Had To Remember Who Was In Control

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Photos: Felecia Causey
Written By: Jazzlind
Sickle Cell is a genetic blood disorder where the red blood cell are crescent shaped. Due to this abnormal shape the red blood cells do not last as long and they don’t carry the adequate amounts of oxygen. The sickled shape causes all types of problems for the patient the main one being episodes of severe pain called crisis. My parents found out about my diagnosis at birth and I had my first crisis at 6 months old and it has been on and popping from there. I can remember spending every birthday and holiday in the hospital until I was maybe 12 years old. We were there so much we basically knew the nurses personally. Me being sick did not really affect school until my high school years. I always maintained good grades even though I missed quite often. I don’t remember being treated differently in elementary school but middle school was a different ball game. I was teased because my eyes were jaundice (yellow) but nothing too major I mostly ignored it.  I went to a magnet for my 9th and 10th grade year. It was the worst thing I could’ve done. I was smart enough to be there but I missed so much school and they just wasn’t built to accommodate me and my illness so I transferred to another magnet school for the last two years of high school. It was honestly a whirlwind of hospital stays, trips to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, and pain. I’ve been getting blood transfusions since I was in the fourth grade. Every 5 weeks I go to Birmingham to get my treatment. Living with sickle cell hasn’t been easy but I’ve just kind of adapted and rolled with the punches because giving up was never an option. I’ve always tried to live my life as normal as possible or at least normal for me because I could do everything right and still end up in the hospital and I didn’t want sickle cell to stop me from living. Being in the hospital and the clinic so much I knew early on that I wanted to take care of kids with sickle cell so when I graduated I went to nursing school. So many people said you can’t be a nurse you’re sick, but I didn’t let that stop me. Nursing school is incredibly hard but I’m making it. With sickle cell I’ve always heard what I can’t do or shouldn’t do but I’ve never had a lot of trust in man. I learn a long time ago that God was in control of this thing.

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