Screwy Haired Girl

I've got really screwy hair. LOVE IT.

sickle cell disease

Every blog has this post: the “I’ve been gone for a minute” post and I’m so sorry I have to write one. You see, I’ve been ill again. I’ve therefore fallen behind at work and so the days I’m feeling well, I tend to focus on catching up with client work. I run a branding and graphic design company in Lagos and so a lot of my time is spent in design studio mode. Anyhoodle, that’s why I haven’t posted. But as I mentioned in my very first post, I get sick a lot and so I may be MIA from time to time. What illness, you ask? Well, I have sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic condition that affects my blood.

I get pain episodes often or not so often, but they’ve been happening pretty often right now. If you don’t know a lot about the disease–and many people, even in Nigeria, don’t–and are curious to know more, you can find easy-to-digest info at The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and The Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria.

One thing everyone should do, though, if you haven’t already: screen yourself and your partner for the SCD trait prior to having children. Now, this doesn’t mean that your love is over; there are lots of ways for couples who both have the trait can have babies. I know one such couple who are trying to have kids through the selective fertility treatments. (Apologies for not using the correct medical terminology; it’s late and I’m really tired. They’re pro-life people, so the method they’re using doesn’t involve disposing of any fetuses.) If you live in Nigeria, it’s important to know about this disease; Nigeria has the highest occurrence of SCD and the trait on the planet. It’s also important to note that, contrary to what many believe, SCD is no longer a “black man’s disease”. It pops up in Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and even Caucasian populations as well.

I’m not comfortable putting my illness out there on the interwebs, but it’s not something I’m ashamed of, as it’s a part of who I am, so I might as well let you know why I go MIA a lot.

Anyhoodle, I’ll be back with a post or three tomorrow. Promise! Now, I simply must go to bed. Forgive any typos; I’m too tired to proof-read.

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3 comments on “sickle cell disease

  1. Natural Nigerian
    June 24, 2011

    Some members of my family have SCD. They are able to live full lives, and that is because they take adequate rests, get good healthcare, eat well and are knowledgeable about the disease.

    You are right. Everyone should get tested before having children. I find it amazing that people above the age of 10 don’t know what their blood type is.

    I wish you strength as you go through your difficult times and I am glad to see that you live a full life regardless of the challenges that SCD brings.

    • screwyhair
      June 25, 2011

      Thanks, NN!

      Didn’t want to go on about it, but I felt I should say why I’m not consistent here.

      Yes, it’s scary that where it hits people the hardest is where most people are oblivious, but, hopefully, with education, it’ll be a disease that my great-grandchildren won’t need to know anything about.

      Living a full life with SCD can be trying, but the trick is finding distractions and–I’m going to sound like an airhead here–hair is one of those distractions :-)

      • Natural Nigerian
        July 4, 2011

        As long as your distractions work for you who cares if it is intellectual or airhead-y? Just do you.

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2011 by in Miscellaneous and tagged , .
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