Author Archives: Mary Shaniqua

The Hidden Danger From Strokes in Sickle Cell Disease

I recently watched a film on Netflix called “Strain,” which depicts the life of a child with sickle cell disease. The film mentions that stroke is a symptom of sickle cell, which I don’t believe is widely known. To mark Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, I have…

We Need More Awareness of Aplastic Crises

When a sickle cell patient mentions a crisis, most people think of a painful, vaso-occlusive crisis. I can understand why — it’s by far one of the most common complications of sickle cell disease. However, it’s not the only complication that can occur.  One day when I was…

Celebrating Another Birthday With Gratitude

Today is my birthday. When I was born, the life expectancy of sickle cell patients in the U.K. was 10 years old. It was worse in Nigeria, at 5 years old, which is why my family and I remained here in the U.K. My dad had come to London to…

Why I Sought Therapy With a Trained Psychologist

People often tell me that I make living with sickle cell disease look easy. It is not. Whenever people make these types of comments, I always think that because I was born this way, I don’t know any other life — not really. For the most part, I have grown…

My Concerns as COVID-19 Restrictions Are Lifted in the UK

Most COVID-19 restriction laws were lifted in England on July 19. This includes mask requirements, social distancing rules, work-from-home guidance, and the rule of six, or the maximum number of people allowed at a social gathering. July 19 has been dubbed “Freedom Day” here in the U.K., but I…

For World Sickle Cell Day, Read About My Reality

World Sickle Cell Day is upon us tomorrow, June 19. Following are memories that illustrate sickle cell’s ugly grip on my reality. *** The year was 2018 and the British Society for Haematology Annual Scientific Meeting booked me to speak about sickle cell pain management. I live…

Why We Need Better Doctor-patient Communication

It has been a while since I last wrote. This is because unfortunately, I had another hospital admission. I was admitted in mid-April and discharged last week, so I was hospitalized for quite some time. I had a sickle cell crisis, although I’m uncertain about what caused it. I…