundation and donate to their cause in cash and/or kind. We the sickle cellers will totally appreciate.
Moving on, when I saw #OneWord I thought wow! How tough will that be?! And then the first word that came to my mind was #Pain (pretty obvious choice) which includes physical especially physical, emotional, mental, psychological and yes, financial pain! Do you know how painful it is to bring out a large sum of money for something that keeps getting faulty? Imagine you repairing the same problem in your generator or vehicle or handset every other month...yeah? Okay what will be your next thought? Honestly, me, I'm going to get fed up, give the old one out and get a bloody new handset! I pay my medical bills so I know what I'm talking about and I have more love and respect for my parents, Mother, especially. #PAIN!!! But then I saw the sign while I was thinking about my life... since I can't do physical activities I engage in a lot of brain-'wrecking' activities, sadly (the emotional and psychological pain) the sign that said "Hay! You're here today and now after going through so many bad weeks, days, hours and months, with the worst being your recent attack but you still ALIVE! What more do you need? You have been given another chance as you were given after your CS, LC and other attacks you've had to live and love and make right what you made wrong. Sickle cell definitely is more of negative thoughts but there's always two sides to a coin and it's time to flip it and check the positives. You have been given the chances so many times to be the best you can be, to leave a good or maybe even a great memory of you so take it and accept that this disease is your blessing to know the real from the fake and to appreciate every waking moment." After that, my #OneWord changed to #CHANCES and today, I've used this chance to write this piece to ask whoever is reading this to have a heart for sickle cell. I know lots of people are looking to eliminate sickle cell disorder from our community in the near or far future but let's be realistic that might never happen and no need for me to go into explanation but maybe, just maybe it can be reduced through public awareness; schools, from my research, will be the perfect place to start they have a greater and wider reach of audience both through formal and informal educationLeft to me, sickle cell should be incorporated into our basic level syllabus. On our own, we can help make life for those with this disease a lot less distressing than it already is. Discrimination in its various forms are what we go through; some more than others for some have more severe cases than others. We need to help them live whatever number of days they have on earth not asking "Why me?" or resenting their parents, siblings, peers etc. We need to show them a little more humanity because believe it or not sickle cell patients are more human than the average human; they're smart, bright, caring, helpful, graceful, active and most of all they're highly sensitive to other human feelings, words and actions; in other words, they struggle not to "offend" anyone with their ailment and carry lots of emotional and psychological pressure due to this disease. They have fears and doubts when applying for school, work or wanting a spouse, someone who'll love and be by their side in sickness and worse.

Medically, I think apart from worrying about the organic(physical) aspect of a sickle cell patient, a little more attention should be paid to our psychological state as well. Personally, after a severe crises I hardly have the heart to interact or be friendly or even have the zeal for anything; anhedonia, Dr. M called it, a psychological medical condition very distressing can lead to depression or BPD so many of us have unsuspectedly found solace in our analgesics and become addicted not of our will but from the pressure the world has unkowingly put upon us. This, the addiction, many dr's have tried to "avoid" by prescribing less addictive analgesics and some have taken it upon themselves to go ahead and judge or accuse a lot of us of visiting their ER or Daycare for a dose of "pentazocine" that's the analgesic mostly used in Nigeria for severe pain. I have always said if the consulting physician feels or suspects the patient of visting his/her ER just for the pentazocine then he/she should go ahead to refer the patient to a psychiatrist/psychologist. It's not in his/her job description to judge or refuse a patient treatment (which is very rampant in Nigeria). Treat and refer.

I don't know what the latest statistics of sickle cell is but as at 2013, Nigeria had the highest annual birth rate of infants born with sickle cell. Approximately 150,000 which is half of the world's estimate of infants born with this disorder yearly. We can do better, we just need more intense awareness programmes that can and will reach the grassroots and lesser privilaged.

Sickle cell is #Pain #Strength #Survival #Hope #Love #Tears #War #Battle #Drill #Death #Loss #Hate #Discrimanation but most importantly, to me it is #Chances and I'm taking and using every chance I get to do the very best in all my goodly endeavors. 
I know my genotype: HbSS and my prefered and perfect type is HbAA. Do You Know Your Genotype???