Living With Sickle Cell: A Journey From Hospital Bed To Author
The pressure of ordinary life is enough to cause you to lose your mind, so what causes a person living with a life-threatening blood disorder to take on a huge endeavor like becoming an author and activist for a disease?
To complicate things even more the disease is an invisible one, meaning the damage the disease causes is rarely reflected in the outward appearance.
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My name is Dominique Friend, and I’m 43 years old living with Sickle Cell Disease. My life has truly been interrupted as a result of this dreadful disease. The chief complaint of Sickle Cell is pain. Because of the severe pain, it’s hard for me to function as a normal person.
The pain affects my ability to do simple things like cook dinner on a regular basis or attend football games with my son or other family activities, because I tire easily. I have trouble standing for long periods of time. Every day is a challenge to keep up with my life’s activities. Basic simple activities like going shopping with my daughter or doing a load of laundry can be so draining for me.
I’m sure you all can’t imagine living a life in pain every single day. Consequently, there is a lack of awareness of how severely the disease affects those with SCD and a lack of understanding of the excruciating pain that accompanies a crisis and the overall fatigue and weakness that are the continual companion of those with SCD. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness can extend to health care practitioners as well.