In the U.K., approximately 15,000 people have sickle cell disorder and approximately 240,000 have the sickle cell trait. Despite these high numbers, I only meet someone who knows about sickle cell once in a blue moon.
One time I met a guy with sickle cell at my friend’s church. Speaking to him brought me so much relief. I was reminded that I’m not the only one going through this.
I could spend days trying to describe the pain of sickle cell, but the descriptions are basically meaningless to someone who doesn’t have the disorder. Words are not enough. This man actually understood the pain I’ve felt because he’s felt it, too. And we could laugh at the different ways we manage to look after ourselves.
The encounter was brief, but the effects were long-lasting. I realized the importance of having someone to talk to, or if possible, relate to about health.
I still have to explain what sickle cell is to nearly everyone I meet, including friends, family members, and employers, and it can quickly become awkward because most people don’t know how to react. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem educating people about sickle cell. Mostly, it’s an enjoyable experience, and I like to think I’m making it easier for the next person with sickle cell that they meet. However, once in a while, it’s refreshing not having to answer a multitude of questions, and not having to explain the ins and outs of this condition.
Sickle cell can be a very lonely disease, and the way it makes one feel is indescribable. If you have a loved one with sickle cell, I advise that you go out of your way to learn about the condition to show that you’re doing all you can to relate to them. This effort would be greatly appreciated. There are many resources on Sickle Cell Disease News that you can use to further your sickle cell knowledge.
Also, if you have sickle cell but no one to speak to, or you just want to learn more about the condition, feel free to join our forums!
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.
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