Author Archives: Tito Oye

I Started Going Outdoors More, but Soon Changed My Mind

After many months of sheltering in place, or shielding, as we call it here in the U.K., the time finally came for me to leave my house for reasons unrelated to medical issues. The government had paused shielding requirements, but I had been committed to continuing my self-isolation indefinitely…

Thinking Ahead by Cultivating Healthy Habits Now

Having a lifelong condition like sickle cell disease forces people to grow up pretty quickly. We must acknowledge certain responsibilities early on, and we can’t afford to ignore them because we don’t want ignorance to worsen our health. Many have the luxury of growing up without health concerns,…

My 2 Hopes for Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Just like that, it’s September again – aka Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell awareness means shining a light on sickle cell warriors and revealing what life is like with the condition. Not just the science, but the real people dealing with it. This is our…

What Chadwick Boseman Taught Me About Perseverance

Death always is a sobering thing to process. Hearing about someone’s untimely passing — whether the person was close to us or not — reminds us of life’s fickle nature.  We recently heard the sad news of actor Chadwick Boseman’s passing at the age of 43. Boseman…

Breaking the Habit of Assuming the Worst in Others

Looking at my diagnosis in a positive light doesn’t come naturally to me. I usually view my health as a disadvantage, and I used to expect others to do the same. I think this expectation stemmed from the many times I was unable to do something well or…

Sickle Cell Patients Should Have Medical Exemption in the UK

In the U.K., the National Health Service maintains a medical exemption list with conditions that entitle patients to free prescriptions. This is a wonderful concept that relieves some of the financial pressures of healthcare costs that many people might otherwise face. Without this vital service, people would…

Rolling With the Punches

Life can change so unexpectedly, especially when dealing with the unpredictability of sickle cell. Sometimes we have to warm up to the idea of rolling with the punches.  What does it mean to roll with the punches? In fighting, rolling with the punches refers to how…

So, What Is Sickle Cell Disease Again?

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…

How Lockdown Has Affected My Weight

During this period I have heard a lot of people complain about unwanted weight gain, but it is the opposite in my case. I have been losing a lot of weight and it took me a while to notice. When I think about all the possible explanations,…

A Message to Parents Expecting a Child With Sickle Cell

I recently spoke to a mother who gave birth to a child with sickle cell. The diagnosis was not expected at all. The news completely rocked her world. That’s understandable, as sickle cell results in huge lifestyle changes that a parent needs to accommodate. I imagine it is…