It's Been Awhile ... But Now I'm Back

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have to apologize to each and every one of you for being absent for so long ... it was a really bad sickle cell attack that landed me in the hospital for a week.

However, now that I am on the subject of my own struggle with sickle cell disease, let me give you some insight if you don't already know about it.

Sickle Cell Anemia and Sickle Cell Disease are inherited blood dosorders that mainly affect members of the African American community, since their descendents are most likely from the subsaharan region of Africa where malaria is prevelant. Sickle cell disease is chronic and and lifelong: it is characterised by a sickling of the blood cells due to a variation of the normal hemoglobin that should be in the blood. When these blood cells begin to sickle, they get stuck in the bodies smaller blood vessels and block the passage of other blood cells that can cut off normal blood flow through the body damaging the tissues and causing a great deal of pain for the sufferer, pain that has been said to be comparable to, if not worse than, cancer pain ... beleive me, it's a hell I wouldn't even wish on someone I absolutely hated. Some of the main organs that are usually affected are those that clean out toxins and damaged cells from the body like the liver and spleen. It also affects the bodies extremities like arms and legs since the blood vessels get smaller and smaller as they move further away from the heart.

Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell disease ... BUT extensive research is being done to find one. The only form of treatment is to control the pain with pain medicine when it occurs; take antibiotocs to avoid getting sick; and alter your lifestyle to enable your body to better handle stress when it does occur but to, generally, not have any stress at all.

As a person living with Sickle Cell Disease, i strongly encourage every African American man, woman, and child to go get screened for the disease. Although it cannot be cured onced you are found to have it, gene therapy has made it possible to not pass the genes on to future generations.

Knowing is half the battle!