I thought it would be a great idea to start at the beginning with my first post. Many people know a relative or friend that has Sickle Cell Disease but many do not really know much more about it. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder. Instead of the red blood cells forming into a normal donut shape, they form into a sickle or crescent shape, hence the name. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, but due to the sickle shape, it creates a blockage for the cells to travel throughout the body. The lack of oxygen creates SCD complications including pain in the joints. At this point, you're probably thinking to yourself " Well how did she get SCD?" I thought you would never ask!
Long story short, genetics. My mother and father were unaware that they both had SCD Trait when they got married. I have two older siblingings and my sister is the oldest. To my parents surprise, my sister was born with the Trait and thats when they both discovered that they had it as well. Technology was not as advanced as it is today. As pictured on the diagram above, my brother has no blood disorder and I have SCD.
My parents and extended family really didn't understand the disease because I was the only person in the family with the illness. My maternal grandmother viewed SCD like an infection. She was convinced that using her herbs straight from her homeland of Jamaica would cure me of the disease. She would make various homemade herbal drinks and before putting it in the refrigerator with a label, she gave everyone in the house a warning not to touch my drink. Talk about feeling special! Finally, I had something that I didn't have to share with my siblings.
She use to tell me that I got "the disease" from my father side (he is African American) because no one in Jamaica had it. As a child, I knew better not to have a debate with my grandma, but I knew the information she was sharing was incorrect. I had excellent doctors that properly educated me on SCD. I know that everyone with SCD is not as fortunate to receive accurate medical advice which is a problem. The reason why I started Sickle Cycle was to bring more awareness and education around the issues that are affecting SCD patients from a patient's perspective. As the title of my first blog post suggest, this is the only the beginning. I hope you visit frequently to enjoy the journey.