Author Archives: Mary Shaniqua

Why It’s Important to Learn Your Genotype

If you haven’t already, I would recommend you get your genotype tested. Sickle cell is an inherited disease. This means if both parents carry a sickle gene, there is a chance the baby can have sickle cell disease. If both parents have the sickle cell trait, there is…

Returning to Work After a Prolonged Medical Absence

In my last column, I wrote about finally being discharged after a lengthy hospitalization. Once I got home, I rested for about a week and then decided to return to work. Maintaining a successful, full-time career while having a disability like sickle cell disease requires good decision-making…

How I’m Prioritizing My Health in the New Year

Happy New Year! It’s 2022, and my New Year’s resolution is the same as always: to experience and maintain good health. I’m not completely naive. I’m acutely aware of how sickle cell disease works, and I know I can’t predict many of my health hurdles. Thus, it’s almost impossible for…

The Challenges of Using Opioids to Manage Crisis Pain

I have been experiencing a lot of pain lately due to sickle cell crises. I previously wrote that my crises have started to correlate with my menstrual cycle, but I’m now experiencing them daily. Admittedly, I’m not experiencing the worst pain ever, as I’ve been able to manage…

How I Try to Avoid a Cold Weather Pain Crisis

Winter has finally arrived here in the U.K.  I really dislike the winter, in case you didn’t know. One of my biggest sickle cell disease crisis triggers is cold weather. Although sickle cell patients have different pain crisis triggers, almost all sickle cell patients are triggered by cold…

Will Sickle Cell Inquiry in UK Improve Patient Care?

Last Monday, I awoke to a flurry of comments about the results of a landmark sickle cell inquiry here in the U.K. that uncovered evidence of racism in sickle cell patient care in the the public healthcare system. The report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sickle Cell and…