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Do We Have to Die for Change?

June 19 was both World Sickle Cell Day and Juneteenth! It wasn’t until last year that I learned about Juneteenth — forgive me, I’m a Londoner. Similarly, many of my peers found out about World Sickle Cell Day only after meeting me. Last year, Juneteenth was highlighted to…

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…

Sickle Cell Disease Is an Inseparable Part of My Identity

Many people with chronic illnesses may agree with a common statement that “our illnesses do not define us.” I understand that some believe their illnesses don’t change who they are. They can still live a meaningful, successful, and fulfilling life despite dealing with an illness. However, I disagree with that…

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…

When Health Crises Strike, We Must Focus on Healing

Unfortunately, the healing process is not always as straightforward as we’d like it to be. In fact, it can become quite exhausting and frustrating. For example, perhaps after feeling unwell for some time due to an illness such as sickle cell disease, a person’s body may start to…

I Struggled to Take My Meds — Until It Affected My Pocketbook

In 2005, my doctors started me on a medication called hydroxycarbamide, also known as hydroxyurea, or “hydra.” It was prescribed to help me manage the symptoms of sickle cell disease. Many people with sickle cell disease use hydroxycarbamide. Before my care plan changed to regular exchange transfusions, I used…

Should You Blog About Your Health Journey?

Recently, a fellow sickle cell warrior messaged me on Instagram to ask if I thought they should document their health journey by starting a blog. This is something I will never discourage. I started publicly sharing my health journey with a blog,…