Sickle cell and the best day ever!

June 1, 2011

Research, sickle cell

Good Morning!

At 5:00 am I woke up naturally. No alarm clock needed. It was the 23rd of May and all was right with the world. I knew because before I opened my eyes, I took an assessment of my body and there was no pain or even the slightest discomfort. So, I start to question my consciousness. “Maybe I’m dreaming,” I thought. So, I took another assessment, this time more physical. I began to touch the areas of my body that had hurt every morning for the past four months— Legs, hips, shoulder, neck— again no pain. Whoa!! This feels good! This must be what a normal person feels like every day! Feels good! Feels…Normal?? I had forgotten what it was like to wake up with no pain.

I jumped out of bed and rushed to start my day. Taking advantage of feeling good, I made a list of things to do. “Since my legs don’t hurt, I can work out. And, since I won’t be distracted by pain, I can focus and maybe even write something. I can start right now! Ah the possibilities!” I thought. So, I did, I started writing. I wrote a lot. I felt inspired. Happy even. I get a work-out in and I even call a few friends to hang out. Life is good. My friends are surprised to hear from me, but happy non-the-less. Many, many happy birthday text messages, Facebook posts and phone calls —Thank you everybody!!!

Take advantage of feeling good….normal. I imagine days like this may catch a person with chronic sickle cell pain and infection, off guard. So much so that he/she doesn’t know how to plan for it. So, he/she doesn’t know what to do with this feel good energy. How do you plan for feel good days? I have heard of planning for sick-days, but never have I heard of planning for feel good days. That’s what sickle cell patients have to contend with, along with missing networking opportunities, family gatherings and just hanging out with friends. Don’t underestimate the effect pain and isolation has on a persons psyche. It’s easy to become depressed and reclusive when pain makes almost everything difficult. This is especially true for men. Men with chronic pain are more easily and more often perceived as deceptive, weak or drug addicted. A big healthy man depressed, bent over  and unable to handle the pain he is experiencing seems unbelievable right? Few people truly understand.

These men, especially, need our help and support. They need everyone to understand how this disease robs them of essential human connections …a healthy loving reciprocal relationship (he wants to support his mate as she supports him), a job that fulfills him and allows him to use his God giving talent, and opportunities to hang out with his man friends to watch sports and talk about women. These things are not too much to ask.

I believe sickle cell anemia is beatable. It is not un-defeat-able! With time, more research and advocacy we can eradicate this disease and save lives. When we do, men, women and children can wake up every morning feeling good…feeling normal.

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4 Comments on “Sickle cell and the best day ever!”

  1. SomerEmpress Says:

    I love it! A feel-good, pain-free day! Most of us take those days for granted. I’m always thanking God for waking me up another day, and even though i still cannot resume to all my physical activities yet, I give thanks for the smallest gains.

    You pointed out an interesting observation – the distinctly different perceptions and attitudes toward men versus women, though they suffer equally from pain, depression, and other weaknesses known to man. I was just having this conversation with my husband earlier today (I mean yesterday). For some reason, folks think that men are better engineered to endure! So not the case. To your point, they also the support, assistance, and understanding of a loving network that can help them cope with the physical pain and the unfortunate stigma that comes along with it.

    This post gives me a better sense of the day-to-day of someone suffering from chronic pain. I could FEEL that you felt good! Keep on writing, and I’ll keep on reading! 🙂


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